Gary Flowers scored 22 points and Southern Mississippi defeated Alabama-Birmingham 75-71 Wednesday night.

The Golden Eagles (17-5, 6-3 Conference USA) trailed by as many as 11 in the first half, but held the Blazers (15-6, 5-3) to 38.1 percent shooting in the second (8 of 21).

Southern Miss shot 43.8 percent for the game (28 of 64), and moved into a tie with UTEP for first in the conference. It was the first time in 12 games this season UAB lost when holding an opponent to less than 45-percent shooting from the field.

The Golden Eagles were outscored 8-3 to open the second, but scored nine straight and pushed the lead to as many as 13, 66-53, on R.L. Horton's layup with 5:06 to play.

The Blazers cut it to three, 72-69, but Southern Miss went 3 of 4 from the free-throw line the rest of the way to seal it.

Dexter Fields had 24 points and Jamarr Sanders 22 for UAB.