Nov. 28, 2008
RENO, Nev. -
Despite a solid effort, the Alabama women's basketball team dropped a tough game to No. 7/8 Louisville 73-56 in the first round of the Nugget Classic at the Lawlor Events Center. With the loss, the Crimson Tide slips to 3-2 on the season, while the Cardinals improve to 5-0 overall.
"We never gave up in that game," said head coach Wendell Hudson. "I am really proud of our effort. We competed out there."
Freshman Ericka Russell led Alabama with a career-best 16 points. Classmate Carmen McCoy topped all Tide players with six rebounds and three blocks, and junior Dedrea Magee handed out four assists. For Louisville, senior Angel McCoughtry chipped in a game-high 28 points.
Alabama kept it close early in the first and took the lead at 7:50 when Russell hit her first of four three pointers putting the Tide up 17-14. Louisville would take the lead back minutes later and go into the locker room with the 35-28 edge.
After Louisville hit the first bucket of the second half, Russell knocked down five straight points to bring Alabama within four points at 37-33. The Cardinals then took off on a 12-0 run over 4:27. Louisville extended its lead to as many as 20, but the Tide rallied back to cut the lead to 13 on two occasions. The Cardinals held on in the end to take the game and remain undefeated on the season.
For the fourth time in five games, the Alabama bench outscored its opponent with the Tide reserves collecting 43 points to Louisville's 24. For the game, Alabama shot 32.7 percent from the floor and 73.9 percent from the free throw line hitting 17 of 23 attempts.
"We've got some things to clean up, but I look back on where we were when we started in October and see the giant steps we've taken," added Hudson. "I couldn't have asked for anything more effort-wise from this group tonight."
Alabama continues play at the Nugget Classic Saturday when it takes on Northern Iowa in the consolation game. Tipoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. (CST). Fans can watch the game live on the web by clicking here and can also listen along on the radio on the Crimson Tide Sports Network.