HOUSTON (AP) - Alabama-Birmingham won its 20th game of the season and took sole possession of first place in the Conference USA standings with a 68-55 victory over Houston on Saturday.
The Blazers (20-7, 10-4 Conference USA) entered the game in a three-way tie for first place, but both Memphis (9-5) and Southern Miss (9-5) lost Saturday.
Jamarr Sanders scored 18 points for UAB, which reached the 20-win mark for the fourth straight season. Ovie Soko and Preston Purifoy added 17 points each. And Aaron Johnson had 10 assists to extend his school record with nine double-assist games in a season. Johnson is five assists away from breaking the single-season school record of 209 held by Jack Kramer (1990-91).
Maurice McNeil had 14 points, Kendrick Washington 13 and Zamal Nixon 11 for Houston (12-15, 4-10).
Sanders hit three 3-pointers and Purifoy had two during a 21-2 run in the early going, giving UAB a 25-8 lead. The Blazers held a 38-24 halftime advantage and increased the lead to as much as 25 points in the second half.
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