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

Meo Knight’s game winning shot propels women’s basketball over Georgia Tech


With five seconds remaining in Thursday night’s third-round WNIT matchup against Georgia Tech, Alabama guard Meo Knight somehow tossed the basketball up through a sea of Yellow Jacket hands.

It banked off the backboard and fell through the net, sending Knight’s teammates – and the Coleman Coliseum crowd – into paroxysms of joy.

“I saw my man trailing, and then I was able to see that they didn’t have anybody to help,” Knight said. “So I just hurried, tucked it around, and laid it up before they could [do anything].”

The 61-59 win was redemption almost exactly a year in the making for the Crimson Tide, which was ousted from the WNIT quarterfinals by Georgia Tech a season ago.

The victory came with plenty of stress as the team faced a 17-point deficit early in the second quarter. Up until that point, Alabama had made just three of its 19 shots, and drained only one field goal over a 12-minute stretch of game time.

Coach Kristy Curry said the players had a hard time moving on from those mistakes, but the spark came midway through the second quarter when Knight and sophomore guard Amber Richardson subbed in.

“I was pretty honest with [the team] in huddles,” Curry said. “I wasn’t ugly, but I told them that we needed to quit wearing our mistakes and play the next play. I thought we finally did that, and I thought Amber and Meo came in and turned the tide, literally.”

The substitution sparked a game-saving 11-0 run for Alabama. Sophomore guard Jordan Lewis had two three-point plays in 67 seconds, and the defense held strong, keeping the Yellow Jackets scoreless for two and a half minutes.

All of a sudden, a seemingly insurmountable deficit was gone before halftime, as the teams entered the locker rooms deadlocked at 29.

A back-and-forth second half ensued, in which neither team led by more than seven points. With seven minutes left in the game, senior guard Hannah Cook made three straight free throws to give Alabama its first lead since it led 4-2.

Despite having scored in double figures in eight of her last nine games, Cook had zero points in the first three quarters. She scored nine in the final frame, knocking down all three field goals and all three free throws she attempted.

“Our fourth quarters have been our best quarters this whole season,” senior forward Ashley Williams said. “When we are down, we stick together and we come back.”

The win does extend the team’s season, and the careers of its six seniors, by at least three more days. Players have said that the looming end does cross their mind during practice and in games, and it gives them a burst of energy to make sure it isn’t their last.

“It really motivates you to just play harder, knowing that any game could be your last game, Knight said. “You just go out and give it your all.”

The team will play at Virginia Tech on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the quarterfinals of the WNIT. If Alabama wins, it would be the deepest the team has gone into the postseason since 1999.

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