womens bball NOV 13th 7 of 8

Imani Johnson fights for the shot down under the basket against Southern Illinois
Photo by Christophre Dennan/Staff Photographer

Will Harris
Assistant Sports Editor

Monday night, the UAB women’s basketball team took on the Southern Illinois Salukis in a non-conference matchup. The Blazers were fresh off a 15-point win over Mississippi Valley State Saturday. Both teams entered with a record of 1-0. The Blazers also have a 1-0 all-time record against the Salukis.

The Salukis jumped out to an early 7-5 lead with consecutive baskets from Nicole Martin and Makenzie Silvey. The Blazers ended the first quarter with strong defense, holding the Salukis to just one made basket in the final 8:01 of the quarter. However, the Blazers allowed the Salukis to stay in the game with fouls and misses of their own. At the end of the first quarter UAB led 20-15.

In the second quarter, The Salukis started hot with five made baskets on six shots. UAB hit a dry spell from the floor but sustained the lead with the help of guard Rachael Childress. Childress had eight consecutive points for the Blazers, two of those baskets came from behind the three-point line. UAB was held to 27 percent shooting in the second quarter, compared to SIU’s 60 percent. Even with the improved shooting, SIU could not regain the lead and trailed 38-35 at halftime.

The Blazers scorched the net to start the third quarter with four straight three pointers from Childress. The Blazers held a double-digit lead for most of the third quarter and extended the lead to 15 with two made baskets by Deanna Kuzmanic. UAB led 63-48 at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Blazers were ice cold from the field. UAB started 0-of-10 shooting in the final quarter, but the Salukis attempt to make a comeback was stopped due to their own mistakes. The Salukis’ turnovers, fouls, lack of defensive rebounds and limited shooting kept UAB in the lead. The scoreless UAB streak was ended on a three pointer by Childress to give UAB a 72-61 lead. UAB held on to win by a final score of 76-66.

“That was a really good quality win for our team, it was just what we needed,” said head coach Randy Norton. “Just really pleased with our team effort and I feel like a lot of people stepped up.”

Childress finished with a career-high 29 points, while Imani Johnson came off the bench and scored 13 points.

“It feels really good, but it’s about the team win for me,” Johnson said. “It doesn’t matter if I’m coming off the bench. I’m giving it my all.”

UAB will take on Miles College Wednesday, Nov. 13, in Bartow Arena. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

Will Harris can be reached willhrrs@uab.edu.

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