Isaac Hamilton scored 21 points and No. 22 UCLA salvaged one win out of its trip to the Bahamas by topping Alabama-Birmingham 88-76 in the seventh-place game at the Battle 4 Atlantis on Friday night.
Norman Powell scored 15 points for the Bruins (5-2), while Bryce Alford went 11 for 12 from the foul line on his way to a 14-point night. Kevon Looney had 13, Thomas Welsh 12 and Tony Parker 10 for UCLA.
Nick Norton and C.J. Washington each scored 17 points for UAB (2-5), which was playing its third ranked team in three days and dropped all three contests.
Chris Cokley and Lewis Sullivan scored 13 points apiece for the Blazers.
Powell's 3-pointer with 8:12 left put UCLA up 77-55, but UAB tried to make things interesting in the final minutes. The Blazers outscored the Bruins 17-5 over a 4 1/2-minute stretch, getting within 10 after back-to-back scores by Sullivan.
UCLA didn't let the margin get any smaller, and snapped a two-game slide.
Norton left the game in the second half after getting bloodied by a cut over his left eye, prompting a brief delay with 18:23 remaining. Once the cut was bandaged and the streaks of blood were wiped from his close-cropped blond hair, he returned to help spark UAB's comeback try.
UCLA: The Bruins are 3-0 against UAB. ... UCLA coach Steve Alford has wins against 149 Division I schools, and is four wins shy of 500 for his coaching career. ... Friday's game was the seventh for UCLA in a 15-day span, and the Bruins have gotten through that grind usually primarily an eight-man rotation.
UAB: The Blazers still have some big-name non-conference tests remaining, including a home game against LSU on Dec. 18 and a trip to North Carolina on Dec. 27. UAB beat the Tar Heels last season. ... UAB averaged 45 points in its first two games in the Bahamas. The Blazers got to the 45-point mark Friday with 14:53 remaining.
The Battle 4 Atlantis had four ranked teams in the field, with No. 2 Wisconsin, No. 5 North Carolina and No. 18 Florida along with the Bruins. Combined, those four clubs went 7-5, with the Badgers (3-0) winning the title, the Tar Heels (2-1) finishing fifth, the Gators (1-2) sixth and the Bruins (1-2) seventh. Unranked teams Oklahoma, Butler and Georgetown finished second, third and fourth, respectively.
There were only two instances (out of a possible 24) in the tournament where a team shot better than 50 percent, one by Wisconsin and the other by Georgetown. Inside the ballroom-turned-arena — a cozy venue that Florida coach Billy Donovan thought would favor shooters — teams shot 529-for-1,334 over the three days, or 39.7 percent.
UCLA: Home against Cal State-Fullerton on Wednesday night.
UAB: Home against Morehead State on Thursday night.