UAB (3-6) was paced by Robert Brown with a career-high 27 points. He made a career-high seven 3-pointers on nine attempts.
Following Akoon-Purcell's dunk at 11:15 of the first half Illinois State led 22-9. But Brown hit a trio of 3s to lead UAB on a 10-0 run and the Blazers trailed by six at intermission.
They cut the deficit to one with 1:11 left on another Brown 3-pointer but Denzel Watts missed a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left and Tony Wills made four straight free throws to seal the win.