Tide dominates UAH in exhibition

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UA Athletics

11_06_2010 WBB vs. UAH #40 Kaneisha Horn Photo by Ben Adams

Brett Hudson

The Alabama women’s basketball team showed vast improvement from last year’s 12-18 team by beating the Alabama-Huntsville Lady Chargers 103-58. This victory was only the third time in the 21st century Alabama has scored more than 100 points.

To open up the scoring, Janie Graves of UAH took the tip-off and made a layup, which would be the only positive the Lady Chargers saw for more than eight minutes, as the Crimson Tide went on a 18-2 run, including 4 points from freshman Jasmine Robinson, with 2-2 shooting on her way to a seven point half. This initial layup also led to the only tie and lead change of the game, as the Tide continued to build the margin up to the final 45 point difference.

Head coach Wendell Hudson said he is making an effort to incorporate every player on the team and to win games with high-pressure defense and an electric, fast break offense, all of which were apparent in the blowout victory.

“I loved how our intensity level was high, and it was a complete team effort today,” Hudson said. “And I think you’re going to be seeing that all year – getting many people minutes and having everyone share the workload in these games.”

Only one Tide player played less than 12 minutes, and only one played more than 20 minutes.

The fast break offense was very effective for the Tide, outscoring the Lady Chargers 20-4 in fast break situations. The offense was clearly successful with senior starting guard LaToya King getting four of Alabama’s 15 assists. Hudson recognized the effective offense but was displeased with the Tide’s 29 turnovers.

“That’s just too many turnovers,” Hudson said. “In this kind of offense, we know we’re going to have some. But that’s just too many. I told them they would be surprised how many open opportunities would show up, and they were there. We just have to work on the turnover problem.”

Hudson acknowledged King’s outstanding performance after the game, as well as her expanding role on the team.

“She played well tonight and did a great job of sharing the ball around,” Hudson said. “On three or four of those turnovers I thought she made the right pass. She’s really stepping up and taking charge of this team.”

Even with the turnover problem, Alabama still had 51 points off of turnovers, compared to UAH’s 19. This speaks to the high pressure defense implemented by Hudson, leading to 19 steals and a block.

“Our hard work in practice really showed today,” Hudson said. “We spend I’d say 60-70 percent of our time on defense. The nonstop pressure we put on them tonight showed all the hard work we put in.”

Alabama’s aggressive style of play made a big impact on the game and on the stat sheet. Alabama had 24 second chance points to UAH’s four and outrebounded the Lady Chargers 66-34, including getting 29 offensive rebounds.

Nine of those rebounds came from star freshman Kaneisha Horn, a McDonald’s High School All-American last year, the first Alabama signee to ever earn that honor. She showed why she earned the award on Saturday, shooting 100 percent from the free throw line in a 12-point performance.

“I was a little pleased with my rebounding,” Horn said. “Not all the way. I can do better, and I need to do better. I need to be more aggressive on offensive rebounds.”

Hudson, on the other hand, was very pleased with the 29 offensive rebounds Alabama accumulated in this game.

“Twenty-nine offensive rebounds against anybody is impressive,” Hudson said. “It shows we’re in better shape than the other team, and that’s going to be a big thing with this group.”