Blazers Stifle UCF In C-USA Opener, 64-46

UAB outrebounded UCF, 52-39, in the win.

Jan. 10, 2013

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ORLANDO, Fla. -  The UAB women's basketball team held UCF to three made field goals in the first half and limited the Knights to just over 26 percent shooting for the game in a 64-46 Conference USA win on Thursday.

Junior Ashley Grimes provided a season and career high of 21 points on the night to go along with UAB's defensive effort. Meanwhile, the Blazers finished the game with a season-high 52 boards, holding a 52-39 rebounding advantage.

With the win, UAB improves its overall record to 10-4 and moves to 1-0 in Conference USA action.  UCF falls to 6-9 overall and 0-1 in C-USA play.

"It was a total team effort," UAB head coach Audra Smith said. "We came out with the intensity that it takes to win a game in this league and that was the difference tonight."

UAB held the Knights to a 3-for-31 (9.7 percent) shooting performance from the floor in the first half and jumped out to a 10-3 lead early in the frame.

The Knights hung in the game thanks to the free-throw line, where they hit 7-for-12 in the opening period to get as close as 10 (19-9) with just over seven minutes remaining before intermission.

UAB was able to build as much as a 15-point cushion from there and held off the Knight rally with nine points each from senior Amber Jones and Grimes to claim a 26-13 advantage at the break. The 13 points scored by UCF marked the fourth time this year UAB held a team under 15 points in a half.

UCF came out of the break with two straight baskets - one off a layup from Andrea Hines and the other off a steal and a made shot from Briahanna Jackson. Those two buckets made it a single-digit game, 26-17, for the first time since the early portion of the first half.

Up by nine, UAB then went on a 9-2 run to stifle the Knights' momentum, thanks to two baskets from Grimes.

"Ashley Grimes is one of the easiest players I have coached," added Smith when describing the junior forward's career night. "She has probably the quickest first step of any player I have coached and has so much potential for us as we move ahead."

That small UAB run ignited a Blazer fury in the second half as the visitors built as much as a 23-point lead with the score at 56-33 and just over six minutes remaining, before eventually taking the 64-46 victory.

UAB scored 24 points off of 22 Knight turnovers while outscoring UCF, 28-16, in the paint.

Along with Grimes' 21 points, Jones added 12 while freshman Khoria Newman tallied five points in her second career start.

Next up, UAB hosts Houston on Sunday at Bartow Arena. Opening tip for that contest is slated for 2 p.m. CT.