Crimson Tide Women’s Basketball Wins in Overtime at Auburn, 63-61
Junior Hannah Cook scored the winning basket with six seconds remaining in overtime and recorded the fourth double-double of her career and first of the season to lead the Alabama women’s basketball team (17-10, 5-9 SEC) to a 63-61 victory at Auburn (15-13, 5-9 SEC) on Monday night in Auburn Arena. The win was the Crimson Tide’s first in Auburn since it beat the Tigers, 59-51, on Feb. 17, 2011.
“That was just flat out toughness and character,” said Alabama head coach Kristy Curry. “In every huddle I loved our leadership. I thought some of our kids really grew up in front of us tonight with their leadership qualities. And Hannah Cook. What can you say? To have a double-double rebounding the ball 13 times and to make a play there at the end was fitting for the night.”
As a team, Alabama hauled in 56 rebounds, which was 20 more than Auburn and was also an Auburn Arena record for rebounds in a single game. The Tide also took 23 free throws, compared to the Tigers’ 10 attempts.
Cook finished with team highs of 15 points and 13 rebounds and was joined in double figures by juniors Quanetria Bolton (13) and Meoshonti Knight (10) and freshman Jordan Lewis (12). Freshman Ashley Knight recorded five blocks to bring her season total to 64 and move her into the No. 2 spot on UA’s single-season list. She’s now four away from tying Yolanda Watkins at 68 for the record.
The Tigers were led by sophomore Janiah McKay, who had 29 points, while senior Katie Frerking added 16.
Alabama held Auburn scoreless over the first six minutes of the game, which allowed the Tide to build a seven-point advantage. Alabama led by as many as nine in the first, however the Tigers would go on to score the final two baskets to make it a five point game at quarter’s end.
Auburn continued its run in the second and took its first lead at the 5:17 mark, 21-20. From there, Alabama would outscore the Tigers, 7-4, to end the frame and take a 27-25 lead into the locker room at the half.
The two teams traded basket over the first six minutes of the third, but a 6-0 run over the final three minutes for the Tigers gave Auburn a five-point edge, 43-38, with one quarter remaining.
After a quick basket by McKay, Alabama went on an 11-0 run to lead by five with 4:04 remaining. The Tigers would take the lead back with 1:07 to go, and Cook would even the score on the next possession with a jumper. After a solid defensive effort, the Tide got the ball back with 14.9 seconds on the clock. Cook was fouled with under one second to go but was unable to convert from the line. Auburn’s attempt at a shot went wide, sending the game into overtime.
Alabama scored the first five points of the extra period, but the Tigers responded with the next five to tie the game for the ninth time. There were two more ties and two more lead changes down the stretch before Cook nailed her game-winning shot.
“Just play after play after play, if we made a mistake we were able to play the next play,” added Curry. “Throughout the course of the game, we rebounded the heck out of it. We turned it over and had some unforced errors, but at the end of the day, we made enough plays to stay in it and made enough free throws.”
Next up, Alabama plays its final road game of the 2016-17 regular season when it heads to Athens, Ga. to take on the Georgia Lady Bulldogs on Thursday, Feb. 23. Game time is set for 6 p.m. CT in Stegeman Coliseum.