UAB Women¹s Hoops Falls To Marshall, 40-37

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 home court."

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 points.

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.