The UAB Women’s Basketball team reached the century mark again in their second and final exhibition tune-up before the regular season begins with a 126-51 win over Judson College.
The Blazers were led in points by Maya Garland. This would be big for Garland to continue to gain confidence to add depth after missing last season with a torn ACL.
Judson was able to put up 51 points against UAB, but they shot 50 3-point field goals, FIFTY! Judson only hit 12 of them.
The Blazers gained another player back in the lineup. Lea Kerstein suited up for the first time this season after taking a redshirt last season. I heard a lot of good things about her coming out of high school and she is someone I looked forward to getting to see this year. Coach Norton gave her 17 minutes of action. She was able to get 10 points on 40 percent shooting, including two 3-pointers. Kerstein adds even more depth and another shooter to the long list of great UAB guards this season.
Rachael Childress showed she has more than just the outside shot. She was able to dish out 5 assists without turning the ball over. Some of these were nice passes on run outs to lead to easy layups to her teammates. If she continues to develop as she has, it will continue to lead to her getting easy open looks from long range.
UAB dominated inside against a much smaller opponent. UAB rotated in five forwards and they accounted for 60 points with all but one scoring in double figures. The guards actively worked the ball into the paint. Everyone of the forwards this year seems to show good hands inside with each one having a good move to get to the rim. They also dominated the boards grabbing 38 defensive rebounds and 26 offensive rebounds.
UAB’s offense looks tuned into moving the ball around this year with the team dishing out 29 assist.
The women’s team finally has a good group of interior girls who have a lot of length and size to them. There are some smaller teams in Conference USA that the size will definitely bother. Judson only attempted 13 shots from inside the arc. The size will also be beneficial for UAB against the big teams in Conference USA. MTSU’s big girl Alex Johnson was name Preseason Player of the Year, and UAB’s size might be just enough to get her out of rhythm this year.
Angel Vendrell has some high basketball IQ and she showed it off. She grabbed three steals and was close to a couple of more. On two trips, she came from the help side to step in a passing lane for a steal and score on the other end. Her length continues to bother people both on the inside and around the perimeter.
UAB gave up some easy looks at three towards the end of the game, while working on a 2-3 zone. Again I say, Judson shot FIFTY 3-pointers. Some of those looked like they were trying to be Steph Curry. Still, UAB has to stay in the game and communicate to close on potential shooters. This could be a possible soft spot in the defense this year, but I know Norton will clean that up before the season starts.
For the second straight game, Barnes, Childress, Kuzmanic, Thomas, and Vendrell started the game. This seems to be the number one lineup for Norton. I think it looks like Norton wants to be 10 deep this year to keep everyone fresh and healthy. It seems like everyone on the floor has good chemistry together. We won’t fully see how the lineups are set until they start playing Division 1 competition.
The Blazers start the regular season this Saturday at 2 p.m. against Mississippi Valley State, a team the Blazers beat by 34 points last season. So if you want to see some high-scoring action, I would suggest catching the game this Saturday. They might drop 100 again.