Junior Hannah Cook caught the ball with four seconds left in the game. She stepped back to NBA three-point range and drilled the shot tying the game at 56. For Cook, this was only her second shot to hit the bottom of the net. Her first was the first made shot of the game.
“I just want to thank my teammates for believing in me,” Cook said. “I started to get down on myself because I was not shooting the ball well. They just kept saying ‘we’re feeling you, you’re going to make the next one.’ Meo [Knight] got me the ball and I hit the shot. It was a great feeling.”
Kansas was by far the biggest test for the Crimson Tide all year. Today was the first time Alabama was trailing entering into the fourth quarter. Kansas took Alabama into overtime, but fell by six points- 36 points less than the teams average victory margin.
“This is a good experience for us, one that was much needed,” said head coach Kristy Curry. “I think anytime you play another Power 5 opponent you have a chance to get a quality win on your resume, which is important. I knew Kansas was experienced in this scenario [overtime] since this was their third game. I really liked how our team handled the situation.”
Alabama was held to just 30 percent shooting and just 24 percent from three. Along with the shooting struggles, three of the team’s starters- Knight, Cook and sophomore Shaquera Wade-all were in foul trouble in the first quarter. Knight said that after halftime they were able to go out and be aggressive again.
Overtime is where Alabama took control of the game. The Crimson Tide outscored Kansas 15-9 in the overtime period. As a team, Alabama shot 83 percent from the foul line (10-12) after shooting just 50 percent in regulation (10-20). Wade hit a corner three to put the Crimson Tide up four and never looked back.
“I think its 0-0 [heading into overtime],” Curry said. “We practice that situation a lot. We’ve been here before. It was more just do what you do and be who you are. I didn’t see any panic from any of them down the stretch. I had a lot of confidence in them.”
Junior NeNe Bolton scored 18 points in back-to-back games, leading the team in scoring both nights. Tonight, she also led in rebounds (9) and blocks (3).
“I knew I just needed to have a post presence,” Bolton said. “I knew they had some bigs. Coach Curry emphasized having a post presence and just working and reworking the whole game. That’s what I thought I brought.”
Knight added 17 points with a team high in shooting percentage (46 percent).
McKenzie Calvert led Kansas in scoring with 15 points. Chayla Cheadle had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds in the loss.
Alabama looks to continue its undefeated season against Georgetown for its first road game of the year on Dec. 11.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports