Alabama women's basketball earns historic win on the road against TennesseeBy James Ogletree | 02/16/2018 10:38am
Alabama women’s basketball recorded a historic game in Knoxville, Tennessee on Thursday night, defeating the No. 11 Tennessee Lady Volunteers on the road for the first time ever, 72-63.
It was the team's fourth-straight win over Tennessee, after winning just two of the series' first 51 games. After 22 consecutive losses in Knoxville and 22 consecutive losses to teams ranked in the AP Poll, both streaks were snapped on Thursday.
“We need this tonight for our resume," head coach Kristy Curry said in a press release. "This was important and it’s not about Alabama vs. Tennessee as of late, it’s about Alabama tonight getting a win. We needed to play desperate and I thought that we certainly did.”
Tennessee led by five points entering the fourth quarter, but Alabama's 28-14 advantage in the final frame pushed the team to one of its more significant wins in recent memory.
The teams swapped dominant quarters throughout the roller-coaster game; Tennessee's 10-point lead early in the second quarter vanished after Alabama took a 12-0 run into the locker room. The Lady Vols countered with a 15-0 run of their own in the third before the Crimson Tide pulled away in the fourth.
“I’m really proud of our team,” said head coach Kristy Curry. “We came out with toughness and grit. At times when they would make a run, we stayed together and stayed close to give ourselves a chance. It comes down to balance, and when we have four in double figures we’re tough to beat."
Sophomore Jordan Lewis continued her recent stretch of strong play, perhaps the best stretch of her career. For the fourth time in five games, she topped 15 points, scoring 19, including 14 in the second half. She also snagged seven rebounds.
Over that five-game span, Lewis has shot 37-of-47 (79 percent) from the free-throw line and has averaged 17.4 points per game.
Senior forward Ashley Williams made plays all over the floor, amassing 16 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four steals for the 15th double-double of her career.
Junior guard Shaquera Wade added 12 points, and senior guard Hannah Cook had 10 points, four assists and four steals.
Lewis scored eight of Alabama's first 14 points in the fourth quarter. As the time ticked off the clock, she made six of eight free throws to maintain the lead. The team finished 14-of-16 from the line, including making its last 10 attempts over the game's final2:46.
Alabama (16-10 overall, 6-7 SEC) will host Auburn (13-12, 4-9) on Sunday at 4 p.m. CT inside Coleman Coliseum. The Crimson Tide will look to avenge a 69-60 loss at the Tigers on Jan. 28. The game will air live on SEC Network.