Women's Basketball Beats Belmont 58-49

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Junior Dedrea Magee led the Tide with 14 points
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Junior Dedrea Magee led the Tide with 14 points
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

Dec. 29, 2008

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The women’s basketball team defeated Belmont 58-49 Monday in the Crimson Tide Holiday Classic. With the win, the Tide’s record jumps to 10-3 marking the first time it has won 10 games within the first 13 attempts since the 2002-03 season. The Bruins drop to 7-3 overall snapping their five-game winning streak.

“For a game coming right after the holiday break, I’m really pleased with the effort the team gave,” said head coach Wendell Hudson. “Belmont is a very good basketball team. We really have three good basketball teams in this tournament. Tomorrow will be the same type of tough game for us as we face Ball State.”

Junior guard Dedrea Magee led all scorers with 14 points. Sophomore guard Varisia Raffington pulled down nine rebounds, while sophomore forward Tierney Jenkins and Magee both earned seven boards. Sophomore guard Daleisha Carn led the Tide with five assists. The Bruins top scorer was senior forward Jessica Bobbitt finishing the game with 13 points.

Raffington put the Tide on the board first with a jumper 15 seconds into the game. Magee connected on two free throws to put Alabama ahead 6-5 minutes later. A three pointer by Belmont’s Amber Rockwell got the Bruins within three before the Tide began to pull away. Magee connected on a layup to give Alabama a 10-point lead at 26-16. The Tide went into the half with the 26-21 advantage.

Freshman guard Ericka Russell helped jumpstart Alabama after the break connecting on a three-point shot one minute into play. Sophomore guard Alyson Butler drained a three to put the Tide on top 37-30. In the closing minutes, Belmont rallied to come within four points with four minutes to go. Magee came up big for Alabama, sinking a jumper then hitting a free throw attempt putting Alabama in front by seven. Two more free throws by Magee gave the Tide eventual 58-49 win.

Alabama shot 32 percent from the field and connected on 13-17 free throws for 77 percent. The Tide held Belmont to 30 percent from the field.

In earlier tournament action, Ball State beat Richmond 77-71. In a quick turnaround, Alabama will face Ball State tomorrow for the tournament championship in Coleman Coliseum at 3:00 p.m. (CST). Richmond will square off with Belmont in the consolation game at 1:00 p.m. (CST).

Alabama Head Coach Wendell Hudson Quotes

On holding the lead for the entire game though Belmont made some runs:
“I would like to see us be able to go ahead and stay ahead and build on our lead. For a game coming right after the holiday break, I’m really pleased with the effort the team gave,” said head coach Wendell Hudson. “Belmont is a very good basketball team. We really have three good basketball teams in this tournament. Tomorrow will be the same type of tough game for us as we face Ball State.”

On 10-3 record to start the season:
“10-3. If you had told us before the season or told anyone before the season that we would be 10-3 at this point we would have taken that and not played a game. But as a coach, the way I look at it is we could have won a couple, maybe one, two or three of those games that we lost. The thing I like about this basketball team is we have people step up every night in different ways. Tonight was not a pretty offensive night for us of course, and even though we had some wide open shots we didn’t shoot the ball very well. We didn’t expect that to happen, but on the defensive end I thought there were times when we really did a good job, especially in the first half. Also at times in the second half, we forced steals or turnovers that were crucial. Some people stepped up and did a great job.”

Alabama Junior Guard Dedrea Magee

On win over Belmont after losing to them last year:
“It means a lot compared to how the game went last year. We are looking forward to this year and putting last year in the past.”

On contributions late in the game especially at the free-throw line:
“There is no pressure. It’s just a free throw. Take your time, concentrate and put it in.”

On defensive effort today:
“We had a few problems with the weak side help not coming over and letting them get a few easy baskets in the lane. We really stress what’s going on on the defensive end and just let the offense come to us.”

Alabama Freshman Guard Ericka Russell

On making her first three-pointer:
“It was big. I was starting to get, not frustrated but, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep shooting or not. A shooter’s mentality is to keep shooting. Some will go down and some won’t, but you have to keep shooting.”

On the defensive effort:
“Defense always wins games, and the offense will come. I think we had some good spurts of defensive energy to get us some easy offense.”