- Associated Press - Sunday, January 3, 2016

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Robert Brown and Nick Norton scored 14 points apiece and Alabama-Birmingham beat Middle Tennessee 78-67 in a Conference USA opener on Sunday.

Brown was 5 of 8 from the floor - including 3 of 4 from beyond the arc - for the Blazers (11-3). Norton was 7 of 8 from the line with seven assists, Dirk Williams scored 11 points and William Lee added 10 points.

MTSU (8-5) was led by Reggie Upshaw with 21 points and seven rebounds. Darnell Harris added 16 points and three assists.

Middle Tennessee led much of the first half, and a 10-3 run to close the frame - including 3-pointers by Harris and Xavier Habersham - put the Blue Raiders up 42-30 at intermission.

UAB chipped away in the second half and a pair of free throws by Lee with 5:19 left gave the Blazers a one-point lead. UAB then closed the game with a 14-4 run.

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