Women's Basketball Rallies To Victory

The Alabama women's basketball team used a 19-4 run over the final eight minutes of play to beat Georgia, 69-66, Sunday afternoon at Foster Auditorium. The win snaps a 23-game losing streak against the Lady Bulldogs, which dated back to the 1997-98 season.



"The crowd was absolutely spectacular," said Alabama Coach Kristy Curry. "There was just incredible support today, and that was such a big difference-maker for us down the stretch. (We) thank our crowd. They were just absolutely amazing. The character and perseverance of our kids down the stretch was really fueled by the environment. We were very appreciative."

Alabama (10-10, 3-4 SEC) was led offensively by senior Shafontaye Myers, junior Sharin Rivers and freshman Ashley Williams, who each added 16 points. Williams also had a team-high nine rebounds, while Myers contributed a team-best four assists and two steals. Georgia (14-6, 2-5 SEC) got 23 points and 10 rebounds from sophomore Shacobia Barbee in addition to 20 points and five assists from senior Khaalidah Miller.

The Tide had another solid all-around performance, out-rebounding Georgia, 34-29, and hitting 16 of its 19 shots from the free-throw line, including all seven attempts in the second half. Alabama also had 25 points from its bench compared to the Lady Bulldogs' six points, large in part due to Myers.

Georgia opened the game with eight unanswered points and led by as many as 10 early on. Alabama gradually chipped away at its deficit and eventually tied the game at the 8:15 mark off a three-pointer from Rivers. The teams would trade baskets for the duration of the half; however the final points would come from Williams with seconds left on the clock to put the Tide in front, 30-29, at the break.

The Lady Bulldogs came out strong in the second half, using an 18-7 run to pull in front, 47-37, just over four minutes in. Alabama responded by scoring 10 of the next 13 points in the game to cut it to three, but another big run for the visiting Lady Bulldogs extended their lead back out to double-digits shortly after. It was at this time when the Tide would put together its game-winning run, which was sparked by three-pointer from sophomore Khadijah Carter.

Next up, Alabama heads to Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators on Thursday, Jan. 30. Game time is slated for 6 p.m. CT.

POSTGAME QUOTES

Alabama Head Coach Kristy Curry

Opening Statement:

"The crowd was absolutely spectacular. There was just incredible support today, and that was such a big difference maker for us down the stretch. (We) thank our crowd. They were just absolutely amazing. The character and perseverance of our kids down the stretch was really fueled by the environment. We were very appreciative."

On how to keep the momentum going after back-to-back wins: "There are two things that you can control. Like I always say, it's how you prepare, and how you practice. That's what we have to learn how to do. Mental conditioning is an area day in and day out in practice and also how do we handle it. That's something that we have to continue to grow in and put them in a position every day to be challenged in that. Improve that area. Mental conditioning is huge for our team right now."

Ashley Williams, Forward

On what it feels like to get two big back-to-back wins:

"It feels great. We've been working really in the gym and just coming off one we just had to work really hard and persevere to get this next win."

Sharin Rivers, Guard

On if this was the loudest she's ever heard Foster Auditorium:

"I would say the second to loudest. When we had the fifth graders here, that was the loudest I've ever heard Foster. This was next to it, and I am really happy our crowd was here tonight, and that really helped us down the stretch."

On what was going through her mind the two times she was at the free throw line down the stretch:

"We have to win. I wanted this win so bad. I was thinking about my teammates and how hard we have been working. I just needed to knock them down for us."

Georgia Head Coach Andy Landers

On what Georgia needs to do to get back on track:

"We've got to change. We've been trying to affect a change for some time, and we're just not getting it done. We have to change the way we approach our preparation for games. We have to change the way that we play. We're a pretty passive Southeastern Conference basketball team. We're not aggressive."

On what the game changer was for Alabama that shut down Georgia:

"[It was] their threes after we had gone up 10 or 12. We came down and quickly shot a three and missed it. I was thinking it was time to make them guard us because we got most of those points in transition, but we came down and jacked up one more [three], and they took it right back down and [scored] a three. Then they come right back down a second time, and there's another three, so our 10 or 12 [point lead] goes to six in two trips. That was the difference."

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