Saturday, November 29, 2003
» Box Score
FT. COLLINS, Colo. – What a difference a day made for the Alabama Women’s Basketball team at the Coors Rocky Mountain Invitational, as the Tide rebounded from a disappointing loss on Friday night with a solid 84-66 victory over Long Beach State in the tournament’s consolation game.
Alabama (2-1) dominated play the entire game as UA grabbed an early lead and never looked back versus Long Beach (1-3). Five Tide players finished in double digits led by 15 points each from Navonda Moore and Monique Bivins.
“I am really proud of this team and how they played tonight,” said UA head coach Rick Moody. “I thought as a whole we played with some confidence and authority. It was nice to see this group respond to last night’s loss with such a positive performance in this game.”
The Crimson Tide broke things open early using an 11-3 run over a three-minute span midway through the first period. Bama led 24-11 after the spurt and then extended their lead to 20 points (34-14) a couple minutes later. UA shot the ball at a 54.3 percent pace including 6-of-10 from the three-point line and forced 11 Long Beach turnovers en route to a 50-28 halftime advantage.
Bama maintained a comfortable lead for much of the second half, but a late Long Beach rally saw the 49ers trim the margin to just 13 points on two occasions. However, UA was able to connect on some last field goals to ice the game.
Senior point guard Manisha Redus played her best game of the young season scoring 12 points and handing out a team-leading six assists with only three turnovers in 29 minutes of action. Redus was 4-of-5 from the floor including a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the three-point line. Natasha Gamble and Katie Sipe both scored 10 points to reach double digits for the Tide.
Sophomore center Dee Merriweather scored nine points and hauled in 13 rebounds to help Bama to a 37-32 advantage on the glass. The Tide continued to excel on the offensive glass finishing with 16.
The Tide also did a solid job of taking care of the ball on Saturday night committing just 12 turnovers as compared to its 22 miscues on Friday. UA’s only disappointment came from the free throw line where the Tide hit just 9-of-17 (52.9 percent).
Jayme Connors was Long Beach’s top performer scoring 17 points on the night.
After playing its first three games on the road, Alabama now returns home for a four-game home stand. The Tide hosts in-state foe Jacksonville State on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. in Coleman Coliseum. The JSU game marks the first of three next week for UA, as Bama will also play UT-San Antonio (Friday) and Virginia Tech (Sunday).
Alabama (2-1) 50-34—84
Long Beach (1-3) 28-38—66