Yaxel Lendeborg scored 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds Sunday as UAB made it three straight losses for No. 19 Memphis with a 97-88 American Athletic Conference win in Birmingham, Ala.
Lendeborg grabbed 10 offensive rebounds, making him just the third player in conference history to do so. He also dished out four assists as the Blazers (13-7, 5-2 AAC) beat a ranked Memphis team for just the second time in 16 attempts.
Eric Gaines added 20 points, while Efrem Johnson and reserve Daniel Ortiz tallied 12 apiece. Javian Davis contributed 10 points as UAB overcame 21 turnovers by earning a 40-32 advantage on the boards and hitting 59.3 percent of its shots in the second half.
David Jones scored a game-high 24 points for Memphis (15-5, 4-3) but also committed nine turnovers. Malcolm Dandridge added 19 and Jahvon Quinerly chipped in 12 points but connected on just 4 of 15 shots. Nae’Qwan Tomlin also had 12 points.
The Tigers played a sloppy game, committing 22 turnovers that the Blazers cashed in for 26 points. And their shooting cooled as the game progressed. They made just 17 of 40 attempts in the second half, digging a 15-point hole that they couldn’t emerge from, even though UAB didn’t make a field goal in the final 5:12.
It was a feast-or-famine beginning for Memphis. It made its first eight shots from the field but also handled the ball as though it were coated with lard, committing five quick turnovers that helped UAB hang with it.
The Tigers led by six on three different occasions in the first half but the Blazers were able to respond by hitting the boards and earning 14 foul shots, making 11. Lendeborg was particularly helpful, working for 16 points and nine boards in the half and sinking all six of his free throws.
But it was Gaines who sent UAB to the locker room with a 45-44 edge after he got the last shot with two seconds left and drained a 3-pointer, polishing off an 11-point half.