FREEPORT, Grand Bahama Island – Freshman Kaneisha Horn hit the game-winning basket with just over one minute to play in the third overtime to help the Alabama women’s basketball team beat Providence, 82-80, on Saturday in the third place game of the 2010 Junkanoo Jam. With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 6-1 overall, while the Friars drop to 3-4 on the season.
“We really had a lot of players step up in this game,” Alabama head coach Wendell Hudson said. “You definitely saw the character of this team come through. Had we hit our free throws in regulation, there would have been no need for overtime, but we cannot cry over spilled milk. The effort, determination and fight in this team was incredible tonight, and at no point did we look defeated. This team grew up tremendously in this tournament.”
Senior Tierney Jenkins led five Alabama players in double figures with 21 points. Freshman Jasmine Robinson was next best finishing with 18, followed by freshman Khristin Lee (13), Horn (12) and senior Varisia Raffington (10). Jenkins also had 11 rebounds to continue her double-double streak this season with her seventh in as many games. Robinson and Jenkins played nearly the entire game logging 54 and 52 minutes, respectively.
Robinson hit a pair of free throws to put Alabama on the board first just over one minute into the game. Providence tied it up moments later and soon took the lead. Alabama evened the score back up with a three-pointer from junior Ericka Russell and eventually took a one-point lead with 12:09 to go in the half. For the next several minutes the game would go back and forth with neither team leading by more than two until the Tide scored six unanswered points for the 26-22 edge. The Friars responded with their own 6-0 run during the final 90 seconds of the first to take a 28-26 lead heading into the break.
Robinson hit a trio of free throws to put Alabama back in front at the 18:29 mark of the second half. From there, the Tide would go on an 11-2 run over the next three minutes extending the lead to nine at 39-30. Providence got back in the game with a 15-4 run of its own for the 45-43 advantage with 10:19 to play. Two Robinson free throws at 9:01 tied the game at 47-47, but the Tide would not take the lead until another pair from Robinson set the score at 60-59. A three pointer on the next drive put the Friars back in front by two before a set of made baskets from the charity stripe for Lee evened the game again. A solid defensive effort by Alabama on the ensuing possession prevented Providence from scoring, but the Tide ran out of time to do anything offensively as the clock expired in regulation.
Alabama struck first in overtime as Raffington hit a free throw 90 seconds into the extra period. The Friars hit a jumper at 2:20 to take the 64-63 lead before a Jenkins layup put the Tide back in front. Providence would hit one free throw to end the scoring sending the game into a second overtime.
Alabama and Providence traded baskets in the second making for a down-to-the-wire finish in the period. The Tide led 76-74 with 15.1 seconds on the clock, but a layup by the Friars would again tie the score. Raffington heaved up a three-point attempt that would not go in sending the game into another extra period.
Providence opened the third overtime with a three-pointer to take the 79-76 lead. Alabama scored the next six points for the 82-79 edge. The Friars would score one more free throw with 55 seconds remaining but could not get any closer giving the win to the Tide.
Alabama returns home for a matchup with Alabama State on Wednesday, Dec. 1. Game time is slated for 5 p.m. CT.