Women's Basketball Notes for South Florida Game

Feb. 23, 2001

UAB vs. South Florida Friday, Feb. 23, 2001 Bartow Arena, Birmingham, Ala.

THE LADY BLAZERS UAB is 16-9 and 8-6 in Conference USA. They are third in the National Division and fifth overall. UAB is a half game back of Cincinnati for the fourth spot and first round tourney bye. The Lady Blazers are 10-1 at home this season. They have won three of the last four games. Deanna Jackson is still second in the nation in scoring, averaging 25.3 points per game. She is fifth in the nation in rebounding, pulling down 11.6 per game. Mia Thrash is second in scoring, averaging 13.3 points a game. Natasha Thomas comes off the bench to provide 10.7points and 6.5 rebounds a game. Jackson and Thomas each have four double-doubles in the last six games

HEAD COACH, JEANNIE MILLING (South Alabama `71, 232-175, 14th year at UAB, 393-284, 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. SOUTH FLORIDA The Bulls are 4-21 overall and 1-13 in Conference USA. Their win was a 55-52 decision over Southern Miss two weeks ago. USF has played four straight games at home. Guard Aiya Shepard leads the team in scoring with 17.3 points per game. She scored 28 in the last game against Marquette. Denetrice Stinson comes off the bench to score 11.7 points a game and leads the team with 6.7 boards per game.

Coach Jose Hernandez is in his first season at USF and as head coach, taking over prior to the beginning of the season.

THE SERIES UAB leads 19-4. The Lady Blazers have not lost in Birmingham, or outside Tampa, against the Bulls. UAB leads 9-0 in Birmingham, 3-0 at neutral sites and 7-4 in Tampa.

THE LAST MEETING UAB won 66-47 in Tampa.

UP NEXT FOR UAB The Lady Blazers finish the regular season hosting Houston, Sunday at 2 p.m.

GLAD THEY PLAY THE SECOND HALF UAB has trailed in 11 of the last 12 games at the half and have come back to win five of the 11 games they trailed. The only team UAB has led at the half in this stretch is South Florida, who UAB defeated 66-47 after leading 32-17 at the half. Of the 11 games UAB has trailed, they have trailed by double figure margins seven times. The have come back to take the lead in nine of the games. Only against Tulane, in Birmingham and at Louisville did the Lady Blazers not have a second half lead. UAB has outscored the C-USA opponents 514-438 over the 14 league games.

JACKSON AND THOMAS, DANGEROUS DUO Junior All-America candidate Deanna Jackson and Freshman Natasha Thomas have really been double-trouble for the opponents. They have each recorded double-doubles in the same game in four of the last eight games. Jackson has 16 double-doubles on the season and Thomas has five. The two are combining to average36 points and 18 rebounds a game. They have 37 double figure scoring games and 22 double figure rebounding games between them. Thomas has six double figure scoring games out of the last eight and just missed another with nine points against Tulane. Jackson has failed to score in double figures just once this season.

BACK HOME FOR THE FINALE This weekend is the final regular season games for the 2000-01 season and UAB glad to be at home for the last games. The Lady Blazers are 10-1 in Bartow Arena this season. UAB won its first eight home games, lost to Tulane and won its last two against Charlotte and Saint Louis.

WHERE THEY STAND UAB is third in the National Division and fourth overall. They are a half game back of Cincinnati. The Bearcats have just one game remaining, Saturday at home against league champion Louisville. Memphis is one game back of UAB. The fourth place team will receive a bye in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament. UAB holds the tie-breaker over Cincinnati by way of its win over the Bearcats. Since UAB and Memphis split its two games and both are playing division opponents, the tie-breaker is still to be determined.

UP NEXT C-USA TOURNAMENT After this weekend UAB's next game will be in the Conference-USA Tournament at the U.S. Cellular Arena in Milwaukee, Wis. Play begins Friday, March 2 with teams finishing 5-12 overall playing the first day. The two division winners, and next two teams receive bye's into the final round. The semi-finals will be televised on a syndicated basis, Sunday March 4 at 2 and 5 p.m. The championship game will be televised on ESPN 2, Monday March 5 at 7 p.m. CST.

NOT IN OVERTIME UAB has been oustcored 29-12 in its two overtime games, losing to Auburn 79-71 and Tulane 71-62. 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 has scored in the 60's in 11 of the 14 conference games. The Lady Blazers 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 7-5 when scoring in the 60's As for defense, UAB is 9-0 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. She just missed scoring in double figures and getting her sixth double-double as she scored nine points and had 11 rebounds against Tulane. Thomas is averaging 11.4 points and 7.1 rebounds in C-USA games. She has four double-doubles in the last eight games. She has scored in double figures in six of the last eight games . Thomas has scored in double figures eight times in 14 league games and 13 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. Feb. 2. She finished that game off in style, converting a three-point play with 0.3 seconds left for the win. Thrash now has 1,072 points for her career, 14th on the all-time scoring list at UAB.

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 fifth on C-USA's all-time scoring list. Jackson has 1,711 points. She needs 108 points to move into fourth place. Jackson is third in rebounding with 915, 37 behind Tamika Whitmore of Memphis. Jackson is also fifth in blocked shots with 105, five behind Whitmore.

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 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 56.2 percent from the field and Thomas, 54 percent. Deanna Jackson is just under 50 percent, at 48. Michelle Smith has made 57.1 percent of her shots in the eight games she has played. Those four have scored 67 percent of the team's points and have 67 percent of the rebounds. For the record here is their numbers

Deanna Jackson, 25.3 ppg, 11.6 rpg 48.0 % Natasha Thomas, 10.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 53.9 % Shaquetta Rhodes, 6.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 56.2% Michelle Smith, 4.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg 56.5 % (14 games)

THE 2000 IN-SEASON TOURNAMENTS UAB participated in four in-season tournaments this year. The won the championship at both tournaments hosted by UAB, the Lady Blazer Classic and Lady Blazer Invitational. In the classic UAB defeated Kansas 67-62 and Tennessee-Martin 85-62. In the Invitational they beat Florida A&M 86-58 and Troy State 75-54. Deanna Jackson was named MVP of both tournaments. Shaquetta Rhodes was all-tournament for the Classic and Mia Thrash was on the all-tourney team for the invitational. The Lady Blazers won the consolation games at both the Nevada Bell Classic and the Air Force Classic. In Nevada UAB fell to the host Nevada 79-63 before beating Idaho 90-70. At Air Force, UAB fell to North Texas 67-54 and beat Lamar 77-60. Deanna Jackson was named to both all-tournament teams.