Alabama Women’s Basketball Advances in SEC Tournament with 77-57 win over Vanderbilt
Alabama women’s basketball advanced in the Southeastern Conference Tournament with a 77-57 victory over Vanderbilt on Wednesday at Bon Secours Wellness Arena. The win was the Crimson Tide’s first in the conference tournament since 2013 and its 77 points were the most it has scored in the tournament since putting up 82 against South Carolina on Feb. 25, 1999.
“I’m just really proud of our team today,” said Alabama head coach Kristy Curry. “The consistent energy and effort for 40 minutes is something that we've been looking to do. We've had moments where we've been in nearly every basketball game and have been so close. It was a little thing here or there. I thought today the little things we really took care of, or big things, and impacted the game. It was a great effort from our entire team.”
Sophomore Shaquera Wade led Alabama in scoring with 21 points and was joined in double figures by junior Hannah Cook (15), freshman Jordan Lewis (13) and junior Meoshonti Knight (10). Junior Ashley Williams finished with a team-best eight rebounds, while Lewis dished out a game-high six assists. Vanderbilt was led by junior Rachel Bell, who scored 31 of the Commodores’ 57 points.
“We had great balance today,” added Curry. “I thought our point guard (Jordan Lewis) really controlled the game. To have six assists and no turnovers and 13 points, there's been no freshman in the country that has been more valuable to her team than Jordan Lewis. I thought that Shaquera (Wade) really grew up an awful lot today and has been working hard.”
Vanderbilt (14-16) struck first, but Alabama (18-12) answered with an 18-4 run, which included back-to-back threes from Lewis. The Commodores then ended the frame by outscoring the Tide 9-3 to set the score at 21-15 in favor of the Tide.
The two teams went back and forth to start the second, but five unanswered for Alabama pushed the Tide’s lead back out to double digits at the 5:30 mark, 31-21. Alabama would lead by 12 at the half thanks to a long-range buzzer beater by Wade that put the Tide on top, 42-30.
Alabama opened the third frame with six straight to give the Tide an 18-point advantage at the 8:17 mark. That margin would hold at quarter’s end with Alabama in front 60-42.
The Tide went on to lead by as many as 24 in the fourth en route to its tournament victory.
Next up, Alabama takes on No. 5 seed Tennessee at approximately 1:30 p.m. CT on Thursday.