Knight leads Bama scorers in win against Vandebilt
The Alabama women’s basketball team held off Vanderbilt down the stretch 77-75 Sunday afternoon inside Coleman Coliseum.
“I am really proud of the kids today,” Alabama Head Coach Kristy Curry said in a news release. “I thought we had different players step up play-after-play and make plays against a high-powered and hot Vanderbilt team that is scoring the basketball really well right now. We had four in double-figures, and Ashley Williams comes back (and) has nine (rebounds) and eight (points).
“The player of the game is Meo (Knight), and she continues to work hard every day,” Curry added. “She has been shooting the ball well, and I knew she was about to have a big day.
“I am really proud of our team, and Vanderbilt is going to beat some teams in our league because they are really good offensively and are coming on right now,” Curry said. “That’s a tough one for anyone to lose. I have a lot of respect for their staff. I am so happy for our kids today for continuing to persevere.”
The Crimson Tide (14-6, 4-3 SEC) took the lead against the Commodores (5-16, 1-6 SEC) with 32 seconds left in the game when senior Meoshonti Knight, a Central Catholic alum, knocked down two free throws to put the Tide up 73-72. UA hit four more free throws to close the game and fend off Vanderbilt.
Knight led the Tide with 17 points, while senior Hannah Cook added 16 points and six rebounds. Senior Quanetria Bolton and sophomore Jordan Lewis finished with 13 points apiece, as six Alabama players ended with eight or more points.
Alabama started the game slow and trailed 34-21 with 3:56 remaining in the first half. The Crimson Tide climbed back into the game by closing the opening half on a 9-3 run to trim the deficit to 39-34 after the first 20 minutes.
In the second half, the two sides battled back-and-forth when junior Shaquera Wade gave the Tide the 43-42 edge after hitting a free throw with 5:57 remaining in the third quarter. Lewis stretched the Alabama lead to its largest of the game by draining a mid-range jumper with 11 seconds left in the third to put Alabama up 58-53.
The teams traded leads eight times in the fourth quarter. Vanderbilt scored five-straight points to go up 70-67 with 2:13 left. Bolton answered for the Tide, scoring four-straight points to put Alabama back on top 71-70, with 1:27 left.
Less than a minute later, Vanderbilt used a layup to take back the one-point advantage before Knight was fouled on the drive and made the two free throws to give Alabama the lead with 32 seconds left.
Alabama shot 48 percent (12-of-25) from the field in the second half and 72 percent (26-of-36) from the free throw in the win.
The Tide will return action on the road Thursday at 6 p.m. to take on Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. The game will air live on SEC Network+.