Nov. 2, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Senior Karisma Chapman led the UAB women's basketball with a double-double in the win against West Florida on Saturday night. The Blazers won 61-46 in the final exhibition game before beginning the 2013-14 season next week.
"As I told the team, I thought this couldn't have been scripted any better for an exhibition game," said head coach Randy Norton. "We got tested a little bit. They cut that game to three points, but I thought our girls dug in. We got some stops on defense and played with a lot of poise."
It was a close game between the two teams. The Blazers were able to pull away from the Argonauts several times, but West Florida kept fighting back and eventually cut the lead to three, 49-46 with 7:25 remaining in the game. The Blazers didn't panic though, as they quickly swung the momentum back in their direction.
The next trip down the floor, Chapman found sophomore Chelsee Black who drained her first three-pointer of the night to extend UAB's lead to 54-46. Shortly after that, Chapman got a steal and again found Black alone on the wing where she sunk her second-straight three.
The Blazers didn't stop pressuring, as Chapman grabbed another steal on West Florida's next possession and took it all the way down the court for a layup to push the lead to 59-46 at the 5:03 mark. From there, UAB remained in control of the game and held the Argonauts scoreless in the final seven minutes of the game.
Four players scored in double-figures for the Blazers in the win over West Florida. Chapman led the way with 19, freshman Janeka Williams added 16, senior Ashley Grimes had 13 and Black finished with 11. Overall, UAB shot 29.4 percent from the field but was able to knock down the shots when it counted.
"It was a night where we only shot 29 percent from the field, 24 percent from the three-point line, and 62 percent from the free-throw line," remarked Norton. "You're going to have nights like that. It was good for our girls to see that even when you have a night like that, if you'll just keep playing hard and dig in on defense and get stops, good things are going to happen. So I am pleased. It wasn't perfect, but I thought our girls showed a lot of poise and we did what we needed to do to win."
It was a great night defensively for UAB as the team out-rebounded UWF 51-38. Chapman and sophomore Dy'man Webb led the Green and Gold on the boards with 15 and 12 rebounds, respectively. The Blazers also turned up the defensive pressure, causing 30 turnovers and grabbing 16 steals on the night. Chapman came close to a triple-double as she led all players with seven steals.
The Blazers will open the 2013-14 season at the Emerald Beach Islanders Classic in Corpus Christi, Texas. In the first game, UAB will play Fairfield on Friday, Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. CT.