TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Alabama women's basketball team used a balanced attack to beat UCF, 80-61, in the second round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament in Coleman Coliseum Sunday afternoon.
Four Alabama players scored 14 or more points, led by senior Hannah Cook's 17 points. She was joined by fellow senior Ashley Williams (16) and sophomores Jasmine Walker (15) and Jordan Lewis (14). On the boards, the Crimson Tide had five players with five or more rebounds, including a game-high eight from senior Quanetria Bolton.
"Congratulations, first of all, to UCF on a 22-win season and 14-4 (record) in their league," said Alabama head coach Kristy Curry. "Katie Abrahamson just does a great job. I thought they had a really good team that played really hard, really physical and really aggressive. I just wanted to say congratulations because I think they do a really good job and are just well-coached.
"I thought our team stayed the course all day and had great balance, and to outrebound by 15, have four players in double figures, and I thought our bench was outstanding. That's hard to do this time of year. This team had some disappointment, but now they have turned that into opportunity, and I really respect the people in that locker room and how they are working every day to improve and get better."
A back-and-forth battle in the first quarter gave way to leading by as many as 10 points in the second period before taking an eight-point advantage into halftime. The Tide led by between eight and 14 points in the third quarter before extending the lead by as many as 23 in the final period.
For the game, Alabama shot 50 percent (25-50) from the floor and outrebounded UCF, 44-29. The Tide also took advantage of its 32 trips to the free throw line, connecting on 26 of its attempts.
The Crimson Tide will host Georgia Tech Thursday at 7 p.m. CT in Coleman Coliseum in the round of 16. It will be a rematch of last year's WNIT quarterfinal after the Yellow Jackets downed UAB, 91-47, in second-round action.