Alabama Holds Off Women's Basketball, 80-72|
Dec. 16, 2002
Tuscaloosa, Ala. - Upset...no.
For the second time this season, the University of Illinois at Chicago women's team gave a SEC team all they could handle, but the Flames dropped an 80-72 non-conference decision to Alabama at Coleman Coliseum on Monday evening.
Earlier in the season, UIC was edged by Mississippi, 65-64 in the finals of the UIC Thanksgiving Tournament.
"People talk about moral victories," UIC head coach Lisa Ryckbosch said. "I'm a competitor, I hate to lose and I can't sit here and say I'm happy or satisfied that we played close.
"We came here to win a basketball game."
Senior LeKesha Williams scored a game-high 24 points for the Flames, while Jaysie Chambers (11 points, 10 rebounds), Zsuzsa Tarnai (10 points) and Tina Thompson (10 points) each turned in solid performances.
UIC also did a good job of controlling the ball as they only committed 12 turnovers on the day, while forcing 21 Crimson Tide miscues.
"I'm disappointed, but at the same time I can take a step back, look at my team and look where our team has come from," Ryckbosch said. "To come into a SEC gym and only turn the ball over 12 times is certainly a positive that I find out of the game."
With 4:02 left in the first half, Alabama held a 39-28 lead over the Flames. UIC responded with a 13-3 run to close out the half trailing 42-41, led by five points from junior forward Andrea Milner.
Alabama, however, came out smoking in the second half as the Crimson Tide went on a 9-0 run, led by five points from Jamilah Johns (16 points), to take a 51-41 lead.
UIC drew within 66-60, as Tarnai missed a three-pointer, which would have cut Alabama's lead in half. The Crimson Tide countered with a three-point play from Natasha Gamble (15 points) to extend their lead to 69-60.
Beth Vice led Alabama with 18 points, including four three-pointers. The Crimson Tide also received a double-digit performance from Katie Sipe (11 points).
UIC will be back in action on Thursday evening, as they will travel across town to take on the Chicago State Cougars at 7:00 p.m.