UAB Downs Marshall, Advances to Quarterfinals

Senior Karisma Chapman led UAB with 27 points against Marshall.

March 12, 2014

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EL PASO, Texas Senior Karisma Chapman recorded 27 points and eighth-seeded UAB held off upset-minded and No. 16 seed Marshall, 79-63, in the second round of the 2014 Conference USA Women’s Basketball Championships at Memorial Gym Wednesday afternoon.  

 “I felt like today, Marshall put up a great fight, they had a good game plan, but I am really proud of my kids,” said head coach Randy Norton. “We are really patient against the zone. I thought the second half; our guards did a much better job of penetrating that zone and moving the basketball, and we got some great looks in the second half.”

The Blazers (16-14) advance to face top-seed and No. 22/20 Middle Tennessee in the C-USA quarterfinals at 11 a.m. MDT Thursday.

The Thundering Herd (11-20) did well to keep things interesting, trailing by just eight (57-48) with 12:07 remaining in regulation. Unlike the opening day, in which all the lower seeds pulled out victories, UAB was able to squash the comeback bid.

The Blazers accounted for the game’s next 12 points to make it 69-49 with 8:48 left, and Marshall never got closer than 17 the rest of the way.

UAB came out of the gates firing and never cooled off, finishing at 54.4 percent (31-of-57) from the floor. It drilled 9-of-16 from three-point range, including five by Miranda Burroughs. UAB was the epitome of offensive efficiency, registering 22 assists on 31 field-goals made.

Burroughs followed Chapman with 15 points, while Ashley Grimes recorded 11 points. Brittany Winborne nearly posted a double-double (nine points, 10 rebounds) to lead the Blazers on the boards.

The team did a great job of spreading the ball around. Eight of the nine players who saw action scored and UAB tallied 22 assists on 31 field goals. Grimes dished out a career-high nine assists, while Chapman pitched in seven helpers to go along with the scoring outburst.

The Blazers also dominated the boards, 43-26, which improved the team to 14-3 when outrebounding its opponent. UAB continued to play well under the basket, outscoring the Herd, 38-30, in the paint. It was the fourth-straight game the Blazers have won the battle in the paint.

Marshall was led by Suporia Dickens (16 points), Chelsely Romero (14 points) and McKenzie Akers (10 points), who combined for 40 points on a combined 14-of-28 from the floor.

UAB will turn around to face No. 1 seed Middle Tennessee. This will be the third time these two teams have met this season, while Middle Tennessee winning both regular season games.                                            

“I have always loved this time of season, conference tournaments are a lot of fun, and the main focus is your team,” stated Norton. “We feel like we have been preparing for the Conference tournament all year season long. Some of the games maybe didn’t go the way we had planned for them to go, we’ve lost some close games, but we have always stayed true to the process. That’s control the things that we can control.”

The Blazers and the Blue Raiders will tip off at 11 a.m. MT/12 p.m. CT on Thursday, March 13 at Memorial Gym.

For the latest news on Blazer sports, follow the UAB Athletics Twitter account: @UABathletics. For women's basketball news, follow @UAB_WBB.