Dec. 28, 2015
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Alabama women’s basketball team (11-2) remains undefeated at home, picking up a 68-49 victory over Lipscomb (3-11) on Monday evening in its final non-conference game of the season. The Crimson Tide used a 21-5 run to close the first half and produced a total of 31 points off of 21 Lady Bison turnovers. The nine straight wins at home is the best start in Tuscaloosa since 2006.
“They (Lipscomb) really shoot the basketball well,” said Alabama head coach Kristy Curry. “A couple of threes they hit were between half court and on top of the circle. We know that they shoot really well. I thought what we did was make them hurry at times. Our pressure affected them. Changing our defenses affected them. It’s a 20-point win after Christmas. I think for most coaches it’s a scary two games, before Christmas and after Christmas. [It’s] a lot to build on as we head into SEC play.”
Alabama held the lead by as many as six points in the opening quarter, but went scoreless for the remaining three minutes of the period to allow Lipscomb to pull within two at 14-12. The Tide dominated the second quarter, outscoring the Lady Bison 27-10, including an extended 21-5 run over the final 5:50 to head into the locker room with a comfortable 41-22 advantage.
Alabama forced 14 turnovers in the first 20 minutes of play and scored 11 points at the foul line while Lipscomb did not attempt a free throw. Junior Breanna Hayden poured in 11 points in the half and sophomore Hannah Cook chipped in 10.
Cook made two free throws to open the second half, but the Tide would go scoreless for the next 8:02 as the Lady Bison slowly cut into the lead. Alabama missed its first 12 shots from the field in the third quarter and finished just 1-of-14, as Hegstetter’s layup put an end to an 11-0 Lipscomb stretch. The Lady Bison scored 14 points to just four for the Tide in the third period to trail by only nine points at 45-36 going into the final 10 minutes.
Cook drained a trey to spark a decisive 13-0 Alabama run that put the game away. The sophomore capped the run with another shot from behind the arc, which pushed the lead back up to 20 points at 57-37 with 6:10 remaining. Lipscomb tried to make one final push by firing a flurry of three point attempts, but could only get as close as 15.
Cook paced the offense with 20 points along with a team-best seven rebounds. Hayden finished with 13 points and tied her season high with six rebounds, while sophomore Quanetria Bolton tallied 10 points and grabbed six rebounds. Hegstetter also hauled in seven rebounds along with shutting down Lipscomb’s leading scorer, Ashley Southern, who came into the game averaging a double-double at 21.8 points and 10.5 rebounds. Southern finished with only two points and eight rebounds.
For the game, Alabama shot 22-for-57 (38.6 percent) from the floor and recorded 41 rebounds while the Lady Bison shot 18-of-48 (37.5 percent) from the field and collected 25 rebounds. Lipscomb made half of its shots from three-point range (9-for-18), but the Tide outscored Lipscomb 18 to four from the charity stripe.
Next up, Alabama kicks off Southeastern Conference play when it hosts the LSU Tigers on Sunday, Jan. 3, at 2 p.m. CT on SEC Network.
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