Dec. 2, 2011
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The UAB women's basketball team continues its road swing Saturday with a 7 p.m. CT tipoff against Austin Peay in Clarksville, Tenn.
The Blazers (4-2) are riding a three-game winning streak and defeated Morehead State, 70-47, on the road Wednesday in their most recent action. Austin Peay (2-4) has dropped four straight games after winning its first two. The Lady Govs fell to nationally ranked Vanderbilt, 83-51, on Wednesday.
UAB at Austin Peay
Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. CT
Winfield Dunn Center (Clarksville, Tenn.)
Live stats available at apsugovernors.com.
UAB holds a 9-2 lead all-time against Austin Peay and a 3-1 edge against the Lady Govs on the road.
The Blazers won the first seven meetings between the teams from 1988-2001 before Austin Peay posted back-to-back wins -- its only victories in the series -- in the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons.
The teams resumed the series two seasons ago after a five year break with UAB winning 75-66 in Clarksville, Tenn. (12/20/09) and then posting a 60-55 win last season (1/2/11) in Birmingham.
About the Blazers
UAB rides a three-game winning streak into Austin Peay on Saturday, fresh off a 70-43 win Wednesday at Morehead State. The Blazers have out-scored their past three opponents by an average of 22.7 points per game.
Senior guard Amber Jones, who scored 18 points in the win at Morehead State, leads Blazers in scoring a 16.0 points per contest. Sophomore forward Karisma Chapman contributes 12.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, while senior guard LaShaunda Pratt also averages double-figure scoring at 11.2 per game.
During its current winning streak, UAB has held its opponents to an average of 41.3 points per game while forcing them into 24.7 turnovers per game. For the season, the Blazers' opponents are scoring just 49.5 points per outing and turning the ball over an average of 21.3 times.
Scouting Austin Peay
Austin Peay enters Saturday's game looking to snap a four-game losing skid. The Lady Govs opened their season with consecutive wins over Southern Illinois and Lipscomb but have since dropped four in a row, including an 83-51 loss to nationally-ranked Vanderbilt on Wednesday in their most recent outing.
Guard Whitney Hanley is Austin Peay's top player, leading the Lady Govs in points (16.7), rebounds (5.7) and assists (3.0) per game. Guard Nicole Olszewski and forward Jasmine Rayner each add 8.2 points per contest for an Austin Peay team that is scoring 61.8 points per game while giving up 70.5 points and allowing opponents to shoot 43 percent from the floor.
UAB is looking for its fourth straight victory, having won both games at its UAB Thanksgiving Classic last weekend over Southeast Missouri and Western Kentucky, followed by a 70-47 win Wednesday at Morehead State.
The Blazers will be playing their third Ohio Valley Conference opponent in four games, having defeated Southeast Missouri last weekend and Morehead State on Wednesday.
Dating back to last season, UAB has won eight of its past 10 games and 15 of its past 21 contests.
The Blazers' 36 points allowed last Saturday against Western Kentucky matched the fewest surrendered by UAB since the 1996-97 season. UAB also allowed just 36 points in last year's victory over Tulsa.
Sophomore forward Karisma Chapman was named the Conference USA Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 16.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 3.0 steals in the Blazers' two victories last weekend. She scored 13 points and grabbed five boards in Wednesday's win at Morehead State.
Saturday's game at Austin Peay is the second of three straight on the road for UAB, which next travels to UNC Greensboro on Dec. 6. When the current road stretch is complete, the Blazers will have played six of their first eight games away from home.
UAB entered this week's action leading the nation in fewest turnovers committed per game at 10.8 and 12th in the nation in turnover margin per game at +9.2. After an uncharacteristic 18 turnovers at Morehead State, the Blazers are now averaging 12.0 giveaways per game.
The Blazers' six turnovers against Chattanooga (11/11) were the fewest by a UAB team since a five-turnover performance versus Tulsa on Feb. 12, 2009.
UAB has dominated the offensive glass, averaging 14.3 offensive rebounds per game, while limiting its opponents to 9.2 offensive boards per contest.
The Blazers are coming off their first 20-win season since the 2000-01 campaign after posting a 20-15 record last year. UAB returns nine letterwinners and five with starting experience from that team.
UAB closed last season with four consecutive postseason wins (the first three on the road) to claim the 2011 Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI) title. The Blazers returned home to defeat Cal State Bakersfield in the tournament's championship game.
The Last Time Out
Amber Jones scored 18 points Wednesday night, and UAB rolled to its third straight victory with a 70-47 road win over Morehead State.
Jones knocked down seven of her nine shots as the Blazers turned in their best shooting percentage of the young season, connecting on 44 percent from the floor as a team.
UAB's plan of attack was decidedly different from its previous five games. Averaging nearly 25 attempts per game from 3-point range, the Blazers took just six 3's on Wednesday. Instead UAB worked the ball inside through penetration and cuts to the basket, scoring 59 of its 70 points in the paint or at the free throw line.
Karisma Chapman, the reigning Conference USA Player of the Week, added 13 points for UAB. The Blazers had three more players nearly reach double figures as Kelsie Weynand and Michaelea Kleist scored nine points each, while TaRonda Randall finished with eight.
Kleist's nine points were a season-high as were her game-high eight rebounds and four blocks. Senior center Meagan Brown also grabbed eight boards and logged three blocked shots of her own.
UAB built its big lead in the first half, holding Morehead State scoreless for nearly a 10-minute stretch and opening a 38-14 lead at the break.