Jan. 18, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The UAB women's basketball team had a 12-point lead in the first half, but could not hold on against Middle Tennessee as the Blue Raiders went on to win, 61-55 on Saturday.
"That was a tough game to lose," said head coach Randy Norton. "I felt like our team played well enough to win that game. There was a little bit of frustration in the second half. I thought our kids never gave up. Obviously we had some defensive breakdowns in the second half that just cost you against good teams. You can't have those breakdowns and beat good teams."
UAB (10-7, 2-2 C-USA) outshot Middle Tennessee (15-3, 4-0 C-USA), as the Blazers were 41.4 percent from the floor and held the Blue Raiders to just 34.4 percent. However, Middle Tennessee was able to get to the line and finished with 16 free throws to UAB's five.
The Blue Raiders opened the game with a quick 7-2 lead to open the game, but UAB countered with a 16-0 run over the span of four minutes to take a 22-11 lead. The Blazers reached their largest lead of the game at the 7:08 mark after a layup by sophomore Kayla Anderson.
Middle Tennessee would not go away though, as it rattled off a 13-0 run over the final seven minutes of the first half to tie it up at 27-27 heading into the break.
In the second half, UAB opened with a 5-0 run after a three from senior Ashley Grimes and a layup by fellow senior Karisma Chapman. The Blazers held onto the lead until the 13:24 mark when MTSU tied it up once again at 36-36. The teams traded the lead three times until Middle Tennessee took the advantage, 46-45, with 5:59 remaining in the game.
The Blazers stayed close and cut the lead to two several times, but they came up just short of the Blue Raiders who won their 14th-straight game. Ebony Rowe led Middle Tennessee with 16 points, eight of which came from the free throw line.
"I thought Kayla (Anderson) did an outstanding job on Ebony Rowe," Norton stated. "Her defense was great and she boxed her out. She ended up with 16 and 10, but that is below her average in all areas."
Chapman also led the team in rebounds with 10 on the night for her fourth-straight double-double. Black just missed a double-double with a career-high nine rebounds.
"We are getting really, really close to being one of the top teams in the conference," remarked Norton. "We are not there yet but we will get there."
Next up for UAB will be another road trip as the Blazers travel to Old Dominion on Wednesday, January 18. The teams will tip off at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT.
For the latest news on Blazer sports, follow the UAB Athletics Twitter account: @UABathletics. For women's basketball news, follow @UAB_WBB.