March 19, 2001
UAB LADY BLAZER BASKETBALL WOMEN'S NATIONAL INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT UAB (20-10) vs. New Mexico (20-12) Wednesday, March 21, 8 p.m. CST The Pit / Albuquerque, N.M.
THE LADY BLAZERS The Lady Blazers are 20-10 and have won seven of the last nine. The Lady Blazers defeated Florida International 96-83 and Alabama 84-72 in the first two rounds. They were 10-6 in Conference USA and tied for second in the National Division and third overall. The Lady Blazers earned a first round bye for finishing in the top four in the league. UAB is 13-1 in Bartow Arena this season and have won fiver straight at home.
Junior forward Deanna Jackson is C-USA's Player of the year and has been named to the Associated Press's third team All-American squad and was second team by Women's Basketball Journal. She is second in the nation in scoring, averaging 25.4 points, and fifth in rebounds, with 11.8 per game. Senior guard Mia Thrash was chosen second team All-C-USA and is second on the team in scoring with 13.8 points per game. She was second team All-C-USA. Forward Natasha Thomas was named to the league's All-Freshman Team, as she comes off the bench to average 11.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
Head coach Jeannie Milling is the schools all-time winningest coach with a 236-176 record in her 14th season at UAB. She has an overall record of 397-285. Milling also served as head coach at Spring Hill College and Georgia Southern. This is her fifth post-season appearance with UAB.
NEW MEXICO New Mexico is 20-12 overall. The Lobos have beaten C-USA team Houston, 72-49 and Arizona 75-62 in the first two rounds, both at home. New Mexico was 8-6 in the Mountain West Conference. Earlier in the year UNM lost to Mississippi State 66-59 and LSU 54-49. UNM has won seven of its last nine games. The Lobos are in the post-season for the fourth straight year.
Center Jordan Adams is averaging 14.1 points and pulling down 5.6 rebounds per game for the Lobos. Forward Miranda Sanchez is second on the team in scoring with 13.4 points and 5.2 rebounds. Guard Molly McKinnon is scoring 10.1 points per game and averages 3.5 assists. Guard Nikki Heckroth is averaging 5.7 assists per game.
Coach Don Flanagan is 120-62 in his sixth season as head coach at UNM. He is the school's all-time leader in wins. He has taken the Lobos to four straight post-season appearances.
UP NEXT The winner of this game will play either Oklahoma State or the winner of the Hawaii vs. Brigham Young game that was played late Monday night.
POST SEASON AGAIN UAB women are in the post-season for the second straight year and the fifth time overall. Last season UAB advanced to the NCAA Tournament's "Sweet Sixteen." They also participated in the NCAA Tournament in 1994, falling to George Washington in the first round. The Lady Blazers participated in the old NWIT in Amarillo, Texas in both 1991 and 1992.
UAB POST-SEASON RECORDS 1991 NWIT (Amarillo, Texas) Indiana, L, 71-110 Northern Illinois, W, 78-71 Louisville, W 81-75
1992 NWIT (Amarillo, Texas Arkansas State, L 79-83 Florida International, L 74-95 LaSalle, W 76-71
1994 NCAA Tournament 1st Round, Washington D.C. George Washington, L 66-74
2000 NCAA Tournament 1st and 2nd Round - Eugene, Oregon Oregon, W 80-79, OT Mississippi State, W 76-70 Regionals - Portland, Oregon Rutgers, L 45-60
2001 WNIT 1st and 2nd Round, Birmingham, Ala. Florida International W 96-63 Alabama W 84-72
ON THE ROAD. UAB hits the road for the first time since the first round of the Conference USA Tournament, March 3. The Lady Blazers were 4-7 on the opposition's home court this season and 5-9 away from Bartow Arena. The last time UAB played on the opposition's home court, they fell in overtime to C-USA Tournament Champ, Tulane, 71-62.
HIGH SCORING GAMES After averaging 70.5 points over the first 28 games of the season, UAB has averaged 90 in the two WNIT games. The 96 points the Lady Blazers scored against Florida International was the most this season. In addition the 83 points was the most allowed. UAB has scored 90 or more just twice. The first time UAB hit 90 was against Idaho in the second game of the season. FIU is the only team to score 80 or more on the Lady Blazers. FIU's Gergana Slavtcheva scored 42 points in the game, the most allowed by UAB this season. UAB went over the 80-point mark seven times in 30 games. Only once did they reach 80 in C-USA play, at home against Saint Louis.
NOT IN OVERTIME UAB has been oustcored 29-12 in its two overtime games, losing at Auburn 79-71 and at Tulane 71-62.
FREE THROWS UAB has attempted 86 free throws in the two NIT games. They set a season high of 42 against FIU, making 34, for 81 percent. Then against Alabama, the Lady Blazers made 39-of-44 for 88.9 percent. That means UAB is 73-of-86 the last two games, making 84.9 percent of its shots from the line.
SPEAKING OF SCORING UAB scored in the 60's in 11 of the 16 conference games, scoring in the 70's in the final two 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 10-0 when holding the opponents to under 60 points. The Lady Blazers are 12-2 when scoring 70 or more.
DEANNA JACKSON ALL-AMERICAN UAB junior forward Deanna Jackson has received numerous post-season honors. She was named as Conference USA's Player of the Year. She has also been named third team All-American by the Associated Press, second team by Women's Basketball Journal and first team by WomensCollegeHoops.com and the Women's Basketball News Service. Jackson is a finalist for the Kodak All-American team selected by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.
JACKSON ON C-USA CAREER LIST Deanna Jackson is currently fourth on C-USA's all-time scoring list. Jackson has 1,840 points. She needs 10 points to move into third place. Jackson is second in rebounding with 973. Jackson is fourth on the blocked shots list with 112.
GLAD THEY PLAY THE SECOND HALF UAB has trailed in 12 of the last 17 games at the half and have come back to win five of the 12 games they trailed. UAB has led South Florida twice and then led Houston 36-34 in the final regular season game. The Lady Blazers also led FIU 40-36, and Alabama 36-35 at the half. UAB is 15-2 when it leads at the half. Of the 12 games UAB has trailed, they have trailed by double figure margins eight times. The Lady Blazers have come back to take the lead in nine of the games. Only against Tulane, in Birmingham, at Louisville and against Cincinnati did the Lady Blazers not have a second half lead. Only against Cincinnati did the Lady Blazers not cut the score lower than the halftime margin.
THE HOME SEASON UAB is 14-1 in Bartow Arena this season. Only National Division winner Tulane beat the Lady Blazers in Bartow, 74-67. UAB won its first eight games in Bartow and now has won five straight. The Lady Blazers have a scoring margin + 12.3 at home.
THOMAS, LEADING FRESHMAN, SIXTH MAN Freshman Natasha Thomas was named to Conference USA's All-Freshman Team. She recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 14 points and a game high 13 rebounds against Alabama. She also scored 18 against FIU in the WNIT first round. Thomas averaged 11.1 points and 7.1 rebounds in C-USA games. She has scored in double figures in nine of the last 13 games . Thomas scored in double figures eight times in 16 league games and 15 games overall.
THRASH OVER THE 1,000-POINT MARK Mia Thrash has scored 40 points in the two WNIT games. She had a team high 29 against FIU and added 11, all on free throws, against Alabama. She also led the team with 19 in the C-USA Tournament loss to Cincinnati. 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 1,138 points for her career, 13th on the all-time scoring list at UAB.
RHODES WITH THE DOUBLE-DOUBLE Center Shaquetta Rhodes recorded her the first double-double of her career with 16 points and 11 rebounds against Alabama. It was her seventh double figure scoring game of the season and first double-figure rebounding game. She has started every game this season at center.
NOT MANY CLOSE ONES UAB had just three games decided by three points or less and two more go into overtime. The Lady Blazers were 2-3 in those five games. They lost to DePaul on an old-fashioned three-point play with 3.2 seconds remaining. The free throw was the 61st point, for the 61-60 win. The Lady Blazers then defeated Cincinnati, 61-58, on another three-point play with 0.3 seconds remaining. The Lady Blazers won by two over Charlotte at home for the only home game decided by three-points or less.
THE STREAKS UAB won five straight games, winning the last three non-conference games and the first two league games. That matched the longest streak of last season. The Lady Blazers also had a four game streak after losing to Nevada in the opener until falling to North Texas. The longest win streak in league play was three games, late in the season. UAB lost two in a row just once and never more than that.
JETER MOVES UP THE ASSISTS CHARTS Sally Jeter has moved into ninth place on the all-time assist list. She has 257 for her career. This year Jeter leads the team with 102 assists.
FRONT COURT STRENGTH One of the main reasons for UAB's outstanding shooting is its strong inside game. All but Jackson are shooting 50 percent or better from the floor and she is just underrate 48.2 percent. 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
20-WINS UAB has won 20 games for the second straight year. UAB was 21-13 last year. UAB has won 20 games seven differernt times.
The 20 Win Seasons 79-80 21-10 80-21 22-12 (AIAW Region III First Rd.) 90-91 24-8 (NWIT) 91-92 24-8 (NWIT) 93-94 23-6 (NCAA) 99-00 21-13 (NCAA "Sweet Sixteen") 00-01 20-10 (WNIT)
CONFERENCE PLAY This season 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.
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.