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UAB Falls To Middle Tennessee, 61-55
The UAB women’s basketball team came out with what started to be a great game for the Blazers. Fans were getting pumped as the team had a 12 point lead in the first half. But as the Blue Raiders kicked it into high gear, UAB couldn’t seem to keep up with the same pace, even with seniors Ashely Grimes and Karisma Chapman having some of their personal best nights.
“That was a tough game to lose. I felt like our team played well enough to win that game. There was a little bit of frustration in the second half. I thought our kids never gave up. Obviously we had some defensive breakdowns in the second half that just cost you against good teams. You can’t have those breakdowns and beat good teams,” said head coach Randy Norton.
Middle Tennessee (15-3, 4-0 C-USA) started the game with a nice 7-2 lead, that was completely overtaken by an untouched 16-0 run by UAB (10-7, 2-2 C-USA), giving the Blazers their biggest lead of the game.
UAB’s lead came to a halt, however, as the Blue Raiders countered with a 13-0 run in the last 7 minutes of the first half. This run had left the two teams at 27-27 ending the half.
As the second half began, things started looking up for UAB again as senior Ashley Grimes scored a 3 pointer and Karisma Chapman ran in for a layup. A 5-0 run by the Blazers showed they were coming out of the half strong.
However, Middle Tennessee continued to counter back and forth with the Blazers, tying the game up at 13:24 with 36-36, and finally taking the lead at 46-45 with only 6 minutes left in the game.
The Blazers stayed strong throughout but just couldn’t keep up as Middle Tennessee won their 14th straight game of the season.
“I thought Kayla (Anderson) did an outstanding job on Ebony Rowe, her defense was great and she boxed her out. She ended up with 16 and 10, but that is below her average in all areas,” said Norton.
“It hurts, but it’s just a learning experience, we need to grow from this, we played hard but hard wasn’t enough tonight. We wanted it to be a W tonight but took an L, you just continue to play,” said Chelsee Black when asked on her feelings about the game.
UAB did, in fact, beat the Blue Raiders in the shooting game, the Raiders ended with only 34.4 percent on the floor, to UABs 41.4. Although, Middle Tennessee finished with 16 free throws compared to UAB’s 5.
“We are getting really, really close to being one of the top teams in the conference. We are not there yet but we will get there,” said Norton.
“We gotta be solid on defense and on offense do what we need to do to win. Attack the glass, don’t take the wide open shot, and go to the goal,” said forward Kayla Anderson, when asked what they have to do in the next game to overcome this loss.
The Blazers travel to Old Dominion on Wednesday, January 18. The teams will tip off at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT.