By (Molly Catherine Walsh)

The last time the Alabama Crimson Tide women’s basketball team faced the University of Missouri Tigers was on Jan. 8. Alabama’s Nene Bolton hit a buzzer beater to win the game 59-58 in Columbia and that tied the series 4-4.

In its final home game of the regular season, the Tigers got revenge on Sunday in the form of a 65-56 victory in Coleman Coliseum.

The Tigers (21-9, 11-5 Southeastern conference) finished the first period on top at 9-7 and then appeared to have the upper hand in the second period as well when they had a 20-9 run on Alabama (17-12, 5-11 SEC) with seven minutes left in the half. Bolton was once again a game changer against the Tigers when she hit a three-pointer assisted by Meoshanti Knight with 3:31 left in the half. Alabama then took the lead 23-22.

“I feel like the coaches put me in the best position to be successful,” Bolton said. “I tried to use my versatility and go in and post and step out and knock shots down, that’s just a role that I play on this team.”

Alabama maintained a small lead of a few points in the third period, but in the final five seconds, Mizzou’s lead scorer, sophomore Sophie Cunningham, hit a jumper which made the score 44-42 Alabama.

The Tigers then seized a chance for a comeback in the first few seconds of the final period when freshman Amber Smith made a jumper and tied the score 44-44. Cunningham secured a lead with a three-pointer at the 9:10 mark and the Tigers stayed ahead until the final buzzer.

“Alabama is a really gritty team,” Cunningham said. “They all work hard and they’re good at crashing the boards and I think that was the big difference between our previous loss and today’s win- it was getting more rebounds than them.”

Mizzou grabbed 42 total rebounds to end the game while Alabama only grabbed 29. Bolton finished the game with 13 points and six rebounds, close to her last game against the tigers where she finished with 18 points and nine rebounds.

“Nene is one of our better shooters,” Alabama head coach Kristy Curry said. “If you look at her consistency, she shoots it so well from the free throw line and she’s a leader with her scoring percentage there.”

Missouri was led by Sierra Michaels who scored 22 total points and had eight rebounds. Missouri made 43.5 percent of its three-pointers while Alabama only made 21.4 percent.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports