Author: CW Sports Staff

Braxton Key overcomes forgetful first half to help Alabama secure best start in SEC play since 2013

By outreach@cw.ua.edu (Tyler Waldrep) The bench wasn’t where Alabama freshman Braxton Key expected to spend most of the first half of Alabama’s 68-56 victory over the Missouri Tigers, but he didn’t mind cheering for his team when two early fouls limited the starter to a team-low five minutes in the first half. “It’s not the first time I’ve been in foul trouble so especially within SEC so I’ve learned I have to adjust second half,” Key said. “But watching my guys, like Riley stepped up, everyone’s capable of stepping up. So I have a lot of confidence in my teammates when I come off the court.” Key said he’s watched Norris elevate his game over the last week of practice ever since the team began preparing for LSU. “It doesn’t surprise me to see him have a great first half like that,” Key said. “We just joking around I think we traded roles I was the slasher at the beginning of the season, now he’s taking it to the basket, getting to the free throw line and I’m the 3-point specialist.” From the bench Key watched as Norris scored 11 points while shooting four of six from the field. The rest of Alabama (11-6, 4-1 Southeastern conference) combined to score 15 points while shooting six of 24 from the field. The Missouri Tigers (5-12, 0-5) weren’t much better in...

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Women's basketball to face Mississippi State

By outreach@cw.ua.edu (Molly Walsh) In the midst of the SEC season, each game is a chance for a team to prove themselves to the fans, to the league and to each other. The Crimson Tide’s women’s basketball team is preparing for their game on Thursday against the 
undefeated Mississippi State Bulldogs.
For Alabama, this game is about more 
than the final score. The game will be played in 
partnership with Alabama’s “We Back Pat” game, which is a part of the SEC’s annual week-long initiative. The goal is to bring awareness to the Pat Summitt Foundation and the East Tennessee Foundation combatting 
Alzheimer’s disease. “I’m excited for the opportunity to play an amazing team like Mississippi State,” said Alabama head coach Kristy Curry. “I’m very, very excited for the special initiative of the ‘We Back Pat’ week in the SEC, and to participate in that, and to continue to help raise 
awareness for Alzheimer’s and to continue to support the Pat Summitt Foundation.” Mississippi State is undefeated this season at 19-0 – the best start in 
program history. Curry expressed 
concern about maintaining equal efforts on offense and defense. The coach made it clear that in any game played, it is not about one position more than the other, but the key to a good game is for all aspects to coexist on the court. “The margin for error is...

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Keely McNeer sets the tone for Alabama gymnastics

By outreach@cw.ua.edu (Matthew Speakman) Senior Keely McNeer knows what it is like to set the tone in an event. She knows how important her role is to the team. Leading off for Alabama in multiple events, she starts every event by finding motivation in her teammates. “I look at my team and I just pick out one person, and I say, ‘Ok, for her,’” McNeer said. “I say a quick prayer, and here we go. It’s about something much bigger than me, so I trust my training and trust that I’m where I’m supposed to be.” Heading into Alabama’s meet with No. 8 Missouri, McNeer will play the same role she has in the first two meets of the season. She will go first on the vault, uneven bars and balance beam. Alabama head coach Dana Duckworth cannot remember the first time she trusted McNeer to lead off an event. She noticed McNeer’s consistency, and it led to her becoming an example that many Crimson Tide gymnasts could follow. “She doesn’t waste time,” Duckworth said. “In practice, she gets up and she does what she needs to do. There aren’t many missed turns, and that’s why she’s successful leading us off and has the consistency that she does. She’s an example to everybody.” Duckworth and McNeer formed a bond early on in both of their careers, and now as...

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Men's tennis enjoys success on first day of new season

By outreach@cw.ua.edu (Mike Schwartz) For the first time in the spring season, the Alabama men’s tennis team stepped out onto the court and got the job done. The squad saw its first day of action of the season against not one, but two separate teams during the doubleheader on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In the opening match of the season, Alabama took on the East Tennessee State University Buccaneers. With each team having won a doubles match it was up to the showdown on court two to determine who came away with the 1-0 doubles victory. ETSU’s Max Rebol and Eduardo Sanchez found themselves up 5-3 late in the set with victory in their sight but Alexey Nesterov and Edison Ortiz had other plans. The Alabama pair showed real grit and resolve and fought back to tie it up and ultimately win the set 7-6 (7-2) in what was eventually an overall 5-2 victory in favor of the Crimson Tide. Prior to Alabama Nesteriv and Ortiz’s victory, Mazen Osama and Spencer Richey battled it out with Hugo Moreira and Jake Faundez. Ultimately, Moreira and Faundez would prevail for ETSU 7-5, as the crimson duo could not overcome their unforced errors. After trading off the first four games of the set, Zhe Zhou and Thibault Cancel won four of the next five games and seize the set in favor...

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Women's tennis captures two victories to start season

By outreach@cw.ua.edu (Mike Schwartz) Alabama women’s tennis team left little-to-no doubt that they were the superior team in both of the team’s match ups during Sunday’s doubleheader. The Crimson Tide took control of both doubles and singles matches throughout the day. Surging right out of the gates, Alabama completed the clean sweep in doubles match ups against the UAB Blazers. The duo between Maddie Pothoff and Erin Routliffe proved to be lethal as they showed no achilles heel and flashed their dominance in this morning’s matchup with the set victory 6-0. Andie Daniell and Kimberley Gintrand were able to hit their stride and win five-straight games after exchanging their first four games against Reghan Lynch and Hana Sisirak of UAB. Perhaps the best doubles matchup of the day was between Mckenna Root and Sophie Dodds of the UAB Blazers against Alabama’s Danielle Spielmann and Smith Hinton. After falling behind 3-1 to the Blazers, Spielmann and Hinton navigated through rough waters and put together six-straight wins to take the set. Singles play was more of the same for Alabama. It was yet another clean sweep for Crimson Tide on all six courts during singles play including three victories by Spielmann, Joanna Savva and Juliana Valero that went 6-0, 6-0. In Sunday afternoon’s matinee against the Alabama State Hornets, the second and final showdown of the day followed the same pattern...

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