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

Alabama women’s basketball coasts to 29-point win over South Florida 

CW/ Hannah Grace Mayfield

For Alabama women’s basketball’s 70-41 win over South Florida on Thursday night, it was military appreciation night at Coleman Coliseum. Fans, coaches and players alike took the time to honor U.S. service members. 

“There are so many servicemen and women across our country that are serving a much bigger purpose while we just get a simple game of basketball,” head coach Kristy Curry said. “I think about Shaquera Wade tonight, who’s in Germany, a former player that’s now serving our country. I’m just so thankful for all of the sacrifices that they [veterans] and their families make on a daily basis.” 

South Florida has been one of the most consistent programs of the last decade, making seven of the past eight NCAA tournaments while averaging over 23 wins per year during that time span. 

Bulls head coach Jose Fernandez, now in his 24th year with the team, is one of the most respected figures in college basketball.  

To top that off, last year’s team handed Alabama its first loss of the season one year ago to the date. 

“We wanted to come out and be tough against them, because that’s what they did to us last year,” senior Aaliyah Nye said. “They kind of punched us and we kind of just laid down and I think this year we were tougher. … We wanted to prove a point.” 

The point was made almost immediately. 

Alabama held South Florida to 5-30 shooting from the field in the first half, holding a Bulls team that was previously averaging over 75 points per game this season to just 16 through 20 minutes. 

“Our main focus this year is to be able to defend,” senior forward Sarah Ashlee Barker said. “That’s something that we’re very passionate about.” 

Things went just as smoothly on the other side of the ball, as Barker continued her breakout season with a career-high 25 points on 10-13 shooting to go along with nine rebounds and four assists.  

“S.A. had a career night,” Curry said. “I’m really proud.” 

Seniors Loyal McQueen and Nye joined Barker in double figures. Nye surpassed 800 career points in the win. 

Arguably the biggest strength of this Alabama team thus far has been its ability to hang on to the basketball. The Crimson Tide now has the fourth-best turnover percentage in the nation, and it’s clear that team chemistry is a big part of the reason why the Crimson Tide has been so successful. 

“We were talking about it in the locker room: It’s all about communication,” Barker said. “That’s what we’re trying to do every play down the floor. … Our team is so close-knit that it’s just easy for us to do, it’s easy for us to talk to each other.” 

Everything is going according to plan for Alabama. The undefeated Crimson Tide now sets its sights on Little Rock. The Trojans are 0-3 and reeling after back-to-back blowout losses to Kansas State and Arkansas. The game will be played Sunday at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN+. 

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