Photo by Hannah Saad from the Crimson White
By Austin Rader
The Lady Crimson Tide took care of business in the first round of the tournament on Monday morning. They looked good from the tipoff as Jordan Lewis came to play. The senior would not let this be her last game. She torched the Tar Heels for 32 points and made four threes in the process.
Hannah Barber was sensational for the Tide as well. She knocked down three threes from downtown in the first half as Alabama built a 10 point lead at the break.
Four of Alabama’s five starters scored in double figures.
Hannah Barber got the Tide rolling early with two threes in the first quarter to help Bama build a seven point lead after the first quarter.
Jordan Lewis scored the Lady Tide’s first seven points to open the second period. North Carolina cut the lead to one but Jordan Lewis came back with a jumper followed by a Hannah Barber three to keep Alabama’s lead intact.
Jordan Lewis hit a three in the closing seconds in the first half off of a Hannah Barber pass to stretch the lead to 10 at the break.
Lewis scored the Lady Tide’s first eight points in the 3rd quarter. UNC cut the lead to five but Ariyah Copeland made a jumper and Jasmine Walker hit a three on a Jordan Lewis assist to help extend the lead back to double-digits at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Much like the first three quarters, UNC wouldn’t go away. The lady Tar Heels, led by Stephanie Watts, cut into the Alabama lead early in the fourth quarter. Hannah Barber and Jasmine Walker put an end to the run, both knocking down threes to ice the game.
Jordan Lewis was the star of the show. She could not be stopped and her accuracy was incredible. She was making shots all over the court and shot 52% from the floor. “Jordan Lewis was a woman among children it looked at times,” UNC coach Courtney Banghart said after the game.
The Crimson Tide got up on the Tar Heels early and led by as many as nine in the first quarter and never trailed the rest of the way.
This was the Lady Tide’s first NCAA tournament win since 1999. Like the men’s team, Alabama will play Maryland in the second round. The two teams will meet on Wednesday at 12:00 pm CT. Alabama has a chance to make their first Sweet Sixteen appearance since 1998.
Hopefully it will be the same result as the men’s game against Maryland.