Since the start of SEC play, Cierra Johnson has done everything that Alabama women’s basketball has needed.
It started by filling a role, left by point guard Jordan Lewis. Johnson, who started the season as the shooting guard, moved over to the other guard spot starting in Alabama’s game against Florida.
In the six games as the team’s primary ball handler, she has a team-high 18 assists, making her one of three players on roster with double-digit assists. She has also led the team in assists in four of the six conference games.
In her two years at Shelton State, Johnson was a scorer, finishing her sophomore season with 793 points in 36 games, for a 22-point average.
It took her some time to adjust to Alabama, shooting 33 percent or below for eight of her first nine games. In SEC play, Johnson has found her stroke, scoring in double digits in all but two of the games.
Johnson started a hot streak in the second half of the Tennessee game. At halftime, she had scored just two points, making just 1 of 6 shots. In the second half, she put up 11 shots, making six, and scored 15 points leading to the Crimson Tide’s biggest win of the season.
Even though the rest of the team was lackluster in Sunday’s loss to LSU, Johnson was sharp, tying her season high with 27 points while shooting 50 percent from the floor. She also went to the free throw line a season high 16 times, making 14. Before Sunday, her previous highs were 14 and six, respectively.
The 5-foot-11 guard has even been one of the better rebounders on the team, sitting second with six a game, only three boards behind center Ariyah Copeland.
She has done all of this while playing a team-high 36.7 minutes a game, meaning she sits for about three minutes a game. She played all 40 minutes of the LSU game and has played less than 30 minutes in just one of the six conference games.