Feb. 15, 2001
UAB LADY BLAZER BASKETBALL UAB (15-8, 7-5) vs. Southern Miss (12-12, 5-8) February 16, 2001, 7:00 CST Reed Green Coliseum, Hattiesburg, Miss.
UAB vs. Tulane (17-8, 10-3) February 18, 2001, 2 p.m. Fogelman Arena, New Orleans, La.
THE LADY BLAZERS UAB is 15-8 and 7-5 in Conference USA. They are third in the National Division and fourth overall. The Blazers have won two straight, both at home, and are 10-1 at home this season. Deanna Jackson is still second in the nation in scoring, averaging 25.5 points per game. She is fifth in the nation in rebounding, pulling down 11.7 per game. Mia Thrash is second in scoring, averaging 13.5 points a game. Natasha Thomas comes off the bench to provide 10.6points and 6.1 rebounds a game. Jackson and Thomas each have three double-doubles in the last five games.
HEAD COACH, JEANNIE MILLING (South Alabama `71, 231-174, 14th year at UAB, 392-283, 24th season overall) Milling is in her 14th season as head coach of the Lady Blazers. The all-time winningest coach at the school, she led UAB to the NCAA tournament in `94 and 2000. She has also led the Lady Blazers to WNIT Bids in `91 and `92. Milling was head coach at Spring Hill College in Mobile for four seasons, compiling a 99-62 record. She moved from there to Georgia Southern, where she was 62-48 in six years as head coach.
UP NEXT FOR UAB The Lady Blazers finish the regular season hosting South Florida, Friday Feb. 23 and Houston, Sunday, Feb. 25.
SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI The Lady Eagles are 12-12 overall and 5-8 in fifth place in the National Division. USM has lost four of its last five, with four those on the road. USM is 6-5 at home this season. Guard Angela Johnson (11.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg), center Victoria Mason (11.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg) and forward Jessica Woods (10.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg) lead the team.
Coach Rick Reeves is 29-25 in his second year at USM. He is 228-184 in his 15th year overall.
THE SERIES Southern Miss leads 22-11. UAB has won two in a row and three of four. USM leads 13-3 in Hattiesburg. UAB won 62-55 earlier in Birmingham.
TULANE Tulane leads the National Division with a 10-3 record and is 17-8 overall. The Green Wave have won two in a row and four of five. They are 8-3 at home this season. Center Janell Burse is averaging 18.7 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Gwen Slaughter is scoring 10.6 points and getting eight rebounds per game.
Head Coach Lisa Stockton is in her seventh year at Tulane with a 156-51 record. She is 219-78 in her 10th year as a collegiate head coach.
THE SERIES Tulane leads 12-5, winning 74-67 earlier this year in Birmingham. Tulane leads 5-2 in New Orleans. JACKSON AND THOMAS, DANGEROUS DUO Junior All-America candidate Deanna Jackson and Freshman Natasha Thomas have become have really been double-trouble for the opponents. The two combined for 47 points and 16 rebounds against Saint Louis. Three times in the last six games, they each have reached a double-double. They both accomplished the feat against South Florida, Louisville and Charlotte. Combined they have 19 double-doubles. Jackson has 15 and Thomas four. They are combining for 36 points per game, half of the team's average of 71.4.
A SECOND HALF TEAM The Lady Blazers are proving that fact. Amazingly they have trailed at the half in nine of the last 10 games. However, they have come back to win in four of those five, and came back to take the lead in two others. The Lady Blazers have trailed by double figures in seven of the games, and won three of those (against Cincinnati, Charlotte and Saint Louis). UAB has outscored the last 10 opponents 379-322 over the last 10 games. In the nine they have trailed at the half, they have outscored the opponents 345-290, an average of 32-28.
AWAY FROM HOME This is the final regular season road trip for the Lady Blazers. They are 3-6 on the opposition's home court this year and 2-4 on the road in C-USA games. Overall, the Blazers are 5-7 away from Bartow Arena. On the other hand UAB is 10-1 in Bartow Arena. They have two games left this season in Bartow.
IN THE THICK OF THINGS UAB is currently third in C-USA's National Division and fourth in the league overall. They have a half-game lead over Cincinnati for that fourth spot. The two division winners and the next two teams with the best league records get a bye in the first round of the C-USA tournament. UAB also has the tiebreaker over Cincinnati by virtue of its 61-58 win earlier this year.
CONFERENCE PLAY This was the first time UAB started 2-0 in C-USA since the league was formed in 1995. As a matter of fact, UAB had never won its Conference USA opener before beating Memphis earlier in the season. The Lady Blazers last won their first two conference games in 1994 when they finished 23-6 and won the Great Midwest Conference.
BIG SCORING AGAINST SLU UAB had its biggest scoring output of the C-USA schedule with 87 points against Saint Louis. It was only the third time in C-USA play that the Lady Blazers hit the 70-point mark and the first time since falling at Memphis, 82-71 on Jan. 14. UAB scored in the 60's in seven straight games prior to the Saint Louis game. They went 4-3 in those games. The Lady Blazers are 6-4 when scoring in the 60's As for defense, UAB is 8-0 when holding the opponents to under 60 points. The Lady Blazers are 9-2 when scoring 70 or more.
SHOOTING WELL UAB is 13th in the nation in shooting percentage, hitting 47 percent of its shots. The Lady Blazers are second in C-USA to Tulane, who is hitting 47.2 percent. UAB shot 57 percent against Saint Louis (73 percent in the second half). It was the ninth time UAB has hit 50 percent or better from the field. The Lady Blazers are 8-1 when shooting 50 percent or better and 12-3 when shooting better than 45 percent from the field.
THOMAS, LEADING FRESHMAN, SIXTH MAN Freshman Natasha Thomas is one of the top freshmen in the league, and a leading candidate for the top sixth-man award. After her career high 20-point performance against Saint Louis, she is averaging 10.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Thomas is averaging 11.2 points in C-USA games. She has three double-doubles in the last six games, most recently 15 points and 12 rebounds against Charlotte. She has scored in double figures in five of the last six games. Thomas scored 17 points and had 12 rebounds against league-leader Louisville. She had 17 points and 10 rebounds against South Florida. Thomas has scored in double figures seven times in 11 league games and 12 games overall.
THRASH OVER THE 1,000-POINT MARK Mia Thrash became the 17th player in UAB history to reach 1,000 points when she scored 20 against Cincinnati, last Friday. She finished that game off in style, converting a three-point play with 0.3 seconds left for the win. Thrash now has 1,049 points for her career.
SOME CONFERENCE NUMBERS Deanna Jackson is in the top 10 in eight of 12 C-USA statistical categories, leading the league in scoring and rebounding...Jackson's 38 points against Middle Tennessee is tied for the most points by a C-USA player this year...The Lady Blazers are third in scoring margin with a +7.08...
JACKSON ON C-USA CAREER LIST Deanna Jackson is currently sixth on C-USA's all-time scoring list. Jackson has 1,665 points, 38 behind Memphis' Latoya Johnson, who has 1,703. Jackson is third in rebounding with 895. Jackson is also fifth in blocked shots with 105, five behind Tamika Whitmore, who played at Memphis.
A FEW MORE NOTES The Lady Blazers had four players score in double figures for the first time this season, against Charlotte,, and accomplished the feat again versus Saint Louis... Turnovers are not always the key stat for UAB. The Lady Blazers are 5-3 when turning the ball over 20 or more times and 2-5 when forcing the opposition into 20 or more turnovers....The Lady Blazers had their best assist to turnover ratio against SLU when they dished out 21 assists and committed just nine turnovers...UAB has three games decided by three or less points, two of those in the last four games.
FRONT COURT STRENGTH One of the main reasons for UAB's outstanding shooting is its strong inside game. Shaquetta Rhodes and Natasha Thomas are 2-3 in shooting percentage in C-USA. Rhodes is hitting 56.1 percent from the field and Thomas, 56.0 percent. Deanna Jackson is just under 50 percent, at 49.4. Michelle Smith has made 57.1 percent of her shots in the eight games she has played. Those four have scored 63 percent of the team's points and have 67 percent of the rebounds. For the record here is their numbers