UAB picked a bad time to play one of its worst games of the season. Florida Atlantic certainly had a hand in making that happen.

FAU, the regular season Conference USA champion, added another championship to its resume with a dominating 78-56 victory over the Blazers in the C-USA Championship Game in the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas.

"Give them the credit. They played well," said UAB assistant coach Phillip Pearson after the game on the UAB radio broadcast. "They just picked a bad time to not play very well."

UAB's opening possession of the game ended with Jordan "Jelly" Walker draining a 3-pointer. It was not a sign of things to come. The rest of the night was filled with frustration for Walker and the Blazers. UAB (25-9) shot 31.7 percent from the field and 19.1 percent on 3-pointers. At no point did the FAU offense allow UAB to get comfortable.

Walker was 6 of 20 overall from the field and 4 of 12 on 3-pointers. KJ Buffen didn't score for only the second time this season, and Tavin Lovan had just two points. Eric Gaines was 4 of 15 from the field, and the Blazers had just three assists on 20 made baskets. UAB scored more than 56 points in every game but one this season.

"We keep a stat during the game, and I just heard one of our GAs say we were 3 of 17 on what we call clean looks," Pearson said. "We were trying to claw back in there and give ourselves a chance. Get that thing to 10 and give ourselves a chance, you know, to really make a bit of a run. But just missed some open shots at inopportune times."

It was one of those nights.

On the other end, though, FAU (31-3) had very little trouble scoring. Alijah Martin, the tournament MVP, scored 30 points, hitting 12 of 19 overall and 5 of 10 from 3-point territory. He led an offense that hit 48% from the field and outscored UAB 42-18 in the paint.

"Just a good basketball team, guys who can dribble, pass and shoot," Pearson said. "We just didn't defend them well enough to begin the game. We kind of got on our heels, pressed a little bit, and it kind of went from bad to worse in some ways."

It was a difficult ending to a great run for the Blazers, who were trying to make their second successive NCAA Tournament appearance. They carried an eight-game win streak into the game, winning 12 of the last 13 games. They had also played FAU tough in two previous meetings, losing by two points in Boca Raton and snapping the Owls' 20-game win streak with an 86-77 victory at Bartow Arena.

FAU earned the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. UAB's best postseason chance could come in the NIT, but there are no guarantees that the Blazers will get an invitation.

"We didn't talk about it much in the locker room," Pearson said. "Seeing what's going on out there, I've seen a little bit of talk about us in the NIT. That would be a potential opportunity for us if it comes. We'll have to see what happens for us in the next day or two and just take it from there."

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