Alabama’s Jordan Lewis drops career high in NCAA Tournament win against North Carolina

Here’s why head coach Kristy Curry thinks the point guard is the best in the SEC.


Courtesy of Alabama Athletics

Alexander Plant | @aplant63, Sports Editor

Senior guard Jordan Lewis had the best game of her long tenure at Alabama on Monday, Jan. 22. The No. 7 seed Crimson Tide routed No. 10 seed North Carolina 80-71 thanks to a career-high 32 points from Lewis. 

Head coach Kristy Curry was happy to come out of the Alamodome in San Antonio with a win. She praised Lewis and her intangibles after the game. 

“[Her success is] because of the character,” Curry said. “She’s about to graduate with her MBA, her pace every day is at a different level than the normal student-athlete. She plays so hard. There’s not one day where I’ve had to say, ‘Hey you’re not practicing hard enough’ … I always say, ‘Your will has to be stronger than your skill.’ Not only is she skilled, but her will is really special. She accepted the challenge and believed in our vision.”

Lewis has been waiting for this moment since she arrived on campus five years ago. Now, she’s helped get the first tournament win for Alabama in the last 22 years. Lewis said after the game that seizing the moment is what matters in March Madness.

“When I came to Alabama, I told coach Curry that we were going to get back here on the big stage, and I think that we worked so hard and it was taken away from us last year,” Lewis said. “I think when you get a moment like this, you can’t miss an opportunity, you can’t give an opportunity. My teammates love me, they encourage me, they trust me, so I think that’s the biggest motivation for me.” 

Four players for the Crimson Tide scored in double figures. The starting lineup filled the stat sheet and scored 78 of Alabama’s 80 points. Curry said that a balanced scoring attack is critical in the postseason. 

“This team just has so many different offensive weapons and they share the ball so well,” Curry said. “Nothing about what I see offensively really surprises me today. I just thought our kids really did a great job.”

Although senior forwards Ariyah Copeland and Jasmine Walker combined for 24 points and 21 rebounds, Lewis took the spotlight. She collected 11 rebounds and 7 assists for a near triple-double. Curry could not say enough about what her play in the tournament meant for Alabama’s success. 

“The world saw today why Jordan Lewis is in my mind the best point guard in the SEC,” Curry said. “She shares and cares and finds so many ways to impact us in so many categories.”

A major key for the Crimson Tide’s win was out-rebounding the Tarheels 46-33. North Carolina ranked tenth in the NCAA in rebounds per game coming into the contest. Curry said that taking away their strength was vital to the win. 

“We come from a league where rebounding is critical,” Curry said. “Our kids have been playing against long and athletic [players all year]. It’s not always your first effort on the glass, sometimes it’s your second. I thought our kids really just pursued the ball.”

Alabama moves on to the round of 32 to face No. 2 seeded Maryland. Tipoff is at 12 p.m. CT and will be featured on ESPN2.