Dec. 20, 2015
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Alabama women’s basketball team won at home Sunday, defeating Grambling State, 72-57. The Crimson Tide (10-2) blocked nine shots and held the Tigers (2-8) to only two points in the second quarter.
Grambling State got off to a hot start, making nine shots from the field in a row at one point en route to an 11-of-14 performance in the first quarter. The Tigers would lead by as many as 11 points with one minute left in the period, but Alabama closed to within seven at 27-20. Monisha Neal paced Grambling State with 11 points in the opening 10 minutes.
“Our first group has to get off to a better start,” said Alabama head coach Kristy Curry. “You have to have some folks on the bench to give me a reason to change my mind. At the end of the day, we were able to make enough plays. Basketball is a game of runs. We were able to more. That counts. They’re a team that went at us, and they have played some folks close. She (Nadine Domond) does a really good job. We have to make shots, and we have some folks that really care. In general, we did enough to win.”
The Tide dominated the second quarter, outscoring the visitors 15-2 to take a six-point advantage into the locker room. Alabama put together an 11-0 run as the Tigers took over seven minutes to convert a field goal. Sophomore Quanetria Bolton, junior Breanna Hayden and senior Nikki Hegstetter all had eight points at the half.
Grambling State would recapture the lead twice in the opening minutes of the third quarter, but a jumper by Bolton put the Tide ahead for good at 40-39. Her basket sparked a 9-0 run as Alabama stretched its lead to 49-40.
A bucket by Hegstetter gave the Tide a double-digit lead in the opening minute of the final period. Eleven points is the closest the Tigers would get the rest of the way, as Alabama led by as many as 18 points.
For the game, the Tide shot 30-for-64 (46.9 percent) from the field, made nine of its 12 free throw attempts, and grabbed 45 rebounds. Grambling State shot 22-of-58 (37.9 percent) from the floor, converted nine of its 11 foul shots, and hauled in 28 rebounds. Alabama controlled the paint on both ends, scoring 48 points in the paint and blocking nine shots defensively.
Hegstetter led the Tide with 17 points, matching her career high, and 10 rebounds. Hayden added 15 points, and Bolton put up 14. Hayden and sophomore Meoshonti Knight each grabbed six rebounds.
Alabama will have a week off for the holidays before returning to action against Lipscomb on Monday, Dec. 28. The home contest will air on SEC Network+ and tipoff is set for 6 p.m.
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