FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Howard Crawford expected to take the final shot. What he didn't expect was how easy it was going to be for him.
With 1 second left, Crawford rolled off a pick at the top of the key and raced all alone down the lane, catching Jamarr Sanders' inbound pass and dunking to give Alabama-Birmingham (No. 24 AP) a 73-72 win over Arkansas on Saturday."I was shocked I was that wide open," Crawford, who scored 13 points, said. "I was going to take the final shot no matter what."UAB (12-2) trailed 72-71 with 2.2 seconds left and called a timeout to set up a final play.Elijah Millsap screened Arkansas' 6-foot-9 post Mike Washington and Crawford was left wide open for the finishing dunk."They executed better than we defended on that last play," Arkansas coach John Pelphrey said. "Give them a lot of credit. They called a good time out at the end and ran the play just like you draw it up."Arkansas (7-7) led by five points with just over 2 minutes left after trailing for much of the second half. But Millsap hit two free throws with 1:19 left to pull the Blazers within 72-71.After an Arkansas turnover, Millsap missed a long jumper and Arkansas rebounded with 35 seconds left. The Razorbacks ran the clock down to under 10 seconds, but Jemal Farmer missed an open jump shot, setting up the final play for UAB.Arkansas raced to an 11-point first-half lead and led 25-14 with 9:45 left on a mid-lane jumper by Rotnei Clarke.The Blazers went on a 15-2 run over the next six minutes to take a 29-27 lead on a 3-pointer by Jamarr Sanders and built the lead to 39-31 at halftime after Sanders hit another 3-pointer.Arkansas opened the second half with a 7-0 run to pull within 39-38 on a three-point play by Marshawn Powell. The score was close for the rest of the game with Arkansas finally taking a 53-52 lead on Michael Washington's layup with 10:49 left.Millsap led UAB with 22 points and Crawford added 13, Cameron Moore had 11 and Sanders 10.Powell scored 22 points for Arkansas and Washington added 18 and Clarke 16.The Blazers open Conference USA play on Wednesday against East Carolina. Arkansas hosts No. 2 Texas on Tuesday in its final nonconference game before opening Southeastern Conference play at Mississippi State on Jan. 14.