No. 23 Middle Tennessee Tops UAB, 68-58

UABSPORTS.COM Sophomore Chelsee Black led UAB with 16 points.
Sophomore Chelsee Black led UAB with 16 points.

March 1, 2014

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Senior Karisma Chapman tallied her fifth-straight double-double to help give the UAB women's basketball team a 11-point lead, but No. 23 Middle Tennessee used a 26-8 run to comeback and take the win, 68-58.

"I am really proud of the girls today," said head coach Randy Norton. "I thought they played with the most focus that they have all year. They put up a great fight. I thought for 35 minutes of the game we out-played them. They ended the game with a 21-8 run in the last five minutes of the game, but I am really proud of these girls."

UAB (15-12, 7-7 C-USA) opened the game strong against Middle Tennessee (25-4, 14-1 C-USA) shooting 40 percent from the field in the first half and holding the Blue Raiders to just 32 percent.

The Blazers jumped out to a 5-0 lead after a layup from senior Karisma Chapman and a three from senior Ashley Grimes. UAB continued to push the tempo and used a 6-0 run to take a 22-13 lead at the 8:33 mark.

Middle Tennessee closed the first half with a 9-2 run to pull within two, 28-26, at halftime.

Out of the break, UAB played solid defense as the team didn't allow the Blue Raiders to score a basket until the 16:03 mark in the second half and held them to just one field goal in the first 10 minutes.

During that span, the Blazers put together a 15-5 run to take its largest lead of the game, 43-32, after a 3-pointer by sophomore Chelsee Black. The Blue Raiders countered with back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead to five.

Sophomore Brittany Winborne made a layup at the 7:47 mark to put UAB back up by eight. Middle Tennessee's Shanice Cason hit a 3-pointer to start a 12-3 run by the Blue Raiders that would give them their first lead of the game, 54-53, with 3:44 remaining.

UAB could not get the momentum back on offense, scoring just five points in the final four minutes as Middle Tennessee closed out the game with a 13-5 run. Senior Ebony Rowe led the Blue Raiders with 22 points, including 16 in the second half.

Black led the Blazers with 16 points and Chapman added 15. Chapman recorded her 16th double-double of the season with 13 rebounds. Grimes led the team with four assists and added three steals in the game.

The Blazers out-scored the Blue Raiders, 24-20, in the paint and shot 83.3 percent from the free throw line on the afternoon.

"We will come back from this," stated Norton. "We have two home games next week. I know these girls are resilient and they are going to finish the season strong."

UAB will play its final two regular season games at home this week. It will host Rice on Wednesday, March 5 at 7 p.m. CT. That game has been designated as Senior Night. Then, the team will play Charlotte on Friday, March 7 at 2 p.m. after rescheduling due to weather.

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