Blazer women best 2 out of 3 during holidays

By on January 8, 2014
The Lady Blazers lost the battle in the paint giving 42, while scoring just 24. (file photo)

The Blazers have stayed in Birmingham over the break welcoming Vanderbilt, George Mason and Highpoint.

The Blazers started holiday break with a strong win over high point, 58-43. “I’m really pleased with the win tonight,” said head coach Randy Norton. “There was no flow to the game tonight, but the thing that stuck out to me was our defense. That was a team that was averaging 74 points a game and we held them to 43, so 31 under their average. Defense is the thing you can hang your hat on night in and night out, and when you’re not scoring and when it’s hard to get buckets, if you play solid defense you always give yourselves a chance to win.”

The Blazers forced 26 turnovers, leading to 18 points, against a strong team, which avered 74 points a game. The Blazers were lead by Ashley Grimes who tallied 21 points on 8-14 shooting adding 6 steals, 3 assists, 3 rebounds and a block to round out her stat sheet.

Coming of the loss to Memphis, the Blazers righted the ship. “As we told our team, you’re going to have nights where it’s not pretty,” stated Norton in an interview with UABsports.com. “It was an ugly win, but it’s a great win because we relied upon our bench tonight. We had some starters get in foul trouble in the first half, and at one point we only had one starter on the floor. I thought our bench came in and did an outstanding job; really, really proud of them for holding the rope for their teammates. As we tell them every day, you have to be ready and be prepared, because you never know when the team is going to need you.”

The Green and Gold then welcomed George Mason, and again the Lady Blazers walked away with and ‘ugly win’.

The Blazers defense was the real difference in the game, with 10 steals and 7 blocks forcing 16 turnovers. Karisma Chapman had a great all around game with 3 steals, 3 blocks, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 19 points. Head coach Randy Norton said after the game, “It was a nightmare. We were not making our free throws. We have been about a 70 percent free throw shooting team, coming into tonight. Again, our girls just persevered. In that first half, we could not make layups. We could not make open shots, but we hung around. We got down as many 11 points, but our girls kept playing hard. They locked up on defense.”

Scoring was once again led by Ashley Grimes who tallied 25 points against the Patriots on 7-13 shooting sinking 10-14 from the charity stripe.

Finally, Birmingham welcomed Vanderbilt. The Blazers game out of the locker room a little flat, and the Commodores took advantage, getting a 10 point lead under seven minutes into the game. It was a lead Vandy would never relinquish, leading from start to finish.
Chelsee Black and Karisma Chapman lead the way for the Green and Gold scoreing 29-27 points respectively. The Blazer offense was missing the usual fluidity only accruing 9 assist, to 20 by the Commodores.

“I’m really proud of my team and their effort tonight,” said Norton, whose team lost for the first time this season at Bartow Arena. “I thought they battled and clawed for 40 minutes. You’re never going to play the game perfect but the main thing is to just keep playing hard and battling and I thought our kids did that tonight. Take away some of our defensive breakdowns, maybe make some of those layups and post shots, we got an opportunity to beat an outstanding team and program.”

womens bball 2The Blazers close out a four game home stand on Wednesday January 8th, in their opening conference game against UTEP at 7 pm CT.
The Blazers record stands at 8-5 and have won 8 of the last 11. UTEP is 11-2 on the season but are just 2 of the last 4. If the Blazers keep the defensive intensity high, and seniors Chapman and Grimes show up, they stand more than a punchers chance against the Miners. So come out and support as the Blazers try improve to 1-0 in conference.

Tripp Larsen
Sports Editor
sports@insideuab.com

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About Tripp Larsen

I am life long Blazer fan, who wishes the best for the program. I am 22 year old psychology major. If you have any comments or arguments feel free to comment, or send me an email at sports@insideuab.com. Writers are wanted so if you want to become a member of the staff send an email or come down to the student media office.
 
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