Women’s basketball rolls in 111-56 win against Mercer

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Women’s basketball rolls in 111-56 win against Mercer

CW / Austin Bigoney

CW / Austin Bigoney

CW / Austin Bigoney

CW / Austin Bigoney

Carey Reeder | @realCareyReeder, Staff Reporter

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The last time the Alabama women’s basketball team was inside Coleman Coliseum following its 64-61 loss to Hampton, coach Kristy Curry preached about the toughness needed to make shots in her postgame press conference.

In Sunday’s 111-56 win against Mercer, the Crimson Tide responded to the message by shooting 64 percent from the field in the first half en route to its best overall performance of the season thus far.

“That’s who we are when shooting, who we expect to be and that’s what we see in practice every day,” Curry said. “I think the last three quarters at Clemson fed into today and we need to build off of that.”

The win marked the 100th victory for Curry at Alabama improving her record to 100-98 in Tuscaloosa. Curry has won 409 games in her 20-year career and said in her postgame press conference that she wasn’t aware of her impending milestone until a few days before Sunday.

“It’s not something that’s about me, I appreciate every player that’s been a part of my time at Alabama,” Curry said. “Everyone that’s a part of what we’re doing every day, it’s so much bigger than me. I hope we can get a 100 more really quick.”

Four Crimson Tide players scored in double figures with sophomore De’Sha Benjamin leading the way with 16 points. The Augusta, Georgia, native grabbed 10 rebounds to secure her first double-double of the season. A trio of 12-point scorers followed in junior Jasmine Walker, sophomore Brittany Davis and sophomore Hannah Barber. Barber and Walker knocked down four three-pointers each. The Crimson Tide made 14-of-27 from behind-the-arc in the game, the best three-point shooting percentage Alabama has had this season .

“We pride ourselves on our grit and gratitude, to work the hardest and be the toughest,” Barber said postgame. “When those two things are working well together you see what you saw today.”

In a true total team effort, all but two Alabama players who played at least one minute scored six points or more as the team amassed 71 bench points.

After a close first quarter with Alabama ahead 20-17, the Crimson Tide outscored Mercer 41-9 while knocking in seven three-pointers to blow the game open in the first half. Back-to-back-to-back three-pointers by Barber ignited a scoring barrage with nine Alabama players contributing. It was the team’s highest-scoring single quarter of the season and propelled Alabama to a 61-26 lead at the break.

Benjamin took over in the second half scoring 10 of her 16 points in the half. Davis put in nine of her 12 points in the half as well. Effective free throw shooting going 11-for-13 from the line down the stretch was enough for the Crimson Tide to hold on for the victory.

Alabama begins a lengthy road swing starting in Mobile, AL., on Thursday taking on South Alabama at 7 p.m. The Crimson Tide will then return to Coleman Coliseum on Dec. 5 to take on Iowa State as a part of the SEC/BIG 12 Challenge.