The Alabama women’s basketball team got off to a slow start to the first quarter Wednesday night and head coach Kristy Curry was not shy about making changes in its 68-47 win over Murray State at Coleman Coliseum.
Curry benched every starter except Jordan Lewis just 2:52 into the first quarter and with Alabama trailing 3-1.
“I didn’t think we were doing a good job of transition defense with our first group,” Curry said. “They played a lot of minutes the past couple of days, whether that was the reason we don’t have a ton of time for it. We went to our bench and they gave us some energy.”
Amber Richardson, one of the early substitutes, provided a spark for Alabama, knocking down a big 3-pointer. She finished with seven points and four rebounds.
Sloppiness plagued Alabama as the Crimson Tide committed 10 turnovers in the first half and shot just 34 percent. UA committed 17 turnovers total.
Alabama forced 19 turnovers and held the Racers to 36 percent shooting. The Crimson Tide scored 17 points off turnovers.
Lewis nailed a half-court, buzzer-beating 3-pointer to extend Alabama’s lead to 30-20 at halftime.
“During shootaround we shoot half-court shots, I never make any of them,” Lewis said. “For me to make that shot was really good, and I think it sent our team into halftime feeling really good.”
The buzzer-beater woke Alabama’s offense, as it shot 45 percent in the second half, outscoring Murray State 38-27.
“Our third game in four days, I felt like it tested our toughness in spots,” Curry said. “I like the way our team responded.”
Alabama played different 14 players, something Curry wanted to do before SEC play kicks off on Dec. 31 vs Missouri.
Ashley Williams followed up her 21-point, nine-rebound performance on Tuesday against Missouri State with nine points, six rebounds and four steals on Wednesday night.
Ashley Knight led Alabama with 14 points, six rebounds and four blocks. Knight is now third all-time in career blocks for Alabama, with 126. She’s a sophomore.