Women's Basketball Dominates Jackson State 79-39 in Home Opener

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Senior Dedrea Magee had a game-high tying 10 points to lead the Tide offense
Senior Dedrea Magee had a game-high tying 10 points to lead the Tide offense

Nov. 17, 2009

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The women's basketball team opened up its home slate with commanding 79-39 victory over the Jackson State Lady Tigers at Coleman Coliseum on Tuesday.

Senior Dedrea Magee and junior Tierney Jenkins scored 10 points apiece to lead a balanced Crimson Tide scoring attack that saw all 13 players get on the board. Junior Varisia Raffington and redshirt freshman Candace Sykes each had nine points while junior LaToya King had five points and six assists.

Alabama improves to 2-1 on the season, while Jackson State dips to 1-1 overall.

"I thought we really needed a game like this that we had tonight," head coach Wendell Hudson said. "We got the chance to play a lot of people. It was a fun game for us. We had 19 assists, and I don't care who you're playing, if you're sharing the basketball that way, you should be playing pretty good. I'm real excited about the team effort, 59 rebounds, 19 assists, and like I said it doesn't matter who you're playing. That's a big part of playing together and growing up as a team."

Jackson State shot just 16-of-61 (26.2 percent) from the field, including 2-of-19 from behind the three point line. On top of that, Alabama forced 27 turnovers, which led to 26 points, and out-rebounded the Lady Tigers by a 59-35 margin, led by Jenkins' team-high of eight.

Additionally, the Tide held Jackson State scoreless for a combined 17:14 over the course of the 40 minute affair.

"I think everybody just stepped up their defensive intensity," Magee said. "We jumped in the passing lanes and helped each other out. That's what really got us up. We were able to get steals and get rebounds and push the ball. That helped us get easy transition points."

Alabama's bench accounted for 43 points on the night with Magee and Sykes leading the way with a combined 19 points. Sophomore Carmen McCoy scored six while freshman Celiscia Farmer, junior Katie Hancock and freshman Jocelyn Shaw each had four. Senior Courtney Strauthers added two.

"Before the game, Coach Hudson was telling us that we needed to share the ball and try to get as many assists as possible," Jenkins said. "That was our mindset coming into the game, getting the ball to whoever was open and get the rebound if they miss. We were thinking share the ball the whole time."

The Tide used a 22-6 run over the final 12:26 of the first half to seize control of the game after a tightly contested opening 7:34.

Alabama led 37-20 at halftime due in large part to its balanced offense and suffocating defense.

McCoy got things rolling with a turnaround layup to give Alabama a 17-14 lead. From there Magee, Sykes and Raffington combined for 13 of the Tide's next 18 points to push the lead to 35-14.

Jackson State was finally able to muster a basket with 2:12 remaining in the first half after the Tide held the Lady Tigers scoreless for a stretch of 10:29.

After starting the game 6-of-10 from the field, Jackson State missed 14 consecutive shots and turned the ball over 10 times during the Tide's deciding run.

"I didn't even pay attention to (the 22-6 run)," Jenkins said. "We were just running so much. Coach was saying `Push the ball' from the sideline. I didn't even realize until there was a timeout and I looked out the scoreboard. It was good because Coach Hudson wants us to push the ball all the time. We saw if we pushed the ball what will happen."

Alabama returns to the court Saturday when it travels to Nashville, Tenn. to take on Belmont. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. (CST).