Bama Women Blast Mississippi State In Rematch, 72-61

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Sunday, January 30, 2005

Lauren Hill
Lauren Hill

Stats icon Box Score

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Lauren Hill scored a career-high 22 points and added nine rebounds to power the Alabama Crimson Tide women’s basketball team to a 72-61 win over rival Mississippi State on Sunday afternoon at Coleman Coliseum.

Alabama (12-7, 3-3) took control midway through the first half, opening up 13-point leads at the 7:24 and 5:33 marks of the period, aided by Hill and Lateefah Joye who combined for 11 points in a seven minute span. The Bulldogs (14-6, 3-4) narrowed the advantage to just three points with less than two minutes to go, going into the halftime break trailing by just five at 32-27.

The Tide continued their first half success into the second half, nailing 50 percent of their shots from the field and four of seven from three-point territory. Mississippi State rallied early in the second period, shaving the Tide lead to two points. But Alabama’s shooters never relented as Hill continued knocking down big shots to put the game out of reach.

Alabama’s Monique Bivins turned in an outstanding performance, drilling five of eight three point attempts and seven of 15 from the field. She scored a season-high 21 points while picking up four assists, one steal and a block. She also scored her 1000th point with a trey at the 16:28 mark in the second half, becoming one of only 20 Alabama players to achieve that mark.

Not to be overshadowed, Hill was particularly potent from behind the arc, converting on three of her five three point attempts and nine of her 14 shots from the field. Her nine total rebounds were tops among both squads.

“[Lauren] was poised and loose,” Alabama head coach Rick Moody said. “She played with a lot of confidence and a lot of authority and it couldn’t have come at a better time for us.

Mississippi State’s Tan White was the game’s leading scorer with 28 points and her team’s leading rebounder with eight boards. Alabama out-rebounded the Bulldogs 42 to 35, including a 13 to 11 advantage on the offensive glass. The Crimson Tide also picked up 17 assists to State’s 12.

Several Crimson Tide players were held out of practice this week due to flu-like symptoms, which made preparing for the Bulldogs just that much tougher for Moody and his staff.

“It was crazy because we had so many people sick,” Moody said. “I’ve been in sports long enough to know that when a team has to rally around itself for whatever reason that somebody will step up.

“Basically, that is what happened today.”

Alabama hosts the No. 19 Georgia Lady Bulldogs at Coleman Coliseum on Thursday night at 7 p.m. The game will be televised by Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast.

PHOTO GALLERY:

Game Miss State 01
Monique Bivins gets instructions from Coach Quentin Hillsman.
(Photo by Jeff Hanson)

Game Miss State 02
Monique Bivins fights for position under the basket.
(Photo by Jeff Hanson)

Game Miss State 03
Monique Bivins runs the point for the Tide.
(Photo by Michelle Lepianka)

Game Miss State 04
Coach Brittney Ezell and Kate Mastin watch the action intently.
(Photo by Jeff Hanson)

Game Miss State 05
Natasha Gamble grabs a rebound under the basket.
(Photo by Jeff Hanson)

Game Miss State 06
Natasha Gamble takes the ball up to the goal.
(Photo by Jeff Hanson)

Game Miss State 07
Lauren Hill makes an acrobatic shot over an MSU defender.
(Photo by Michelle Lepianka)

Game Miss State 08
Quentin Hillsman cheers on the Tide from the sideline.
(Photo by Jeff Hanson)

Game Miss State 09
Krystle Johnson goes up for a rebound in a crowd.
(Photo by Michelle Lepianka)

Game Miss State 10
Krystle Johnson gets set to shoot a free throw.

Game Miss State 11
Marverly Nettles drives into the lane.
(Photo by Jeff Hanson)

Game Miss State 12
The team huddles up to celebrate a big victory.
(Photo by Michelle Lepianka)