Nov. 24, 2000
UAB LADY BLAZER BASKETBALL
UAB/ LADY BLAZER CLASSIC
UAB (1-1) vs. Kansas (2-0) (1st Round)
November 25, 2000, 6:00CST
Bartow Arena, Birmingham, Ala.
THE LADY BLAZERS
UAB is 1-1 after winning the consolation game of the Nevada Bell Classic, 90-70 over Idaho. The Lady Blazers lost the first game 79-63 to the host Nevada. Deanna Jackson was named to the All-Tournament Team and was Conference USA's Player of the Week. This is the second of four in-season tournaments the Lady Blazers will play this year.
HEAD COACH, JEANNIE MILLING (South Alabama `71, 217-167, 14th year at UAB, 378-276, 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.
Kansas, of the Big 12, is 2-0 on the year. The Jayhawks defeated Grambling 122-71 and Arkansas State 63-51. Brooke Reves and Jaclyn Johnson are both averaging 19 points per game. Reves scored 28 against Grambling. Kansas is shooting 56 percent from the field. Coach Marian Washington is in her 28th year at Kansas with a record of 525-287. She is second among active coaches in years at one school and 12th in wins.
TENNESSEE-MARTIN: The Skyhawks, of the Ohio Valley Conference, are 2-0, defeating Lees-McRae 88-42 and Bethel 102-67. Christi Binkley is averaging 17.0 points per game and Amy Watson is averaging 12 points per game. Co-head coaches Kim and Gary Van Atta are 60-54 in four years at UTM. Gary was head coach at Montevallo for seven years and is 226-103.
LOUISIANA-MONROE: The Indians, of the Southland Conference, lost their first game 57-54 to Arkansas-Little Rock. Terri Butler led the Lady Indians with 18 points and nine rebounds. Danielle Butler added 14 points and nine rebounds. ULM is coached byMona Martin, who is 59-80 in five years at ULM and 97-100 in eight years overall.
This tournament has a little different format. The UAB-Kansas game is a part of the UAB Classic double-header with the UAB against LaSalle. The game is being televised on Comcast/Charter Sports South by ESPN Regional. In addition, Kansas, regardless of winning or losing, will play the 2 p.m. game Sunday because of travel considerations. Therefore the championship game could be the first game, or the second. The winners Saturday will play each other for the championship and the losers will play a consolation game.
Jackson picked up where she left off last year, averaging 31 points and 14.5 rebounds in being named to the All-Tournament Team at the Nevada Bell Classic and as Conference USA's first Player of the Week for the 2000-01 season. Jackson scored 29 points and 18 rebounds against Nevada and had 33 points and 11 rebounds against Idaho. Jackson was C-USA's preseason Player of the Year and was picked as one of the 30 candidates for the Naismith Award. ESPN.com named her as one of the top five fowards in the country.
SMITH OUT WITH INJURY
Michelle Smith, last year's Freshman of the Year, in Conference USA is out until probably the first conference game in late December. She suffered a stress fracture in her leg and had surgery in September. Smith averaged 8.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game last year. She played in 33 games, starting 29.
THE NEVADA BELL TOURNAMENT
UAB shot better than 50 percent in all but one half in Nevada. However, that half, the second against host Nevada, cost the Lady Blazers in a 79-63 loss. UAB led 37-34 at the half, shooting 52 percent. In the second half, UAB shot just 28 percent. Nevada outrebounded the Lady Blazers 26-17 in the second half.
UAB rebounded against Idaho, shooting 57 percent for the game and holding the Vandals to 34.5 percent shooting. Deanna Jackson scored 33 points and freshman Natasha Thomas added 18 points and nine rebounds. UAB led 53-35 at the half and led by as much as 25 points in the second half.
BACK IN CENTRAL TIME
This game in Birmingham breaks a streak of five straight games, dating back to last year, played in the Pacific Time Zone. UAB went 3-2 out west, going 2-1 in last year's NCAA Tournament and 1-1 in Nevada.
This is the second of four in-season tournaments for the Lady Blazers. They have already participated in the Nevada Bell Tournament. In addition to the Lady Blazer Classic, UAB hosts the Lady Blazer Invitational, Dec. 16, 17. They will participate in the Air Force Classic, next week, Dec. 1 and 2 in Colorado Springs.
LAST YEAR'S TOURNEYS
UAB is 1-1 so far in in-season tourneys. Last year UAB was 6-0 for in-season tournament games. The Lady Blazers won tournaments at Saint Joseph's, George Mason, and their own UAB Classic.
Forward Deanna Jackson was named MVP of all three tournaments.
WHITE GETS START
Freshman point guard Vanessa White is projected to get her first collegiate start against Kansas. White came off the bench and provided a spark before fouling out in the 90-70 win over Idaho. She did not score, but did have two assists and pull down two rebounds in 19 minutes of play. More importantly than her numbers was the way she ran the offense. White was the Northwest Georgia Player of the Year, last year as a senior at Dalton County High in Trenton, Ga.
UAB is shooting 47.2 percent from the floor for the season. The Lady Blazers have shot better than 50 percent from the field in three of the four halves of play. Their best shooting half was 67 percent in the second half against Idaho. UAB is hitting 44.8 percent from 3-point range. The Lady Blazers hit 5-of-6 in the second half against Idaho, and was 10-of-15 for the game. UAB is hitting 70.2 percent at the free throw line. The opponents are making just 38 percent from the field and 29 percent from 3-point range.
THOMAS IMPRESSIVE EARLY
Freshman forward Natasha Thomas scored 18 points and pulled down nine rebounds against Idaho. She is averaging 12 points and seven rebounds for the first two games. Thomas is hitting 56 percent of her shots from the field, and has even hit 2-of-4 from three point range. She is 4-of-5 at the free throw line. Thomas is a three-time Alabama State Finals MVP at Lawrence County High in Moulton, Ala.
THRASH STARTS WELL
Senior Mia Thrash is averaging 13 points over the first two games. She is second on the team, averaging 27.5 minutes. Thrash scored 18 in the first game and eight in the second. She is tied for the team lead in assists with six.
AGAINST THE CONFERENCES, OPPONENTS
The Big 12
The Lady Blazers are 2-2 against teams currently in the Big 12. The Blazers are 1-0 against Oklahoma, 0-1 against Oklahoma State and 0-1 against Texas A&M. UAB defeated Nebraska 78-74, Dec. 29, 1999 in the only meeting between the two schools.
Series vs. Kansas
UAB is 21-5 against Ohio Valley Conference teams, of which UT-Martin is a member. The Lady Blazers have played Austin Peay the most, going 6-0 against the Lady Governors. The last OVC foe UAB faced was Tennessee Tech in the finals of last year's Lady Blazer Classic. The Blazers defeated the Golden Eaglettes 79-68. UAB is 3-2 against TTU. UAB is 1-2 against future opponent Middle Tennessee. However the Blue Raiders have moved to the SunBelt Conference.
Series vs. UT-Martin
DATE W/L SCORE LOCATION
1-29-83 W 83-63 BJCC
1-28-84 L 85-86 A
12-20-96 W 74-41 N
BJCC- Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center
UAB is 4-1 against schools in the Southland. However, both losses have come to Louisiana-Monroe (formerly Northeast Louisiana). The Blazers are 3-0 against Southeastern Louisiana and 1-2 against the Lady Indians. UAB last played ULM in 1996, winning 44-42.
Series vs. Louisiana-Monroe (1-2)
DATE W/L SCORE LOCATION
1-4-90 L 59-80 N
12-3-93 L 76-79 N
12-7-96 W 44-42 N