Nassau, Bahamas (SportsNetwork.com) - The 18th-ranked Gators got an unexpected boost from freshman Chris Chiozza, who came off the bench and supplied 13 points with six steals in Florida's 56-47 win over UAB in the second round of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
Chiozza, who went scoreless in Wednesday's overtime loss to Georgetown in round 1, had scored just 19 points in his collegiate career prior to Thursday's win. The reserve guard made three of Florida's seven 3-pointers, including consecutive triples during a crucial stretch midway through the second half.
Tosin Mehinti made a layup around Chiozza's 3s and UAB scored the next five points to tie the game at 39.
The Blazers led by two after Mehinti split a pair of free throws out of the final media timeout. But Florida climbed in front when Chris Walker and Jon Horford made two free throws and Kasey Hill had a layup with 1 1/2 minutes to play.
After Hakeem Baxter missed twice at the rim out of a timeout, Dorian Finney- Smith's dunk and more free throws secured the game for the Gators.
Michael Frazier II scored a game-high 14 points for Florida (3-2) while Hill and Horford netted eight apiece.
Robert Brown was the only Blazer to score in the first 15 minutes of Wednesday's loss to Wisconsin, but his teammates stepped up in the opening stages of this one. Mehinti had five of UAB's first 10 points and Brown was scoreless as the Blazers jumped out to a 12-5 lead midway through the first half
UAB flipped the script in this one, keeping every Gator besides Hill off the scoreboard until Walker's dunk at 9:20. Hill had Florida's first five points.
Florida led by as many as seven late in the first half, but Brown made it 27-22 at halftime with his jumper before the buzzer.
Brown and Mehinti both scored 12 points to lead UAB (2-4).
UAB has lost nine of 10 against ranked opponents ... Florida will play UNC in the final day in the Bahamas, while UAB awaits a meeting with UCLA ... UAB made five of its seven free throw attempts.