KJ Buffen scores career-high 25 points to lead UAB past South Carolina

After starting the game at 10-0, Jordan “Jerry” Walker, who led by one possession, forced the inside lane into the paint before hitting a wall of defenders. Casually taking all his options, the country’s top scorer turned to KJ Buffen, who was standing alone at the top of the key.

Without the slightest hesitation, Buffen stood up and shot at the top of the jump, not even seeing the ball drop gracefully into the basket.

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“I couldn’t even describe the feeling that came out of it,” Buffen said. “I’ve missed a lot of people, so it felt good to see one enter.

With a double-digit lead in the first two minutes, the Blazers never looked threatened in their 84-70 win over South Carolina at Birmingham’s Bartow Arena on Wednesday, December 14.

UAB entered the game with 61 in the NCAA NET and 47 in KenPom, improving to 8-2 in a Quad-3 win over the Gamecocks. The Blazers are 2-0 against the SEC this season and an 87-73 victory over Georgia in the Sunshine Slam Championship Game.

Related: Unwind UAB’s 84-70 victory over South Carolina

UAB head coach Andy Kennedy said, “It’s a great opportunity for us and we’re proud to have taken advantage of it.” No. Our guys showed great energy and Jelly (Walker) set the tone.They’re an SEC team with SEC players.”

The Blazers shot 44.8% overall, shooting 40% (8/20) from 3-point range, and 16/17 in the charity stripes. On defense, UAB allowed the Gamecocks 42.6% of his shots overall, but forced 14 turnovers, which resulted in him scoring 14 points.

In one of his best games of the season, Buffen had a career-high 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including a 3-pointer on a 7-0 run in the first half, and had eight rebounds and two steals. Added. But the transfer of former Ole Miss equates his success with consistency and communication.

“I really want to be the most consistent on the team,” he said. “Every game, 10-plus points and seven rebounds, you know what you can get out of me. I try to do the same thing consistently every time. I’m always the furthest away from the ball, so I I can see everything, so I talk and make sure we’re all in the right place. Talking and thinking about basketball is my greatest strength.”

Jordan “Jerry” Walker has 22 points, 3 rebounds and 7 assists and remains the nation’s leading scorer, averaging 24.4 points per game across nine contests this season. Eric Gaines scored his career-high 19 points and added 5 rebounds and his 3 assists.

“Like football, you can have some scripts,” said Kennedy. “Sometimes Jerry doesn’t follow the script. He’s a play breaker and likes to break that playoff. and knocked down another.

Walker got the Blazers off to a hot start, knocking down the first three shot attempts of the game, knocking down all 3-pointers, including one with an and-1 chance, and giving the first two shots of action. They built an 11-0 lead in minutes. The Gamecocks responded with an 11-1 run to tie the game, but Gaines and Buffen combined his 11-3 runs to give UAB a 22-14 lead at halfway point in the first half.

South Carolina cut UAB’s advantage to 2 points with back-to-back 3-pointers from Chico Carter Jr.

The Blazers pushed their lead to 20 points in the first eight minutes of the second half and extended their lead to 23 points with less than four minutes remaining, but the Gamecocks ended the game with a 13-4 run in the final minute. . Reduce the final deficit to 14 points.

“Overall, I’m really proud of the effort,” said Kennedy. “I’ve never been really intimidated. I didn’t like how the game ended, but I’m going to get over it.”

Javian Davis scored seven points, three rebounds and two assists after hitting the back hard on the floor near the end of the first half. Trey Jemison had his 3 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks, while Brewer had his 4 points each for the Brothers, Redarius and Tie, and he had 9 rebounds combined.

“I was really worried. From my vantage point, I thought his head hit the floor,” Kennedy said. “He said his butt hurts. Can I say it on TV? But he said his butt bone was the problem. His minutes were good. He and Trey[Jemison]told us It gave me two different dimensions of him.

The Blazers will wrap up their non-conference slate against Southern on Sunday 18 December at Birmingham’s Bartow Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30pm CT on CBS Sports Network.

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