BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) _ Center Jeff Moore scored 28 points, and 12th-ranked Auburn made an early lead stand up as the Tigers defeated Alabama-Birmingham 68-58 in a season- opening college basketball game Friday night.

Auburn started the game with a 9-0 spurt, and the Tigers never trailed, leading by as many as 16 points in the second half. Auburn held a 39-28 lead at the half.

With the help of a fullcourt press and several three-point goals, UAB cut into the lead late in the second half. With 4:40 remaining, Blazer guard Michael Charles sank a pair of free throws that reduced the lead to six points.

But that was as close as UAB could come, and Moore's tip-in with a minute remaining gave Auburn an insurmountable 12-point lead.

Guard Frank Ford added 11 points for Auburn, a member of the Southeastern Conference, while forwards Chris Morris and Andrae Davis each contributed 10 points.

For UAB, a member of the Sun Belt Conference, guard Tracy Foster was the game's leading scorer with 29 points. The only other Blazer in double figures was Charles, who had 14.