Defense, Free-Throw Shooting Guide UAB Past TSU

Junior forward Karisma Chapman was a perfect 15-for-15 from the free-throw line Friday.

Nov. 23, 2012

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Three players scored in double figures and the UAB women's basketball team forced 24 turnovers in a 68-60 win against Tennessee State Friday at the Pete Hanna Center on the Samford campus.

With the victory, UAB improves to 5-1 on the year while Tennessee State falls to 1-3 overall. The Blazers looks for their sixth win of the season on Saturday when they face Alabama State at 1 p.m. CT.

"Today's game was a challenge for us," head coach Audra Smith said. "At this point in the season we needed to face a scrappy team, and credit Tennessee State for fighting back and making us better."

UAB continued to apply the pressure on the defensive side of the ball on Friday, forcing 24 turnovers - the third-straight game the Blazers have forced 20 or more miscues.

Coach Smith's team was also strong from the free-throw line, knocking in 29-of-31 free throws in the win. Junior forward Karisma Chapman paced the Blazers with 15-for-15 clip from the line.

"Free-throw shooting is one thing that sticks out to me today," added Smith. "Tennessee State plays with a lot of intensity, and we did a good job of matching that by converting on our free throws when they put us in those situations."

UAB jumped out quickly on Tennessee State, building an 8-0 advantage early in the first period when Chapman converted on four free-throws in the first five minutes of the game.

As they were for most of the 40 minutes played Friday, theTigers were resilient, storming back to make it a slim 12-10 lead following senior guard Jasmin Shuler's bucket at the 13:56 mark of the first.

UAB built on that two-point cushion over the final 10 minutes of the opening period, relying mostly on the free-throw line to take the 32-23 advantage into the half. Chapman led all scorers in the first 20 minutes of action with 10 points - all from the charity stripe.

In the second half, the Blazers were able to build as much as a 19-point lead (51-32) with 8:35 to go in the game. The Tigers once again battled back, however, getting as close as seven (64-57) following a made free-throw from Shuler.

That seven-point deficit would be as close as Tennessee State could get the rest of the way, as UAB held on for the 68-60 win.

The Blazers were led by 21 points and six rebounds from Chapman, while senior guard Amber Jones added 16 points and junior guard Ashley Grimes scored 14 on the night.

Next up, UAB takes on Alabama State on Saturday at 1 p.m. CT.