The Alabama women’s basketball team was able to end its four-game losing streak by picking up an 11-point victory over the Ole Miss Rebels in Foster Auditorium on Thursday. Alabama began a two-game home stand with a much needed SEC victory. After the 47-38 victory, Alabama improved its conference record to 3-7 and 14-9 overall.
Both teams struggled offensively for most of the night, with neither team making over 20 total shots. Ole Miss put up 58 shot attempts for the evening, and only converted on 13 of its attempts.
“We cannot make a shot,” Ole Miss coach Matt Insell said. “You are not beating anyone in this league shooting 22 percent. I do not care who you are playing.”
For most of the first half, the game was neck and neck. Alabama opened up the first quarter, taking a 14-5 lead early in the game, before Ole Miss bounced back to cut the lead to six, with Alabama leading 15-9 at the break. Ole Miss was able to have more success in the second quarter, tying the game up at 15 and then keeping the game tied going into halftime at 20-20.
Out of halftime, Alabama dominated the game, outscoring the Rebels 18-7 in the third quarter, with an 8-1 run allowing them to take control of the game. Cook hit two crucial three-pointers that allowed Alabama to stretch its lead. Alabama had a strong fourth quarter as well, cruising to the 11-point victory.
“It was ugly at times, but ugly counts,” said Alabama coach Kristy Curry. “I thought the difference in the game was they have nine freshman and sophomores, and we have 10, so the difference was Nikki Hegstetter, with her energy and decision making.”
Alabama was led by two players getting near double-doubles on the night, with sophomore Hannah Cook scoring 12 points while grabbing nine rebounds and senior Nikki Hegstetter having nine points and 10 rebounds. Senior Meoshonti Knight led the team in scoring overall with 14 points. Cook, who took some hard fouls in the Tennessee game last time out, expressed how good it was to perform well in this outing.
“I just needed to shake it (the Tennessee game) off and bounce back,” Cook said. “I needed to not worry about the last game, but worry about the next game.”
Free throws, particularly early in the game, were a large key to Alabama’s victory. Leading scorer Knight was able to drive to the basket and get to the line 12 times for the Crimson Tide, converting on six of those attempts. As a team, Alabama made 16 of its 23 free throw attempts for the game, having seven more attempts then Ole Miss (8-16).
“I wanted to be aggressive in this game and they ended up fouling me,” Knight said. “That is always a goal, to get to the free throw line.”
Alabama will return to action when it plays in-state rival Auburn on Feb. 7 in front of its home fans.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports