UAB fends off Rice rally in 82-70 win, 20th straight at home

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) Robert Brown scored 19 points and Nick Norton 18 to help UAB defeat Rice 82-70 Thursday night and set a school record for consecutive home wins.

UAB (16-3, 6-0 Conference USA) won its 20th consecutive game at Bartow Arena, and tied a school record with its 13th straight win. The current win streak is second-longest in the NCAA behind SMU (18).

Chris Cokley sank a free throw and he and Hakeem Baxter threw down back-to-back dunks as the Blazers broke open a two-point game with a 7-0 run over about four-and-a-half minutes.

Marcus Evans and Egor Koulechov led Rice (6-13, 1-5) with 14 points each. Koulechov also hauled in 10 rebounds. The young Owls team scored the first 10 points of the second half and led briefly, 47-46, on a 3-point play by Marquez Letcher-Ellis.

Brown scored five straight free throws as UAB regained the lead for good, 54-50.