BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Yaxel Lendeborg, Eric Gaines and UAB capitalized on their shot at a ranked opponent, albeit one on a losing streak.

Lendeborg had 23 points and 16 rebounds and Gaines broke out of a 3-point slump while scoring 20 points during UAB's 97-88 victory over No. 19 Memphis on Sunday at a packed Bartow Arena.

“Obviously when you get an opportunity to play Memphis, a nationally ranked team on national television, you hope to maximize the opportunity, and I think our guys certainly did that,” UAB coach Andy Kennedy said. "I think our whole fan base did that. I think Birmingham did that.

“I think it was a win all across the board.”

For the Tigers, it was a third straight loss even if the first two came by a combined three points.

“We know why we’re having the problems,” Memphis coach Penny Hardaway said. “We’re talking about it. We're watching film. We're getting it handled in practice. Then when the game starts, the effort and the energy just isn’t there.”

The hot-shooting Blazers (13-7, 5-2 American Athletic Conference) managed to upend a reeling Memphis team that had won 18 of their last 19 meetings as Conference USA rivals.

The Tigers (15-5, 4-3) cut a 15-point deficit down to 88-80 on Nae'Qwan Tomlin's 3-pointer with 4:06 remaining, capping a 7-0 spurt.

They didn't score again for nearly three minutes before David Jones' 3 cut it to seven. UAB had made just 2 of 6 free throws during that span to leave Memphis' comeback hopes alive, but then Efrem Johnson and Javian Davis each made a pair.

Lendeborg had 10 offensive rebounds and made 9 of 10 free throws. Gaines came into the game on a 0-for-20 3-point slump but made 3 of 4 from deep.

“This was amazing,” Lendeborg said. “This was like pretty much everybody’s dream. On the court, I felt like I could cry. This was a really special moment for me and the team.”

Jones led Memphis with 24 points, nine rebounds and seven steals. He also committed nine turnovers.

Malcolm Dandridge scored a career-high 19 for Memphis on 8-of-11 shooting. Jahvon Quinerly, a transfer from Alabama, had 12 points on 4-of-15 shooting. Tomlin fouled out with 12 points.

Daniel Ortiz and Johnson both scored 12 for UAB, and Davis added 10. Ortiz made four 3s.

Memphis had dropped two straight one-possession games after blowing late leads, losing to South Florida (74-73) and Tulane (81-79).

“It's going to take these guys in the locker room to change," Hardaway said. He saw ”just a bunch of blank faces in there" with no players speaking up.

The Blazers took a 45-44 lead into halftime after Gaines' 3-pointer with 2 seconds left, momentum that carried over out of the break.

It was the first time the former C-USA rivals have met as AAC opponents.


Memphis: Made its first eight shots but committed 22 turnovers, including 13 in the first half. Had been 8-0 this season when reaching 80 points.

UAB: Has won nine of 11 games. Made 31 of 60 shots (51.7%) and 9 of 20 3s (45%).


“The only way you can win a game when you have 21 turnovers is when your opponent has 22,” UAB's Kennedy said.


Memphis hosts Rice on Wednesday night.

UAB visits North Texas on Wednesday night.


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