BIRMINGHAM, Ala. --
The UAB women's basketball team continued to take care of business on the
defensive end Sunday, but the Blazers suffered through a second-half cold spell
in a 40-37 loss to Marshall at Bartow Arena.
UAB (18-7, 9-4 C-USA) dropped back to third in the
Conference USA race as the nation's No. 2 team in scoring defense lost a game
despite barely allowing 40 points for the second time in a week.
Marshall (15-11, 6-7 C-USA) picked up its second straight
win over one of the league's top three teams, having also defeated second-place
Memphis three days ago.
"We always do our job on the defensive end," UAB head coach
Audra Smith said. "When you hold a team to 40 points, you should win the
ballgame, especially at home. We got stagnant offensively, and they seized
their opportunity. Marshall came in here believing they were going to grind it
out and find a way to get a win, and we did not do a good job of defending or
UAB's Karisma Chapman and Amber Jones scored 12 points each
Sunday to lead all players. Chapman made 6 of 11 shots from the floor, but the
rest of the Blazers combined for a 7-for-42 shooting performance.
Marshall managed to win despite just 10 points from its
starting lineup, all of which came from guard Erica Woods. The Thundering Herd,
however, features an incredibly balanced lineup in terms of minutes and points
and got 30 points from its bench Sunday. Shay Weaver led Marshall with 11
points, while Lateidra Elliott added 10.
Weaver hit back-to-back 3-pointers as she and Elliott
combined to score 10 straight points in two and a half minutes to give Marshall
its first lead of the game at 35-33 with four minutes to play. In the 36
minutes of action prior to that 10-point run, UAB had held the Herd to just 25
Marshall pushed its lead to five points on a Weaver free
throw with 31 second to play before Chapman quickly drove the lane for a lay-in
to cut the lead back to three. Marshall then missed a pair of free throws,
giving UAB a chance on its final possession, but two 3-points attempts to tie
the game by Jones would not fall.
"We just went bone dry," Smith said. "We let their zone defense get to us. We ran
every possible zone offense we had against them to try to get something going
and we just couldn't. We have to find a way to put the ball in the hole."
UAB started fast with 19 points in the first nine minutes of
the game to build an early 19-6 lead, but the Blazers managed just 18 points over
the final 31 minutes and only 12 after halftime.
UAB looked like maybe it could ride the game out from the
free throw line when Marshall committed its 10th team foul of the second half
with 10 minutes still to play. But, despite being in the double bonus, UAB
managed just six free throw attempts the rest of the way. The Blazers finished
the game 9 of 18 at the charity stripe.
UAB was also unable to capitalize on second-chance
opportunities. The Blazers out-rebounded Marshall, 42-34, including a 21-11edge
on the offensive glass, but managed only seven second-chance points.
Senior center TaRonda Randall matched her career-high with
11 rebounds for UAB in the loss, while Woods led Marshall with nine boards.
The Blazers now have three regular-season games remaining.
UAB returns to action Thursday on the road with a 7 p.m. tipoff at Memphis.
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