Alabama Women’s Basketball Edged at Tulane in WNIT, 53-52
Alabama outscored Tulane 21-15 in the final quarter, but came up just short in the end, falling 53-52 in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament on Wednesday at Avron B. Fogelman Arena in Devlin Fieldhouse. With the loss, the Crimson Tide finishes the season at 15-16 overall, while the win brings the Green Wave to 22-11.
Tulane missed only one free throw the entire game, going 14-for-15 from the stripe, which ended up being a difference maker down the stretch as UA went 7-of-15 on its attempts. The Tide shot over 10 percent better from the floor at 41.3 percent (19-46) compared to the Green Wave’s 30.9 percent (17-55) clip. Both teams hauled in 35 rebounds, but Tulane outscored Alabama 15-3 in second chance points.
Four finished in double figures for the Tide, led by sophomore Quanetria Bolton’s 12 points. She was followed by fellow sophomores Hannah Cook and Karyla Middlebrook, who each had 11, and Meoshonti Knight, who tacked on 10. Cook pulled in a game-high six rebounds, while junior Breanna Hayden dished out a team-best six assists. The Green Wave was led by sophomore Kolby Morgan’s 19-point performance.
Middlebrook knocked down a three-pointer to get UA on the board first, but the Tide would go 0-7 from the floor over the next 5:18, allowing Tulane to pull in front by four. Alabama scored five of the last eight points of the quarter, but the Green Wave would lead, 20-18, after the first 10 minutes.
Tulane continued to lead until an old fashioned three-point play from Knight tied the game at 13 with 7:23 to go in the second quarter. From there, the Green Wave went on a 7-2 run over the next three minutes to take a 20-15 lead. Once again, the Tide would even the score, this time off a pair of free throws from senior Nikki Hegstetter. Tulane put up one more point than Alabama did over the last two minutes of the quarter to lead 23-22 at the half.
The Green Wave started the third on a 7-1 run over a four minute span to lead 30-23. The Tide cut it to three with 3:47 remaining in the quarter off a layup from Bolton, but Tulane pushed it back out to seven, 38-31, on the final basket of the frame.
Alabama kept inching closer in the fourth and eventually took the lead off a three from Cook, who had all 11 of her points in the last quarter, with 1:43 to go. The game would go back and forth from there until the end with three lead changes and another tie. With 18 seconds left, Morgan hit her eighth and ninth free throws of the game to give the home team a one-point edge. Middlebrook got a shot off with six seconds to go, but the Tide would come up empty on the final possession.