Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Barker shines, women’s basketball starts regular season with 93-39 win over Alabama State

CW/ Hannah Grace Mayfield
Guard Loyal McQueen dribbles the ball in Alabama women’s basketball’s win over Alabama State on Nov. 6

When Alabama guard Loyal McQueen set the tone early with a lightning-fast pass to Essence Cody for an easy layup to open Tuesday night’s game against the Alabama State Hornets, one thing became clear.  

The Crimson Tide was in full command. 

That was the spark that ignited Alabama women’s basketball en route to a resounding 93-39 Tuesday night triumph over the Hornets.  

“Loved our team tonight,” head coach Kristy Curry said. “I thought it was a collective great job with our leadership and our toughness tonight. This is who we need to be night in and night out.” 

Alabama guard Sarah Ashlee Barker was unstoppable, recording a career-high 23 points while shooting an impressive 70% from the field and earning five trips to the free-throw line. Her outstanding performance left Alabama State’s defense struggling to keep up. 

“I just want to thank the coaches because, honestly, they just push me every single day,” Barker said. “It’s not about me. It’s about this team, and it’s about just trying to take the open shot. And that’s what I did tonight.”  

The second quarter posed a momentary challenge since it was the lowest-scoring period of the game. In the first quarter, the Crimson Tide converted 3-pointers at a 17% rate, but the rate dropped to zero in the second.  

As the game progressed, though, any lingering signs of complacency were swiftly extinguished. In the third and fourth quarters, the Crimson Tide intensified its dominance over the Hornets, racking up 48 points while the Hornets mustered only 23.  

The Crimson Tide’s defensive prowess was on full display, compelling its opponents into a staggering 32 turnovers — in contrast, Alabama had just nine. Spearheading this defensive onslaught was sophomore guard Karly Weathers, who led the charge with an impressive five steals, closely followed by Barker, who contributed three to the Crimson Tide’s total 18.  

“We wanted to be more deliberate defensively tonight. I thought our kids were really smart,” Curry said. “We didn’t want to give up right-hand, straight-line drives. We wanted to get to the touch and the pop back and keep the ball out of the paint. And I thought we did a much better job.” 

In the rebounding, Alabama’s dominance was equally undeniable. Freshmen Cody and Naomi Jones each secured eight boards, which was just as many as veteran player Barker. Between the three of them, the Crimson Tide’s control of the paint was solidified. 

Curry said she’s looking forward to the freshmen and senior center JeAnna Cunningham playing together this season. 

“I just think collectively that Essence and Naomi and JeAnna with the three at the five spot can be a really special group this year, and it’s going to take all three,” Curry said.  

This win marks the team’s first regular-season win, and it aims to maintain its momentum against Winthrop on Friday. Tipoff is set for 4:30 p.m. at Coleman Coliseum, and the game will be broadcast on SEC Network+. 

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