UAB women lose to UTEP, grab #4 seed in conference tournament

From UAB:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The UAB women's basketball team rallied down the stretch Thursday to cut an 11-point deficit to one in the final minutes but came up short in a 47-45 loss to UTEP in the regular-season finale for both teams.

The Blazers (18-10, 9-7 C-USA) finished the season in a three-way tie for third place in the Conference USA standings with Rice andTulane. The Green Wave earned the No. 3 seed in next week' Conference USA tournament because of tiebreakers, while UAB will be the No. 4 seed and receive the last of four first-round byes.

UAB will play in next Thursday's evening session in Memphis against the winner of a first-round game between No. 5 seed Rice and No. 12seed Houston.

UTEP (26-3, 15-1 C-USA) bounced back from its only conference loss to Rice with Thursday's win. The Miners had already locked up the C-USA regular-season title.

UAB's Karisma Chapman led three Blazers in double figures with 13 points, followed by Amber Jones with 12 and LaShaunda Pratt with 10. Gloria Brown was the lone UTEP player in double digits with 12 points and also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.

UAB was behind 41-30 with eight minutes remaining and still trailed 46-38 with 3:14 to play. A lay-in and a pair of free throws by Jones followed by a lay-in from Chapman cut the lead to 46-44. Chapman then connected on 1 of 2 free throws to bring the Blazers within one with 19 second to play.

UTEP's Chrishauna Parker missed the front end of a one-and-one to give UAB the ball back still trailing by one, and the Blazers called timeout. But UAB could not execute the play it drew up as the ensuing inbounds pass sailed out of bounds.

UTEP's Kim Smith then missed the front end of another one-and-one, but the Miners grabbed the offensive rebound, and UAB was forced to foul again. Brown hit 1 of 2 at the stripe, and Jenzel Nash stole a passfrom Jones in the closing seconds to secure the UTEP win.

UTEP won despite shooting just 32.7 percent from the floor. The Miners held UAB to just 26.8 percent for the night.