Jan. 6, 2008
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The UAB women's basketball team got its Conference USA schedule off to a good start with a 76-63 win over Memphis Sunday afternoon at Bartow Arena. The Blazers (5-9, 1-0 C-USA) won their league opener for the third time in four years, as well as earning their fifth consecutive win over the Lady Tigers (3-11, 0-1 C-USA).
UAB jumped out to a five-point lead early in the game before Memphis' Ashley Thornton hit back-to-back layups to cut the Blazers' lead to one, 17-16, with 10:36 left in the first half. The Blazers went on an 8-0 run to go up by nine, 25-16, at the 8:10 mark.
UAB extended that lead to 12, 34-22, with 3:14 remaining before the half. A 9-2 run by the Lady Tigers to close out the first half trimmed the Blazers' lead to five, 36-31, at the break.
Memphis began the second half by tying the game at 38-all with 17:52 left on the clock. The Lady Tigers continued to breathe down UAB's neck, staying within a couple points of the Blazers throughout the most of the second half.
UAB started to give itself a little cushion late in the game when a three-point bucket by freshman guard Amanda Peterson and back-to-back jumpers for senior guard/forward Diamond Rogers put the Blazers on top, 73-60, with 1:10 left. UAB held on during the last minute to secure the win, 76-63.
"It's always a good feeling to start the conference schedule with a win," said UAB head coach Audra Smith. "I think we played hard, and even when they were within a point or two, we stayed focused and never gave up."
"There is so much parity in this league and anybody can beat anybody on any given night. We are going to have to come out and be ready to play every night to be successful in this conference."
UAB hit 46.9 percent from the floor, including 46.2 percent from beyond the arc. The Blazers' 46.9 percent shooting was the highest shooting percentage for UAB this season and it marked just the second time that the Blazers shot 45.0 percent or better this year.
Rogers led UAB in scoring for the eighth time this season with 21 points on 9-of-18 shooting. Rogers also added eight rebounds, five assists, three steals and one block.
Senior guard Crystal McFadden recorded her first double-double of the year, and just the fourth of her career, with 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting and a team-best 12 boards. McFadden contributed five assists and two steals as well.
Junior guard Britney Jones scored 12 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out three assists against the Lady Tigers. Peterson was UAB's fourth player to score in double figures with 11 points, led by a trio of treys, three assists and a pair of boards.
Memphis hit 38.5 percent of its shots for the game, but sunk just 4-of-21 (19.0 percent) from three-point range.
LaToya Bullard was the lone Lady Tiger to score in double digits with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting. Jessica Jackson scored nine points and led Memphis in rebounds (7), assists (3) and blocks (5).
UAB will return to the hardwood on Thursday when it hosts East Carolina. The Blazers and the Pirates will tip off at 7:00 p.m. CT in Bartow Arena.