March 14, 2013
TULSA, Okla. – Up by eight, 47-39, with 6:44 remaining, the UAB women’s basketball team saw a UTEP rally in the final minutes as the Miners knocked off the No. 4 seed Blazers, 61-59, in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Conference USA Tournament.
With the loss, the Blazers fall to 18-12 overall and 9-8 in Conference USA action. Fifth-seeded UTEP improves to 22-9 and moves on to face No. 8 seed UCF in the semifinals.
Junior forward Karisma Chapman registered her fourth-straight game with 20-plus points as she put in a game high 23 points and eight rebounds.
The Blazers, which hit just 14-of-23 (60 percent) at the free-throw line, could not overcome a 49-35 Miner rebounding edge, including a 17-11 advantage on the offensive glass, in the loss.
“I thought my team played hard this afternoon,” UAB head coach Audra Smith said. “We competed as hard as we possibly could. UTEP is a great team that has very balanced scoring. We did not do a good job of keeping them off the offensive glass, and that really hurt us down the stretch.”
The game was back and forth from the beginning and the teams sat tied at 25-all with 1:59 to go before halftime. UAB’s Khoria Newman broke the tie with a jump shot that sparked a 6-0 run the rest of the stanza to send the Blazers into the locker room on top, 31-25.
UTEP scored the first eight points of the second half to take a 32-31 lead 3:03 into the stanza, but UAB outscored the Miners 16-7 over the next 10:36 to set up the comeback.
Down by eight at 47-39 with 6:44 left to play, the Miners went on an 8-0 run over the next 3:02 to tie the game. The two teams traded the next four points, before Chrishauna Parker put UTEP on top momentarily with a pair of free throws. UAB then answered with a 3-pointer by Karisma Chapman on the ensuing possession to stake the Blazers to a 52-51 lead. The next time down the floor, however, UTEP got a trey of its own from reserve Irene Gari and never trailed again.
UAB now falls to 11-17 all-time in the Conference-USA tournament and 4-7 in the quarterfinal round.