By (Cody Estremera)

Ashely Williams and Jordan Lewis had never played a live game together before. The unfamiliarity didn’t show Friday night, though, during the Alabama women’s basketball first game of the season.

The two combined for a combined 30 points, 16 for Williams and 14 for Lewis, which was almost enough to beat West Alabama alone. The Crimson Tide defeat the Tigers, 86-34.

“I thought Jordan really set the tone,” coach Kristy Curry said. “I feel that she set a good tone with her play defensively. Ashely saw the game from a different perspective a year ago. She learned a lot that she was able to turn that into a positive.”

For Williams, this was her first game back after her redshirt season last year. She didn’t show any signs of rust, shooting 69 percent from the field and 86 percent from the foul line.

“It felt really good to be back playing and with the team,” Williams said. “Coming back together and coming to Coleman and getting this win gives us a lot of energy for next weekend.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Lewis made her first collegian start at home.

“She does a great job of running the team,” Curry said. “The thing that I was most pleased about tonight was that she was able to be a vocal leader for us. She was able to create some offense with her defense tonight. Something with Jordan is that she’s played at a high level, and she’s not the typical freshman experience wise. I have a lot of confidence putting the ball in her hands.”

Last season, the team struggled to hit foul shots, shooting just under 70 percent. In the lone game this season, the team got plenty of practice shooting from the line. Overall, the Crimson tide was able to make 30 of the 40 foul shots, which is up five percent from last year.

The Crimson Tide dominated on defense. The team accounted for 25 steals and totaled 32 turnovers. It also held the Tigers to just a 26 shooting percentage. All of that was with little or no fouls. Alabama totaled just 11 fouls and held West Alabama to just four free throw attempts.

The exhibition game marked the return to Coleman Coliseum for the women’s team after five years in Foster Auditorium, too. A former manager told Curry “welcome home” when she got to Coleman Coliseum, who said the team wants to represent the history of the program the right way.

The Crimson Tide returns to the court on Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. when it hosts New Orleans in the first part of a double header.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports