University of Alabama women top Southern in WNIT 1st round

The University of Alabama women’s basketball team used a strong second half to beat Southern, 69-56, in Women’s National Invitation Tournament first-round action Wednesday night in Coleman Coliseum.
“I thought we did a good job in the second half of defending the three better,” Alabama head coach Kristy Curry said in a news release. “We only gave up two in the second half and then out-rebounded them by 26. I thought our shot selection was better in the second half. We played inside-out off the dribble and in our posts.
“We had some open looks from playing inside-out, and Hannah (Cook) had a big second half with 15 points,” Curry added. “Ashley (Williams) was doing what a senior does this time of year with a double-double, and I thought it was a good team effort.”
Leading by three points at halftime, the Crimson Tide came out of the gate hot in the second half and led by as many as 15 in the third quarter before closing out with a 13-point win.
Williams led the way for Alabama with her 19th-career double-double and fifth in her last six games, tallying 19 points and 12 rebounds. Senior Hannah Cook added 15 points, all in the second half, including going 3-of-5 from beyond the three-point line. Sophomore Jordan Lewis also scored in the double figures with 11 points.
Central Catholic alum and Alabama senior guard Meoshonti Knight scored six points and added one rebound.
Alabama outrebounded Southern, 50-26. In addition to Williams’ 12, sophomore Jasmine Walker grabbed eight, freshman Ariyah Copeland, seven, and Cook, six.
While Alabama never trailed and led by as many as 10 in the first quarter, Southern kept coming back, narrowing the lead to three going into halftime.
In the second half, after the Tide led by 15 with just under three minutes to play in the third quarter, the Jaguars whittled the Alabama lead to six with 7:35 left in the fourth quarter before the Tide put the game away.
The Tide will face Central Florida Sunday at 2 p.m. in Coleman Coliseum. The Golden Knights downed Jacksonville, 65-60, in first-round action.

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