BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Ticker) -- Cincinnati had a case of double-vision against Alabama-Birmingham.
Twins Ronell Taylor and Donell Taylor combined for 16 points off the bench in the first half to lead the Blazers to an 80-69 victory over 14th-ranked Cincinnati and a share of first place in Conference USA.
Alabama-Birmingham (16-6, 9-2 C-USA) ended an eight-game skid against Cincinnati, pulling even with surging Memphis atop the conference. The Blazers spotted the Bearcats the first eight points before the Taylor twins took control.
A pair of 6-5 junior guards, the Taylors combined for 12 points in a 17-3 tear that put UAB ahead for good late in the first half. The Blazers took a 36-24 lead on Derrick Broom's 3-pointer with 3:23 left before halftime.
"At the beginning of the game, we had to relax and just start playing basketball," UAB coach Mike Anderson said. "I thought we fed off the energy that was in the building."
Cincinnati (17-5, 8-3) has lost two in a row and four of its last six games. The Bearcats struggled against the Blazers' variety of presses and had 11 of their 21 turnovers by halftime.
Mo Finley scored 13 points to lead UAB and Ronell Taylor finished with 12 in only 17 minutes. The Blazers used 11 players and all scored by halftime and nine logged at least 10 minutes.
Carldell "Squeaky" Johnson came up with five assists and four steals and reserve Tony Johnson had a productive 15 minutes off the bench for UAB with six points, five rebounds and a pair of assists.
"To me, "Squeaky" Johnson was the MVP," Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins said. "I told our guys in there, he didn't make a field goal and he was the best player on the floor. He got them into everything, never got rattled. He took four or five charges and made a ton of hustle plays."
The Blazers received 37 points from their vaunted bench and made 18-of-20 foul shots in the second half to salt away the win.
"They would not go away," Anderson said. "I thought the free-throw shooting was big tonight. We did a good job of spreading the floor and getting layups."
Cincinnati narrowed a 16-point deficit to 64-57 with 6:40 left. "Squeaky" Johnson made two at the line and Finley added a jumper to restore a 16-point cushion.
"They made plays," Huggins said. "Mo Finley made some big shots for them, he made big shots when he had to and we had nobody who did."
Jason Maxiell led Cincinnati with 13 points and 12 rebounds. But reserve Tony Bobbitt, the team's leading scorer and one of the nation's most talkative players, missed all four shots and did not score before fouling out with 6:29 left.