The Alabama women’s basketball team won a close-fought contest against rival Auburn, 68-64, on Sunday afternoon inside Coleman Coliseum in the annual Power of Pink/Play4Kay game. With the win, the Crimson Tide (14-10, 4-7 SEC) sweeps the season series against the Tigers (8-13, 2-8 SEC) for the first time since 2002.
The game went back-and-forth, with the biggest lead being six points for either team. Redshirt junior Jordan Lewis made five free throws in the final 19 seconds to put the game out of reach.
Junior Ariyah Copeland had an outstanding performance for the Tide, recording her second double-double of the season with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Lewis scored 13 points and tied her season-high in rebounds with seven, while sophomore Brittany Davis contributed 12 points off the bench. Eight of the 10 players who checked in for Alabama found themselves in the scoring column.
“I just really appreciate our crowd today, what an incredible atmosphere with everybody that came out to support us,” said head coach Kristy Curry. “I know we had 20-plus high school teams in the building as well, to kind of end their season here by watching Alabama and Auburn. For those ladies that we recognized pregame that have been through so much and then we get to just simply play a game and honor their fight against cancer, which is really, really special. It was a special day, we are glad we could show some fight down the stretch and finish with a win.”
Auburn used a 6-0 spurt to tie its largest lead of the game at 45-39 with 3:34 left to play in the third quarter. Alabama answered back with a few buckets of its own and a layup by senior Amber Richardson pulled the Tide within three points to close out the third quarter. The Tigers took the 50-47 advantage into the final period.
Alabama got off to a hot start to begin the fourth quarter, taking its first lead since early in the third at 54-53 with 7:04 left. The Tigers knotted the game at 56-56 with 3:08 to play. Auburn pulled ahead with a free throw, but Copeland converted on two free throws to give Alabama a 60-59 lead with 1:45 remaining.
The Tigers countered with two made free throws, but junior Jasmine Walker drained a 3-pointer from the corner to put UA ahead 63-61 with just over a minute left. Lewis converted on key free throws down the stretch to put Alabama up 66-61 with nine seconds left. Auburn hit a three to cut the score to 66-64 with five seconds left, but Lewis added two more from the line to put the game out of reach and give the Tide the 68-64 victory.
Copeland went 6-of-8 (75 percent) and a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line to set a new season high of 17 points and 13 rebounds in her seventh career double-double.
Lewis was 7-of-8 (88 percent) from the free throw line, knocking down five clutch free-throws in the last 19 seconds of the game.
The Tide came up big on the boards, outrebounding the Tigers 41-34.
Alabama shot 41 percent (22-of-54) from the field, while holding Auburn to just 36 percent (22-of-61) from the floor. Free throws were key down the stretch with the Tide shooting 17-of-19 (89 percent) at the line.
Alabama travels to Athens, Ga., on Sunday, Feb. 16 to face the Georgia Bulldogs. Tipoff is set for 12 p.m. with the game being broadcast on SEC Network.