Alabama's bench important in win over Lipscomb

Alabama's bench important in win over Lipscomb

Alabama ended its three game losing streak on Thursday against Lipscomb.

Alabama women's basketball ended its losing streak Thursday by defeating the Lipscomb Lady Bisons on the road 73-51, improving to 5-3. 

Needing a change to spark a sense of urgency after a three-game skid, head coach Kristy Curry gave guards Shaquera Wade and Alana da Silva the start, leaving just one forward, senior Ashley Williams, in the starting five. 

Most of the team's production, though, came from its bench. Of its 73 points, 49 were scored off the bench, helping Alabama extend a narrow early lead to a more comfortable one. 

The Crimson Tide led by four points after the first quarter, but pulled away after a 22-6 advantage in the second. That proved to be the turning point of the game, as the teams were evenly matched after halftime. 

"Any win on the road is a great win," Curry said. "Every time [Lipscomb] made a run by hitting a deep and contested three, our kids just stayed the course, I loved our toughness and togetherness." 

Curry identified three-point defense as a key to beating the Lady Bisons, who shot 10-of-26 (39 percent) from beyond the arc. Five of the 10 were made by freshman forward Emily Kmec, who scored 15 of the team's 51 points. 

The team also reached two of its three goals for every game: out-rebound the opponent by at least 10 (50-26), and make more free throws than the opponent attempts (17-11). It exceeded its threshold of 13 turnovers by five. 

Senior guard Coco Knight led all scorers with 16 points, her second-most since the start of last season. She also shot 70 percent from the field, her highest on at least four shots since transferring to Alabama in April 2016. 

For the first time this season, sophomore guard Jordan Lewis reached 10 points, in her fifth game back from an ankle injury. She brought down a career-high nine rebounds, falling one short of her first career double-double.  

Sophomore forward Ashley Knight, for just the seventh time in 44 career games, did not have a block, but she did have her highest-scoring game since last December, making seven of nine field goals for 14 points. 

Alabama will play a game at Coleman Coliseum for the first time since Nov. 16 on Sunday, hosting Grambling State at 2 p.m. The Lady Tigers have won their last two games to even their record at 3-3. 

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