It doesn’t have to be the biggest dance for the participants to want to show off their moves.
The Alabama women’s basketball team fell short of an NCAA Tournament bid, but the Crimson Tide will try to extend its season Sunday when it hosts Central Florida in a second-round matchup in the Women’s NIT.
Who: Central Florida at Alabama
When: Sunday at 2 p.m.
Where: Coleman Coliseum
Records: Alabama 18-13, Central Florida 22-10
Radio: 100.1 FM
Alabama wants to keep dancing. Hannah Cook is one of the seniors who is not ready for it to all end.
“Another day, another opportunity,” she said. “I’m happy. I think the team’s happy we’re still playing.”
Alabama defeated Southern 69-56 on Wednesday in a first-round matchup. Central Florida outlasted Jacksonville, 65-60, in overtime.
The Knights are guard-oriented. The backcourt duo of Zakiya Saunders and Lawriell Wilson combined for 40 of UCF’s 65 points in its first-round game.
“I know they’re athletic, I know they’re going to press, I know they’re going to play a lot of 3-2 zone,” Alabama coach Kristy Curry said. “I had watched Central Florida early in the year on film against Elon (when scouting for a UA-Elon matchup) and I’ve watched some since then.
“They’re big, they’re physical, they do a great job on the perimeter. We’ll have our hands full. We’ll have to do a really good job of taking care of the basketball because they’re going to press us.”
If Alabama wins, it will have an interesting round of 16 matchup. The Alabama-Central Florida winner will play the UAB-Georgia Tech winner, so UA will either play a rival from an hour down the road or the team that eliminated it from the WNIT in last year’s quarterfinals.
“Our motto is in it to win it,” senior forward NeNe Bolton said. “Last year we were in the WNIT and lost against Georgia Tech. We were supposed to be there, but now it’s our turn.”