Tide defeats North Texas in triple overtime thriller

Saying it was a nail-biter for the Alabama women’s basketball team Monday night is an understatement. The Crimson Tide took down North Texas 88-83 in Foster Auditorium and needed three overtimes to do it.

The Tide was supported by a small but energetic crowd. What it lacked in numbers it made up for in noise, making things that much more challenging for the Mean Green to execute on the Tide’s home court.

Alabama controlled the floor the majority of the game, leading by as many as 15 points in the first half.

With just under seven minutes left in the first half, the Tide lost senior guard Meghan Perkins for the remainder of the half and much of the second. After successfully blocking an attempted North Texas layup, Perkins then fell to the ground, holding her knee.

Perkins was back on the court near the end of the regulation but returned to the bench after a brief reappearance. Head coach Wendell Hudson confirmed Perkins’ knee is “structurally sound and will be fine.”

Perkins was not the only player out today; three players were suspended for one game only, including Khristin Lee, Briana Hutchen and Alicia Mitcham. The reason for suspension was not revealed by the coaches.

The Tide suffered a major lapse near the end of the game, allowing North Texas to tie the game at 61-61 with just 20 seconds remaining and bring the game into overtime.

With just under 10 seconds to go in overtime, all hope remained on the shoulders of sophomore and SEC Player of the Week, Daisha Simmons, at the free-throw line. Simmons sunk one and missed the next, leaving the Tide down 69-70.

“We played too hard to come down to the last few seconds and lose on a free-throw,” Simmons said.

But that was not Simmons’ last chance to keep her team in the game; she returned to the free-throw line, sunk two, and Alabama and North Texas were on their way to a second period of overtime, tied 71-71.

“The big key is that when North Texas took the lead, we did not panic,” Hudson said.

The Tide was determined the third overtime would not be like the last two, and with a little extra work, it came out on top.

“Jasmine Robinson played the game of the year,” Hudson said.

He added Simmons, Kaneisha Horn and Nikki Hegstetter to his list of standouts as well.

“With 55 minutes of basketball basically playing five people for the whole second half and overtime,” Hudson said. “I think that what it proves to this team is that if you hang in there and keep doing your things, even if you have some adversity, if you keep working hard and make plays – you know we grew up some.”

The Tide will be back at it on Sunday, Nov. 25 at 2 p.m. vs. Southeastern Louisiana in Foster Auditorium.

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