Alabama Women’s Basketball Takes Down Undefeated Northern Iowa
Alabama earned its fifth-consecutive win after knocking off undefeated Northern Iowa 87-77 inside South Point Arena in Las Vegas late Friday night.
The Crimson Tide (5-1) moves on to play Southern California (3-3) in the South Point Shootout while the Panthers (5-1) suffered their first loss.
Junior Jordan Lewis scored 23 points to go with seven rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Senior Cierra Johnson also threw in 18 points and six assists off the bench while shooting 6-of-9 from the floor. Junior Jasmine Walker was just one rebound shy of a double-double with 17 points and nine rebounds, playing a key role in the Crimson Tide’s 27-21 edge in rebounds.
"We were just aggressive,” Crimson Tide coach Kristy Curry said in a release. “Out of the gate we didn’t like what we were doing defensively, and we adjusted well. I thought our kids really bought in and played hard, but I thought we were more aggressive.
"Northern Iowa is really good, they’re going to compete for a conference championship and have a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament. These are the types of wins that you circle for March.”
Alabama is currently averaging 81 points per game during its five-game win streak. Against UNI, the Crimson Tide shot 53.4 percent and 45 percent to go along with 88.9 percent from the free-throw line.
Early on the game went back-and-forth. The Panthers jumped ahead 9-4, before Alabama went on a six-point run to take the 10-9 lead with just under five minutes to go in the first quarter. UNI was ahead 21-16 after the first quarter.
The Crimson Tide put up a whopping 30 points during the second quarter while shooting 10-of-16 from the floor. Walker gave Alabama its largest lead in the first half after draining a 3-pointer with 4:16 left before the break.
Northern Iowa fought back to tie the score 43-43 just before Lewis knocked out a 3-pointer seconds before the halftime buzzer, placing Alabama ahead 46-43.
Sophomore De’Sha Benjamin made a driving layup early in the second half which helped the Crimson Tide create its double-digit lead. Alabama marked the end of the third quarter with a 72-57 advantage.
The Crimson Tide maintained the double-digit lead all the way until the end of the fourth, eventually closing the game 87-77.
The Crimson Tide plays its second and final game of the South Point Shootout on Saturday at 10 p.m. CT against Southern California.