Women’s basketball uses hot shooting to defeat Clemson


CW / Austin Bigoney

Senior guard Cierra Johnson went 2 for 11 from the field in Alabama’s 64-61 loss to Hampton in the Crimson Tide’s opening game of the season.

She flipped the script on Tuesday night at Clemson, though, pouring in 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting to lead Alabama to a 67-54 win over Clemson. Johnson added eight rebounds and a team high six steals, one shy of her tying her career high.

Alabama (1-1) forced Clemson (1-2) into 27 turnovers and turned those into 39 points. Sixteen of those turnovers were steals. The Crimson Tide also held a hefty advantage in the rebounding category over the Tigers 44-36, including 26 offensive rebounds that produced 20 second chance points.

Alabama had its second consecutive slow start, trailing 12-6 after the first quarter.

“We had some great looks early on and they just weren’t going down, but we just stayed the course,” coach Kristy Curry said. “Sometimes our kids are their own worst enemy and sometimes they try too hard, but I told them to keep shooting the ball and stay positive.”

In the second, Johnson began to cook. The senior scored 13 points in the period and went 3 for 3 from long range to give Alabama a 32-24 lead at the intermission.

Solid performances from junior forwards Jasmine Walker and Ariyah Copeland helped Alabama hold its lead in the second half. Walker scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds and three steals. Copeland had her second straight double-digit game with 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds. The Columbus, Georgia, native is now averaging 10.5 points a game and nine rebounds.

Up 49-40 after three quarters, Alabama went on a 9-1 run to start the fourth to extend its lead to 58-41 with 7:01 left and would not look back, maintaining its double-digit advantage the rest of the way.

The Crimson Tide made 15 of 21 free throws to shoot over 70% from the stripe for the second consecutive game while Clemson shot 3 for 12 from the line.

Alabama will return to Coleman Coliseum on Sunday to host Mercer. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.