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

Fans steal the show for Alabama vs. LSU women’s hoops

CW/ Elijah McWhorter

When you think of Alabama athletics, chances are you’re thinking about the football team and the echoing of “Dixieland Delight” throughout Bryant-Denny Stadium on any given Saturday night in the fall. But the fans who came out to support Alabama women’s basketball as the team took on the reigning national champion LSU Tigers brought the same energy and showed the college sports world just how deep Crimson Tide fans roll.  

Coleman Coliseum was the place to be in Tuscaloosa on Thursday night as fans showed up in droves for Alabama vs. No. 10 LSU. The coliseum was buzzing all night long thanks to fans from both teams showing out for their respective schools.  

“This is why we want to play in the SEC,” Alabama guard Loyal McQueen said. “It’s a fight night in and night out. The crowd was amazing, and the support was amazing tonight. I definitely think the crowd helped us.”   

The home squad was very well represented as the Crimson Chaos student section and local Alabama fans packed the house to support their Crimson Tide. The buzz from Alabama fans started from tipoff as Alabama used the crowd to build momentum throughout the first half.  

“I want to end by saying how much I appreciate the crowd,” Alabama head coach Kristy Curry said. “Thank you for supporting our program.” 

Crimson Tide fans, however, weren’t the only ones who had Coleman buzzing. There was also a healthy dose of LSU fans who brought energy throughout the game. Tiger fans are known to love their women’s basketball, so a large away crowd was no surprise. 

“It’s the defending national champions,” LSU head coach Kim Mulkey said. “With today’s generation, social media and celebrities … they’re coming to see these young ladies. They’re coming to touch them, to wave to them, to take a picture with them, to sign an autograph. So, you probably saw all that after the game. These are people that love women’s basketball, and that is good for our game.” 

The fan experience was also noticeable throughout the game, with enhanced jumbotron graphics, a DJ and custom cutouts of the Crimson Tide players throughout the arena. You could clearly tell that this matchup versus a top 10 opponent meant a lot to the people who put it together, and it was clear that they anticipated a large crowd. 

“The crowd was electric,” said Alabama freshman Dan Douglas. “They were crucial in keeping the energy of the stadium alive.” 

Thursday night’s crowd was the largest in Alabama women’s basketball history, with a grand total of 5,575 fans coming out to watch the Crimson Tide take on the defending national champions.  

“It’s just great for women’s basketball,” LSU guard Hailey Van Lith said on the crowd size. “We’re role models for these girls and we’re paving the way and showing them what is possible.” 

Thursday night’s crowd showed the college athletics community exactly what women’s basketball can be. Both Curry and Mulkey referred to how this type of atmosphere generates a lot of hype around the sport, and how it can be used to grow the game as a whole. 

“Kentucky comes to town Jan. 28 and it’s still the SEC,” Curry said. “We want to build on tonight and we hope they [the fans] saw a great fight and the energy and passion from our kids, and they’ll come back out to continue to support us in January and February.”  

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