UAB Drops Non-Conference Finale To Mississippi State, 79-69

Jan. 3, 2008

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The UAB women's basketball team fell to the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs, 79-69, Thursday evening at Bartow Arena in the Blazers' final non-conference game of the season. Senior guard Crystal McFadden led UAB with 16 points and eight boards against the Lady Bulldogs.

UAB moves to 4-9 on the season and Mississippi State improves its record to 11-3.

The Blazers jumped out to a quick five-point lead to begin the game before Mississippi State came back and took its first lead of the game at the 12:33 mark, 15-13. The Lady Bulldogs went on a 12-2 run that spanned more than five minutes to hold a 27-15 advantage with 7:27 remaining in the half.

Sharp-shooting by UAB down the stretch put the Blazers within one, 35-34, with 30 seconds left before halftime. A layup by Mississippi State's Marneshia Richard with one second left put the Lady Bulldogs up by three at the break, 37-34.

After pulling within one in the opening minutes of the second half, UAB went over three minutes without another basket and Mississippi State took an 11-point lead, 52-41, with 14:10 left in the game.

The Lady Bulldogs continued to pull ahead of the Blazers, going up by as much as 17, 61-44, at the 10:40 mark. UAB rallied back to 10 down, 70-60, with 4:55 remaining on the clock. Key shots and free throws in the final minutes of the game secured the 10-point victory for Mississippi State, 79-69.

"I thought we played pretty well in the first half," said UAB head coach Audra Smith. "I was especially pleased the way that we closed out the first half.

"But, once again, we came out flat in the second half and Mississippi State built up a pretty good lead on us. We had to try to dig ourselves out of that hole, and we couldn't."

UAB hit 37.3 percent from the field, compared to 42.6 percent for Mississippi State. The Blazers held a slight advantage from three-point range, sinking 38.9 percent of their attempts while the Lady Bulldogs made 33.3 percent of their tries.

McFadden paced the Blazers with 16 points, with 14 of those coming in the first half. The New York, N.Y. native also led UAB with eight rebounds and three assists on the night.

Freshman guard Amanda Peterson recorded her seventh consecutive game scoring in double figures with 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc.

Mississippi State had four players score in double digits, led by Tysheka Grimes with 22 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Richard added 16 points and Alexis Rack and Donnisha Tate tallied 12 points each. Rack also tied Grimes for a game-high nine boards.

UAB will return to action on Sunday when it kicks off its Conference USA schedule by hosting the Memphis Lady Tigers. Tip-off is slated for 2:00 p.m. at Bartow Arena.