Nov. 9, 2013
Box Score | Box Score
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Sophomore Chelsee Black put up a career-high 23 points, but it was not enough to hold on as Western Illinois came back from a 12 point deficit to win 71-65 on Saturday in the Emerald Beach Islanders Classic.
"As we told the girls, even though we lost two games down here, we got better as a team," said head coach Randy Norton. "I thought anyone that was here could tell that our team continues to get better. People have to remember that we have two seniors and one junior, who is a new to the team, and everyone else has very little experience from last year."
UAB (0-2) out-shot Western Illinois (1-1) from the field, shooting 43.3 percent to the Leathernecks' 41.1. Along with Black's 23 points, senior Karisma Chapman added 15 points for the Blazers. Black also dished out a career-high five assists to lead all players.
The Blazers also won the rebounding battle, grabbing 39 while Western Illinois had 36. Sophomore Dy'man Webb grabbed a career-best nine to lead UAB and fellow sophomore Brittany Winborne added eight. Sophomore Kayla Anderson had a solid night defensively with a career-best four blocks and six rebounds.
The difference came from the free throw line as Western Illinois made 20-32, while UAB only had nine attempts and converted six.
The Blazers were on the board first with a 5-0 lead after two quick layups from Anderson and a free throw from sophomore Dy'Mann Webb. Black put UAB on her back as she scored 13 points and had four assists in the first half.
UAB held Western Illinois without a basket for seven minutes of play, but several trips to the free throw line kept the Leathernecks close. Western Illinois had 17 shots from the charity stripe to UAB's four in the first half.
A jumper at the buzzer from freshman Janeka Williams, who finished with a career-high nine points, sent the Blazers into the half with a 37-29 lead.
Out of halftime, the Leathernecks went on a 13-2 run to take their first lead of the game, 45-44. Western Illinois extended its lead to seven points with 9:31 remaining in the game. UAB did not give up and battled back to tie it up at 55-55 with 6:39 left, as senior Karisma Chapman hit a key layup.
The game was tied 65-65 with 1:12 remaining, when Western Illinois' Michelle Maher hit a three-pointer to secure the win for the Leathernecks. Maher led all players with 24 points, 12 of which came from the free throw line. Ashley Luke added 11 points and Rebecca Henricson had 10 for Western Illinois.
"We are getting better," stated Norton. "I am really proud of the way they fought tonight. We had a five point lead with two minutes left, so real pleased. Each day we try to get better and our whole goal is to be prepared for Conference USA play."
Black Named to All-Tournament Team
Sophomore Chelsee Black was named to the Emerald Beach Islanders Classic All-Tournament team after scoring a career-high 23 points against Western Illinois and had 11 against Fairfield in the first game. She added nine rebounds and five assists in the two games.
"She is very deserving," remarked Norton. "We have asked her to step up in that leadership role as our point guard. Last year she played about 16 minutes a game and she played 37 in both of these games. Really pleased with the way she is playing and she is just growing as a point guard and as a leader."
UAB will return to Birmingham for its first home game of the season on Tuesday, Nov. 12 against Lipscomb. The game is slated to tip off at 7 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.