Tide Wins Rainbow Wahine Invitational with a 44-43 Victory over Hawai'i

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Tournament MVP Shafontaye Myers
Tournament MVP Shafontaye Myers

Dec. 30, 2012

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HONOLULU - The women's basketball team (10-3) grinded out a 44-43 victory over Hawai'i (4-7) on Sunday at the Stan Sheriff Center to win the Bank of Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine Invitational. Crimson Tide junior Shafontaye Myers was named Tournament MVP following the game while senior Alicia Mitcham earned all-tournament team honors.

"This was just one of those games we needed to grind out," said Alabama head coach Wendell Hudson. "We started off real sluggish, but I have to give Hawai'i credit. The best thing I can tell you is we hung in there and found a way to win. Nobody really had a great game, but this was a good team win."

Junior Jasmine Robinson led Alabama in scoring with 13 points, eight of which were scored in the second half. She was followed by Myers, who chipped in 10 points. Redshirt sophomore Kaneisha Horn pulled down a team-high eight rebounds and was also 7-for-10 from the free throw line.

Alabama got off to a slow start offensively, missing its first 13 attempts; however the Tide's defense kept it in the game, as UA forced five early turnovers, four of which came off steals. Eight straight points from Myers, including back-to-back three pointers, tied the game with 7:03 to go. Hawai'i took the lead back briefly before Robinson hit four free throws to give Alabama the 17-15 edge at the 3:56 mark. The Tide would remain on top for the duration of the half, leading 18-17 at the break.

Rainbow Wahine freshman Ashleigh Karaitiana knocked down a pair of free throws to give Hawai'i the lead back 21 seconds into the second half. The Rainbow Wahine led by as many as five, but a 6-0 run by Alabama spanning less than one minute gave the Tide a 31-30 advantage with 13:11 to go. Hawai'i tied the game four times down the stretch, but Alabama would hold on, never giving up the lead. The Rainbow Wahine would have the last shot with 6.4 seconds remaining on the clock, however the Tide defense stepped up, as it had all game, not allowing Hawai'i to score.

For the game, Alabama shot 23.6 percent (13-55) from the floor while Hawai'i was 25.5 percent (12-47) in the game. The Rainbow Wahine out-rebounded the Tide, 53-36, but Alabama forced 18 turnovers while committing only nine.

Next up, Alabama will open Southeastern Conference play at Texas A&M on Thursday, Jan. 3, at 6 p.m. CT. The game can be listened to on the Crimson Tide Sports Network on the radio and online at RollTide.com. In addition, fans can follow along on the team's official Twitter page @AlabamaWBB.