Friday, December 19, 2003
» Box Score
ORLANDO, Fla. – The University of Alabama women’s basketball team topped Central Florida, 63-41, on Friday night in a game that featured an offensive performance nearly as chilling as the unseasonably cold temperatures in Florida.
The Crimson Tide (7-2) shot a blistering 37.5 percent from the floor compared to the 25.9 percent performance by the Golden Knights (2-5). The victory marked Bama’s third straight and their sixth in the last seven games.
“It was not a very pretty game but I’ll take a win however we can get it,” said UA head coach Rick Moody. “When you’re not making shots like we weren’t tonight, then you had better be able to play solid defense. I thought we did that tonight. We continue to get open looks and they are just not falling right now. One definite positive for us was the fact that we only had 10 turnovers for the entire game.”
Alabama opened up an early lead as UCF failed to score a basket through the first six minutes of play. The Knights slowly crawled back into the game closing the Bama lead to just one point, 21-20, with 3:51 left in the first half. The Tide responded with an 11-3 surge to close the half, owning a 32-23 score at the break.
In the second half, Central Florida went scoreless for nearly eight minutes and failed to score from the floor for over 12 as Alabama pushed in front by 20 points, 52-32, with seven minutes remaining.
Junior Katie Sipe led a quartet of Alabama players in double figures scoring a season high 14 points. Monique Bivins, Natasha Gamble and Navonda Moore all chipped in 10 in the victory. Bivins scored all her points in the opening half while Moore’s total ran her career opening streak to nine consecutive double-figure scoring performances. For the game, the Tide posted 10 assists and a near season low turnover total.
Alabama’s defense forced 18 UCF turnovers and allowed the Knights only six field goals in the second stanza. Takira Allen scored 10 points, to finish as the only Central Florida players in double digits.
With the win, the Crimson Tide assured themselves of a share of the tournament title at the UCF Holiday Classic. Central Florida meets Florida, a winner over Bethune-Cookman earlier on Friday, in the event’s final contest on Saturday.
Bama concludes its three-game road trip through Florida on Sunday when the Tide meets Florida International at 2 p.m. (ET) in Miami.
Alabama (7-2) 32-31—63
Central Florida (2-5) 23-18—41