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UAB defeats Jacksonville State 75-48

BIRMINGHAM — Lawrence Kinnard scored 25 points and Robert Vaden added 21 to lead short-handed Alabama-Birmingham to a 75-48 victory over Jacksonville State.

UAB had only seven players in uniform after Coach Mike Davis announced on Tuesday that four players would not be available. Armon Bassett and Terrence Roderick left the program and Ed Berrios and Jeremy Mayfield were declared academically ineligible. All four players were reserves or redshirts.

UAB (6-3) had its usual starters, and that’s all the Blazers needed against Jacksonville State (6-2). Kinnard, UAB’s tallest starter at 6-foot-8, hit five 3-pointers in the first half to stake the Blazers to a 44-24 halftime lead.

Kinnard then hit two close-in shots to help UAB start the second half with a 10-0 run. The Blazers went on to lead by as many as 36 points.

Howard Crawford, UAB’s only scholarship reserve player, scored 12 points, and Paul Delaney III added 11.

Jacksonville State came into the game with the best start in school history at the Division I level. But first-year coach James Green saw his Gamecocks struggle from the field, shooting only 29.5 percent on 18-of-61 shooting.

Jeremy Bynum and Nick Murphy scored 12 points apiece to lead Jacksonville State.

The two Alabama schools are 80 miles apart, but it was only their third meeting in basketball and the first in 10 years.