TUSCALOOSA, Ala - Alabama women's basketball raced past Southeastern Louisiana, 87-50, on Sunday afternoon at Coleman Colisuem for its fifth straight victory.
"I thought we were a little sluggish in the first half by not getting some loose balls and not boxing out backside," head coach Kristy Curry said. "In the second half, I liked our balance and the fact that everybody got minutes. Our young kids need minutes to get better and we put ourselves in a position to be able to allow that tonight.”
Tied at 12 with 3:53 remaining in the opening period, the Crimson Tide proceeded to go on a 10-0 run to end the quarter, taking the lead and never looking back.
The Lady Lions were able to cut the deficit back down to four in the second quarter, but the Crimson Tide answered with a 7-0 run of its own, started by a Megan Abrams layup.
At the halftime break, the Crimson Tide led 38-28 thanks in part to its hot shooting from behind the arc, making 5-of-11. Defensively, the Crimson Tide held the Lady Lions to a dismal 34 percent from the field and eight turnovers.
When the second half got underway, it was all Alabama and then some. In the third quarter, the Crimson Tide outscored the Lady Lions, 30-9, essentially putting the contest away. The wealth was shared as eight different players scored in the period for the Crimson Tide led by guard Cierra Johnson with six points.
The fourth quarter saw Alabama grow its advantage and close the game on a 19-13 run. The Crimson Tide's bench played a huge factor, scoring 51 points to the Lady Lions reserves' 16.
It was one of the best defensive performances of the season for the Crimson Tide as it forced the Lady Lions to only shoot 29 percent from the field and 25 percent from deep.
Crimson Tide guard Jordan Lewis scored a game-high 16 points, grabbed four rebounds, and dished out three assists. It was Lewis' eighth double-digit performance of the season. She put on a shooting clinic, going 5-of-6 from the field and 3-of-3 from distance and the charity stripe.
Lewis was one of four players who finished in double digits. Abrams piled in 13 points, while, guards De'Sha Benjamin and Johnson had 11 and 10, respectively.
The Crimson Tide dominated the pivotal rebounding battle, 49-28. Alabama's leading rebounder was Johnson who snagged a game-high eight.
"To come back out and rebound the ball the way we did and get some looks in transition that started with defending the glass," Curry said. "It really made a big difference for us."
Curry's squad has finished non-conference play with a record of 10-3 and will open up SEC play with a trip to Baton Rouge, La. to face LSU on Thursday night at 7:40 p.m.