The UAB women’s basketball team had a signature come back win on Tuesday night against High Point.
After a tough loss against Belmont, UAB bounced back and dominated the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters of the game to win 75-66.
After going down 21-14 in the first quarter, UAB shut down High Point only allowing 16, 15, and 14 points respectively in the other three quarters.
After shooting just 30% in the first quarter, UAB would go on to shoot 42.9% from the field and 38.9% from three point range.
UAB got solid minutes from the starters and great play from the bench.
Starting guard Deanna Kuzmanic returned to her typical form of hitting almost ever shot she put up. She had 17 points on 6-10 shooting including 4-7 from three point range. She also played excellent defense recording 3 rebounds and 2 steals.
Off of the bench freshman guard Rachael Childress shined. She produced 16 points on 5-9 shooting including 2-4 from three point range.
After the game, Coach Norton said, “I feel like we have a deep bench, and I need to play them to give them the experience. That’s why I am playing so many players. Rachael is instant offense. We just have to focus on defense with some of these freshman. I mean talk about Kara Rawles. She is buying into her roll coming in off the bench. She takes charges and rebounds and she is a great teammate”.
Coach Norton has been high on his freshman ever since exhibitions and it seems they are all starting to buy into the system and working hard. Someone I would like to see a little bit more of is Micah Scheetz. I can absolutely see the talent in her and in a couple of games she has gotten her confidence up. She likes to drive the lane, but occasionally she gets stuck under the rim. However, this game, she found some open Blazers for easy looks and wound up with 4 assist in the game.
The defense after the first quarter was pretty good. UAB used the press occasionally as Coach Norton said that is how he would like to run the defense. While it was just a 2-2-1 full court defense, it ended up causing more problems for High Point than I think Coach Norton initially thought it would. Norton said typically that type of press is just used to slow the pace of the game down and give UAB control of the pace, but UAB wound up getting 19 turnovers, which led to 21 points off of turnovers.
In the Belmont game, UAB was initially dominated in the paint by the bigs, but they showed improvement in this game. Norton explained that High Point was mostly running their offense by using picks at the top of the key and rolling their bigs into the paint. UAB switched so that their guards staid in front of the High Point bigs and helped deny the entry pass. It worked pretty effectively as High Point only wound up with 22 points in the paint. UAB got a few turnovers from this style of defense, including one pass that basically hit Kuzmanic in the hands (probably the easiest steal she has ever had in her life).
UAB still is having problems with free throws. This game was not as bad. UAB shot 63.6% (14-22). It would be nice to see this number go up around 75%. However, Norton said he does not like to hammer this too much because you get it in their heads and they start to think about it too much. Typically, the women have been very good from the stripe, and I have all the faith in them that this number keeps going up.
Rebounding, so far, has been just kind of average for UAB. They are trying really hard for the rebounds, but a lot of them are just slipping right through their hands. Sometimes, they can only get a hand on the ball and it slides off. The past two games have been a lot better, but it’s going to have to be everyone’s job on this team to make sure every ball goes UAB’s way because Brittany Windborne was the dominate rebounder last year.
UAB will be getting a couple of days of for Thanksgiving break. The next game is Monday vs Mississippi Valley State at 7 in Bartow. Please, come out and support the ladies. There is no reason only 200 people show up to these games. The women deserve every bit of support they can get. Have a great Thanksgiving break and Go Blazers.