Dec. 18, 2007
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The UAB women's basketball team made a 28-3 run in the last 8:50 of the game to earn the 80-71 victory over St. John's Tuesday in the championship game of the Blazer Invitational. With the win, the Blazers claimed their fifth consecutive Blazer Invitational title.
UAB got its second straight victory and improved its record to 4-7 on the year. St. John's saw its record fall to 8-3 overall.
After going up by four points multiple times in the first 10 minutes of play, UAB let its lead slip away and St. John's went on an 11-2 run late in the first half to take a nine-point lead over the Blazers, 37-28. Six points by UAB freshman guard Amanda Peterson in the last 1:30 of the half helped cut the Red Storm's lead to five heading into halftime, 39-34.
St. John's used the first 11 minutes of the second half to extend its lead to 16 over UAB, 68-52. That is when the tables turned and UAB went on a 28-3 run to finish the game and leave with a nine-point win over the Red Storm, 80-71.
"This was great for us to go out there and get this win," said UAB head coach Audra Smith. "You always want to win your own tournament.
"I am so proud of the way that our team fought when they were down and never gave up. We had good energy late in the game. We made some big plays when it mattered most."
St. John's hit 47.3 percent for the game, compared to 39.7 percent for UAB, including a handful of threes for both squads on the night. The Blazers held a distinct advantage from the charity stripe, sinking 25-of-32 for 78.1 percent, while the Red Storm made 14-of-24 for 58.3 percent.
UAB senior guard Crystal McFadden was 7-of-13 from the field and 4-of-5 from the free throw line for a team-high 19 points. McFadden also added five rebounds, three assists and one steal.
Senior guard/forward Diamond Rogers
added 18 points and a team-best four assists for the Blazers. Peterson set a new career high with 16 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including a trio of treys. Junior guard Britney Jones
was the fourth Blazer in double figures with 12 points on the night.
Kia Wright led the way for St. John's with 15 points on 4-of-10 shooting and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe. Sky Lindsay and Monique McLean added 13 points each to the Red Storm's total, while Centhya Hart contributed 12. Tiina Sten paced St. John's on the boards with nine rebounds to go along with her nine points on the night.
McFadden was honored as the Most Valuable Player of the 2007 Blazer Invitational. Also recognized as members of the All-Tournament team was Amanda Peterson (UAB), Kia Wright (St. John's), Tiina Sten (St. John's), Jameka Smith (Delaware State) and Lottie Moore (Louisiana-Monroe).
In the tournament's consolation game, which was played prior to the championship game on Tuesday, Louisiana-Monroe defeated Delaware State, 52-49.
The Blazers will return to the court Thursday when they host Florida State in a 7:00 p.m. matchup at Bartow Arena.