UAB steamrolls Temple 85-69 to win AAC championship, berth in NCAA Tournament

Sun, Mar 17, 2024
NCAAB News (AP)

UAB steamrolls Temple 85-69 to win AAC championship, berth in NCAA Tournament

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - Alejandro Vasquez sank five 3-pointers on his way to scoring a career-high 29, Yaxel Lendeborg finished with his 19th double-double of the season and UAB cruised to a wire-to-wire 85-69 victory over Temple on Sunday in the championship game of the American Athletic Conference Tournament, earning the Blazers a spot in the NCAA Tournament for a 17th time.

Vasquez opened the scoring with a 3-pointer two minutes into the game and the fourth-seeded Blazers (23-11) never looked back, heading to the Big Dance on a five-game win streak. Vasquez had 21 points by halftime to lead UAB to a 43-27 advantage.

Vasquez accounted for nearly half of UAB's first-half output, hitting all five of his 3-point attempts on 7-for-9 shooting. The Blazers shot 52% in the first half and made 7 of 13 from beyond the arc.

Hysier Miller hit two 3-pointers and had 16 points at the break for Temple. Miller hit 4 of 8 shots, while the rest of the Owls made 5 of 22. Temple shot 30% overall and missed 10 of 12 from distance.

Vasquez made 11 of 16 shots, missing his only 3-point attempt in the second half, for UAB. Lendeborg totaled 14 points and 16 rebounds. Eric Gaines added 15 points, nine assists, six rebounds and five steals. Christian Coleman scored 15 on 7-for-12 shooting.

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Miller scored a career-high 32 to lead 11th-seeded Temple (16-20). He made 9 of 18 shots with four 3-pointers and 10 of 11 foul shots. Shane Dezonie added 11 points, four rebounds and four assists off the bench.

Coach Adam Fisher's Owls had won five in a row entering play and hadn't lost since a 100-72 setback to UAB. After that loss a gambling investigation was announced due to unusual betting.

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