Alabama needed this.
The Crimson Tide women’s basketball team went through the wringer this week with a one-point loss to Tennessee and a five-point loss to No. 15 Texas A&M, a game in which it led for most of the second half.
On Sunday, Alabama sprinted out of the gate with a 32-7 lead over Vanderbilt in the first quarter on its way to a 98-61 win.
“Last week was one of the hardest weeks you could ever put a student athlete in as far as close losses, just gut-wrenching,” Alabama coach Kristy Curry said. “It’s all about response. I think it really taught me a lot about who they are today. If that’s not an exclamation with their effort and energy I’m not sure what is.”
Alabama responded, and then some.
In the opening quarter the Crimson Tide shot 66 percent from the floor and was a perfect 6 of 6 from 3-point range. Alabama outrebound Vandy 12 to 4 and had four steals.
Megan Abrams and Brittany Davis got Alabama going in that first quarter. Abrams had nine points without missing a shot and Davis was 3-for-3 from 3-point range.
“Just a sense of urgency to get the win,” Curry said of the hot start. “Any time you make shot it makes it look a lot better. Making shots cures a lot. But I loved the way we shared the ball, rebounded the ball, defensively how active we were. It was just a great effort by our team today.”
Alabama continued to stay hot in the third quarter, outscoring Vandy 25-11 with De’Sha Benjamin scoring eight of her 14 points. Soon after it was time to put in the non-starters with a 72-34 lead.
Overall Alabama connected on 12 of 17 3-pointers and was 20 of 30 from the free-throw line and outrebounded Vandy 46 to 31.
Davis led Alabama with 15 points and Benjamin was second with 14. Also, Jordan Lewis hit for 12 points and Abrams had 11 and Ariyah Copeland 10.
“I don’t think we made more plays than the other team did in the past two games and so I think we were able to translate some of those details and make them into bigger statements overall throughout this game,” Lewis said.
Alabama (12-8, 2-5 SEC) remains at home for its Thursday game with Arkansas. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.