After a loss to South Alabama where it had a 11-point lead slip away, the Alabama women’s basketball team was in danger of doing it again against Tulane on Saturday.
Despite some inconsistency on offense, the Crimson Tide left Coleman Coliseum with a 69-58 win.
After the first quarter its lead was 14 points and, just as it did on Wednesday, the Crimson Tide couldn’t hit a shot. Eight minutes went by before its score changed from 23 to 24. It ended up with eight points in the second quarter after Cierra Johnson nailed a pair of 3-pointers with less than 1:14 to play.
“We just didn’t let it affect our defense,” Alabama coach Kristy Curry said. “In the past when something hasn’t gone our way offensively, we’ve allowed it to affect the other end. We’re fortunate to get double the stops.”
Alabama didn’t make shots consistently, making just 37.9 percent, but dominated the odd quarters offensively, shooting 51.6 percent. It also scored 62 percent of its points (43).
Curry has limited the starters’ minutes to about 28.4, but she made the decision to play her starters for the majority of the time against the Green Wave. The only starter not to play more than 30 minutes was Shaquera Wade.
“When someone’s playing really well, and you pull them out for a breather, I feel like we’ve left them too long,” Curry said.
Wade, who was injured with 3:57 left in the first half and was X-rayed at halftime, played 13 minutes in the second half with a bruised calf. She finished with four points and nine rebounds.
“Everyone in that locker room, I told them after the game that’s what a senor does,” Curry said. “Just incredible toughness today.”
The defense was key in the win, forcing 23 turnovers, including eight steals. Wade led the way with five. Alabama also limited the Green Wave to 33.3 percent 3-point shooting, nearly five percent lower than their season average.
“We felt like we had to be really active in our zone,” Curry said. “I just thought all day our kids adjusted.”
Junior forward Ashley Knight did not dress out because of “conduct detrimental to the team.” This allowed Ariyah Copeland to make her first start of the season.
Alabama hosts Northwestern State on Dec. 16 for its last home nonconference game.