With 5 minutes 25 seconds left in game, Gabrielle Jubinville rebounded the ball for Alcorn State. Coco Knight followed the ball and took it right out of Jubinville’s hands. This was just one of the plays that Alabama had that showed the constant pressure the defense exerted all game.
The Crimson Tide’s defense was once again lights out, only allowing 43 points. It was a consistent threat all night forcing 27 turnovers, and blocking eight shots, while altering a couple more. Alabama didn’t allow the Lady Braves to get comfortable shooting the ball, finishing at 27 percent shooting for the game.
The team’s goal every game is to have four players in double figures, but it fell short today, with only three players scoring more than 10 points. Meo Knight and NeNe Bolton led all scorers with 18 points each. Hannah Cook added 13. Two players, Jordan Lewis and Shaquera Wade, fell just short of the mark both scoring nine points.
“I think having two with nine is just about having five with ten [points],” coach Kristy Curry said. “I tried to make sure we didn’t wear ourselves out tonight. Our goal is always four but we didn’t reach that tonight. It’s something to improve on. We were close but close doesn’t count.”
The bench had another strong outing scoring 39 points, led by Bolton and Alana da Silva.
“[The bench] is important,” Curry said. “I think day after day we challenge our bench. It’s not about who starts, it’s about our team. Our team needs to play well, no matter where those minutes come from. We are going to win games because of our bench. Alana played really well tonight.”
The second half is where the Crimson Tide really took over. It outscored the Lady Braves by 26 in the second half. The team also raised its shooting percentage from 43 percent to 63 percent, including shooting 71 percent in the fourth quarter.
“We always emphasize energy and effort at practice especially right before a game,” Meo said. “At halftime we had to refocus and put things into perspective.”
Alabama showed that effort by making it to the free throw line 37 times. Meo alone shot 16 foul shots, converting 12 of the shots.
Alcorn State forced the Crimson Tide into a season high in turnovers, with 19. Curry said that the goal is 13 turnovers or less and the team failed at it tonight. However, even with all the mishandles, Alabama led in points off turnovers, outscoring the Lady Braves 37-6.
Branna Luton led Alcorn State in scoring with 11 points. Talisa Sherman added 10 in the losing effort.
Alabama takes on Kansas in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Sunday at 11 a.m.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports