Women's Basketball Tops Austin Peay 63-53

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Freshman Ericka Russell Scores Career-High 21 Points.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Freshman Ericka Russell Scores Career-High 21 Points.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

Dec. 20, 2008

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Freshman Ericka Russell scored a career-high 21 points to lead the women's basketball team past Austin Peay 63-53 Saturday at Coleman Coliseum. The Crimson Tide improves to 8-3 matching its win total of last season. The Lady Govs drop to 4-7 overall. Today’s win was Alabama’s first of the season when trailing at the half.

“We did not get off to a real good start,” said head coach Wendell Hudson. “I’m not talking necessarily about points, but the energy was not there. We weren’t playing as hard as we have been playing. I have to give Austin Peay credit for coming out and playing with a lot of energy. They came out here to try to win this basketball game. The thing I am most proud of is we didn’t quit. We were out of sync completely, but we found a way to get some baskets and a couple of defensive steals.”

Junior Dedrea Magee had a solid all-around game for the Tide with 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists. The leading scorer for Austin Peay was junior Nicole Jamen with 13 points.

Alabama jumped out to the early lead with a two-pointer from sophomore Katie Hancock less than one minute into the game. The Tide held Austin Peay scoreless until 16:15 when the Lady Govs initiated an 8-2 run. Alabama took back the lead off a Hancock three with 7:39 remaining, but Austin Peay pulled ahead on the next possession and went into the break up 31-26.

The Lady Govs put up the first four points of the second and went up by as many as nine early on. The Tide remained composed and came back to take the lead behind the efforts of a 10-0 run. Austin Peay produced a run of its own to go up by eight points at 12:52. Once again, Alabama rallied and jumped in front at 3:45 off a layup from Magee.

“With four minutes left in the game I looked up at the scoreboard and told the team that we needed to get ahead so we could push it,” said Magee. “I feel like that is my role as a point guard to help the team out down the stretch.”

The Tide would end the game on a 14-0 run to clinch the win.

Despite only shooting 30 percent in the first half, Alabama regrouped to connect on 55.6 percent of its attempts in the second frame. The Tide held the Lady Govs to 28.2 percent from the floor for the game.

“This team feels good about itself to have an opportunity to play,” added Hudson. “They really believe that they can play and they can win and that’s good. We just have to go out with the same effort every night and not worry about who you are playing and when you are playing. I think this game right here, coming back and winning, is going to help us with some of those situations.”

Alabama returns to the court Monday, Dec. 22 when it takes on Alabama A&M in Coleman Coliseum. Tipoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (CST).

Alabama Head Coach Wendell Hudson Quotes

On coming from behind to get the win:
“We did not get off to a real good start. I’m not talking necessarily about points, but the energy was not there. We weren’t playing as hard as we have been playing. I have to give Austin Peay credit for coming out and playing with a lot of energy. They came out here to try to win this basketball game. The thing I am most proud of is we didn’t quit. We were out of sync completely, but we found a way to get some baskets and a couple of defensive steals.”

On the team not panicking when they were down:
“The confidence factor is there. Maybe there was a little too much confidence to start this game. This team feels good about itself to have an opportunity to play. They really believe that they can play and they can win and that’s good. We just have to go out with the same effort every night and not worry about who you are playing and when you are playing. I think this game right here, coming back and winning, is going to help us with some of those situations.”

Alabama Freshman Guard Ericka Russell

On taking the big shots:
“Coach said if I had the open look to take it. Taking those shots is not a freshman thing. I have a shooter’s mentality, and I feel comfortable taking those shots.”

On how her defense translates into offense:
“Defense sparks my offense. I go hard all the time. It feels good to get the win. I was able to build some confidence by knocking some shots down.”

Alabama Junior Guard Dedrea Magee

On the rebound margin:
“The rebounding situation was unique for us. We have been working on offensive rebounding during practice, but they were able to put up points on the offensive boards and that was not acceptable.”

On her play down the stretch:
“With four minutes left in the game I looked up at the scoreboard and told the team that we needed to get ahead so we could push it. I feel like that is my role as a point guard to help the team out down the stretch.”


 

 

     
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