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Alabama pulls away to beat Tennessee


From Special Reports



TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Junior Coco Knight scored a career-high 18 points, while fellow junior Hannah Cook added 16 Thursday night to pace the Alabama women's basketball team to a 65-57 victory against Tennessee at Coleman Coliseum. 


The victory was the second in a row for Alabama (16-10, 4-9 Southeastern Conference) against Tennessee (16-10, 7-6), marking the first time the Crimson Tide have accomplished that feat. 


"I just love the fact we were able to be pretty consistent on the offensive end, rebound the basketball consistently, and consistently get stops," Alabama coach Kristy Curry said. "I thought in the third quarter when they made their run, we never folded. In the past, we've allowed ourselves to play not to lose instead of play to win, so it's good to see the growth and the ability to finish games. I'm really happy for our kids. Every single day they just go back to work. Being persistent and positive is important when you're in this league, and I thought our kids have tried to do that." 


Junior Quanetria Bolton (nine points) and freshman Jordan Lewis (eight) nearly joined their teammates in double figures. Lewis also tied her career high in assists with eight while adding seven rebounds. Junior Ashley Williams had a team-high 11 rebounds. 


Redshirt junior Mercedes Russell had a team-high 17 points for Tennessee. Redshirt senior Schaquilla Nunn had 15 points and 15 rebounds, but Tennessee suffered a blow early in the game when leading scorer Diamond DeShields went down with an injury in the middle of the first quarter. She didn't return. Jaime Nared also got in early foul trouble and had to sit the majority of the first half. 


Tennessee rallied in the third quarter to take a one-point lead, but Knight knocked down a jumper just before time expired to put the Crimson Tide ahead, 44-43. 


Alabama outscored Tennessee 21-14 in the final frame. Knight and Cook combined for 17 points. 


Alabama will take on Auburn at 6 p.m. Monday.



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