Birmingham, Ala. (WIAT) — In front of one of the biggest basketball crowds the city of Birmingham has ever seen, the Auburn Tigers and UAB Blazers delivered one of the best games of the 2018-19 College Basketball season.

“Great environment,” Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl said. “That was the largest crowd to watch a basketball game in Birmingham since 1992. I want to thank both fan bases for making it a great environment for these teams. Obviously it brought the best out of UAB. They play us that way every time they play us, but we have Jared Harper and they don’t. It’s a great compliment to Jared. He was able to take the game over.”

Jared Harper led all scorers with 31 points, but the Blazers fought hard down the stretch to force the game to overtime.

“I told someone yesterday that Auburn may be a Final Four team,” UAB Head Coach Rob Ehsan said. “Anytime we get to play someone this good, it is a measuring stick for how good we are and how good we can be. We played at our highest caliber tonight, so I think we proved a lot to ourselves.”

The game at the BJCC was part of the inaugural Mike Slive Invitational, in honor of the former SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.  With a portion of the proceeds going to the Mike Slive Foundation to fight Prostate Cancer.