Thursday, February 27, 2003
» Box Score
By Chris Woodfin
TUSCALOOSA – For the 12th time in 14 years under head coach Rick Moody, senior night was a victorious one for the University of Alabama women’s basketball team as the Tide (13-13, 3-10 SEC) avenged an earlier loss to archrival Auburn (17-9, 5-8 SEC) with a hard-fought 67-62 win on Thursday night at Coleman Coliseum.
The Tide is now 12-2 on senior night under Moody and improves its record to 17-9 all-time against Auburn during Moody’s tenure.
Before the game, the Tide celebrated the careers of seniors Shun Hunter, Jamilah Johns and Beth Vice and the trio showed their appreciation by combining for 40 points, including four free throws in the final minute to ice the game for Alabama.
Johns led the way with 17 points and seven boards. Vice chipped in 15 points including three of her trademark long range bombs. Hunter added eight points and four boards. Sophomore Monique Bivins also added 12 points in the win.
“It was a typical Alabama and Auburn game,” Moody said. “To be honest, every time we play it is a barn-burner. It was a heck of a ball game. It was well played on both ends of the court.”
The Tide got off to a sluggish start to begin the game, falling behind by 10 with 5:17 left in the first half but the Bama rallied, outscoring Auburn 15-5 over the remainder of the half to go to the locker room tied at 33.
Alabama once again found itself trailing in the second half. However, UA would rally once again after trailing 51-47 with 6:55 to play, Hunter and Vice connected for five straight points, a deuce from Hunter and a trifecta from Vice. The Tide held the Tigers to just three field goals for the remainder of the game.
The Crimson Tide was able to hit its free throws down the stretch, taking its largest lead of seven points with five seconds to play to earn the win. Alabama played nearly mistake free basketball, committing a season low eight turnovers while forcing Auburn into 17 miscues.
The Tide also held a slight rebounding edge over the Tigers, 33-31, with Alabama dominating the offensive glass 14-9.
The Tigers were led by Tia Miller’s career high 23 points. However, Miller fouled out of the game with 2:05 remaining. Auburn’s Natasha Brackett, who scored 30 points in the first meeting between the in-state rivals, finished with just 11 points and seven boards.
The Crimson Tide concludes its regular season schedule on Sunday afternoon with a visit to Fayetteville, Ark., for a game against the No. 21 Arkansas Lady Razorbacks. The game is slated to tip-off at 2 p.m.
Alabama (13-13, 3-10) 33-34—67
Auburn (17-9, 5-8) 33-29—62