The UAB Women’s Basketball team blazed past Tuskegee in an exhibition Thursday night on their way to an 88-67 win. The team was lead by Sophomore guard Deanna Kuzmanic, who went 7-of-10 (a ridiculous 6-of-9 from 3-point range) for 21 points.
UAB got a look at all available freshman that were dressed (Bailee Wolfe and Lea Kerstein were not dressed). Coach Norton said after the game that he was happy with the performances from the freshman and was happy with the quality minutes they got.
One of those freshman, Rachael Childress, was the second leading scorer with 14 points. She shot 5-of-9 from the field, including a nice 4-of-8 from beyond the arc.
As a team, the women, which are being marketed as Swishingham, shot 47.1 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from 3-point range. The team took 31 threes. That was a lot of threes, however, most of them were good shot choices and came off of passes. The team recorded 23 assists on 45 made baskets. Overall, they did a good job of sharing the ball.
As predicted, there was a slow start to the game with the ladies going down 12-9 in the first quarter. However, Coach called a quick time out and was able to get the team settled into his style of play.
As a team, they did pretty well about going after lose balls and getting in passing lanes. They recorded 10 steals, which lead to 26 points off of turnovers.
After the beginning of the game, they started to do better about getting on the boards and going after rebounds. They ended up recording 44 rebounds. A good number to see is the 18 offensive rebounds, which led to 21 second chance points. It is important for the team to find consistent rebounding since Brittany Windborne, who was top five in the nation in rebounding, graduated.
As I stated a second ago, rebounding will have to be an emphasis without someone who was as dominate as Windborne. The first few minutes of the game, many rebounds were just going right through players hands, and there were some open Tuskegee players getting rebounds.
Next, there’s a saying around basketball when you have a team that can shoot and it is “you live and die by the three.” While the team did shoot well from beyond the arc, they have the size inside to get quality touches in the paint.Maybe there should be a more even distribution between both threes and shots inside the arc.
Also not typical of the women’s team, a below average free throw percentage at 67.1 percent. This could be attributed to just first game jitters, but hopefully that comes up a little because they usually shoot their free throws pretty well.
Lastly, there were a lot of happy feet going on. This probably was because of first game jitters, but also I am not quite sure that many travels should have been called. Most often, moves looked like two steps, but the refs did not see it that way. I’m sure this will be fine.
This team will be very good, especially if they keep shooting the ball this way. The defense started to settle in eventually, as Coach Norton has had very stellar defensive teams (last years team led the league in defensive shooting percentage). If these freshman develop quickly, this could be a very solid team for the next few years.
The next game is Monday night at 7 p.m. versus Lane College. This team deserves your support and respect, so come out to Bartow Monday night. Go Blazers!