By (Cody Estremera)

With 1 minute and 20 seconds left in the third quarter, Jordan Lewis stepped up to the foul line. After she missed the first shot the Mississippi Valley State coach yelled from the sidelines “Box Out.” Lewis missed the second one, but instead of running back on defense, she sprinted after the ball taking it out of the defense’s hand and was fouled again.

Lewis, in her second start, was able to lead the Crimson Tide in scoring, with 21. She added seven rebounds and two assists in the win. Fellow freshman Ashley Knight added 12 points and six rebounds off the bench.

“They are two good kids on and off the court,” Shaquera Wade said. “Jordan coming in as the point guard has been really good at pushing the ball and attacking the basket. AK [Ashely Knight] was really good on the boards. When everything isn’t going well, she is right there picking it up. They’re really good.”

There were five different members of the Crimson Tide that scored in double figures in the team’s 93-44 win. Lewis said that having players in double figures is a goal of hers since the ball is in her hands most of the time. She said she tries to put her teammates in the right situation for them to succeed.

Along with the two freshman’s performance, Wade was able to earn her first collegiate double-double.

“Coach [Kristy Curry] always tells us about effort and energy,” Wade said. “I just go out there and play my hardest. I didn’t even know I had a double-double. It’s a good feeling to know. I just try to impact my team.”

The bench was one of the biggest contributors to the win. Alabama’s bench outscored the Devilettes 32-4 and out-rebounded them by nine.

“I thought the bench played outstanding,” Curry said. “It doesn’t seem to matter who starts and who finishes. I thought NeNe [Bolton] really gave us a boost tonight. We love our four-man post rotation, and being able to put Hannah [Cook] at the four gives a new dimension. It’s really exciting to have a bench this year. The bench is a difference maker especially when January comes around.”

Alabama was able to make the 3-point shot tonight after struggling in the exhibition game and the first game of the year. The Crimson Tide was able to make 50 percent of their shots, and Curry said that it was nice to see because the players shoot the 3 really well at practice. You just have to tell them you have confidence in them.

The defense was able to hold the Devilettes to just 22 percent shooting from the field, including 14.3 percent from 3. Christina Reed was the high scorer for Mississippi Valley State with 15 points on just 23.5 shooting percentage.

Alabama plays its next home game against Lipscomb on Thursday at 7 p.m.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports