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 and Nye fuel offense, women’s basketball beats Winthrop

CW/ Natalie Teat
Alabama basketball player Sarah Ashlee Barker (#3) protects the ball against Winthrop on Nov. 10 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Alabama women’s basketball earned its second win of the season in a stellar 79-50 win over Winthrop.  

The Crimson Tide took control early in the game, with Sarah Ashlee Barker swiping a steal and converting it into a fast layup, kickstarting Alabama’s scoring within the first 30 seconds. Barker’s two layups and a 3-pointer from Aaliyah Nye propelled the team to a 7-0 lead over the Eagles in the first three minutes. 

Last year, Nye finished second in the SEC for 3-pointers per game, and Barker is currently ranked third in points per game.  Friday night, this duo was responsible for 33 of Alabama’s points.  

“I told myself to just think of that next-play mentality and just shoot the ball,” Nye said. “And coach Kristy and my teammates, they believe in me, and they just keep telling me to shoot it. So that’s what I did.” 

Forward Essence Cody and Barker led the game with five rebounds each, with the team securing 21 defensive rebounds and 17 offensive rebounds to finish with a strong performance on the boards. 

The first quarter was good for the Crimson Tide, but it did even better in the second. Although Winthrop scored 12 points in the first quarter, Alabama knocked the Eagles down to only 5 in the second quarter while still securing 18 points of its own.  

Despite having missed three more shots than its opponent in the second quarter, Alabama’s strong defense, particularly in keeping Winthrop away from the paint, made a significant impact. Two key steals from Barker and guard Jessica Timmons shifted the momentum, allowing the Alabama offense to turn the game around and convert shots. 

The team also maintained consistency in its field goal percentage throughout the game. The first half saw 46.7%, and while there was a slight dip to 40% in the second half, the overall performance remained solid. 

For Barker, the success that blossomed for the team in the second quarter wasn’t necessarily about its gameplay but the mental component that guides it.  

“I think it’s just the confidence that we had,” Barker said. “And we just wanted to press, and we’ve really been focusing on trying to get off to a good start in games and good starts with defense. And so that’s where we started.” 

Although the team shone in the first and second quarters, it seemed to fizzle out going into the second half, with Winthrop scoring 33 of its 50 points and raising its 3-point and field goal percentages.  

“The third and the fourth quarters left much to be desired, and we need to continue to grow and improve,” head coach Kristy Curry said. “I’m thankful to have two quarters like the first, so we can really use that third and the fourth quarter as teaching moments.”  

In the second half, the Crimson Tide scored only 16 points in each quarter, a considerable dip from its 29-point first period.  

The team began the game with a solid 3-pointer percentage of 41.25% in the first half but reached 0% in the second half. On Monday night against Alabama State, the Crimson Tide was nearly identical; it started with 41.3% in the first half and treaded down to 0% in the second.  

Closing out the night, Winthrop’s point guard, Angel Burgos, managed to navigate Alabama’s defenses once more, sinking a final jumper in the paint. This last-minute basket shifted the score from 48-79 to 50-79. With only five seconds remaining, Burgos’ shot marked the end of scoring for the night. 

Looking ahead, the Crimson Tide is gearing up for its next challenge against the Morehead State Eagles on Sunday at Coleman Coliseum at 2 p.m. CT. 

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