Nick Norton scored 11 points, and was the only player in double figures for the Blazers, but it would be enough to overcome the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and advance into Friday's semifinals.
Western Kentucky was fast out of the gates, scoring the first six points of the contest to quickly take a 6-0 lead about three minutes in. The Blazers would respond, and two minutes later a William Lee three ball would knot the game at eight.
The two teams would go back and forth, and the Blazers would eventually hold their largest lead of five at 23-18 with just under six minutes left in the half. WKU would close on an 8-3 run though, sending teams to the locker rooms tied at 26.
UAB would score five straight to open the second half, quickly jumping ahead 31-26, but it would take just about five minutes for the Hilltoppers to find themselves back on top 34-33.
The two teams would trade leads the rest of the night, but it would be Western Kentucky who would look to make a strong push to the finish. Down 43-40, they would score seven straight to take a 47-43 lead with just under five minutes to play.
The home team would still find themselves down four heading into the closing minute, but they wouldn't fold. A Norton made three with 52 seconds left would pull the Blazers to within one at 52-51, and following a turnover, Robert Brown would put them ahead 53-52 with just 19 seconds to play.
A Chris Harrison-Docks three would miss in the final seconds, and UAB would escape, advancing into the semifinals to take on the winner of the nightcap between Louisiana Tech and Rice.
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