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Bama's Bolton clinches win at Mizzou with last-second 3...

on Sunday, January 08, 2017
Crimson Tide Women's Basketball:

Junior Quanetria Bolton went 3-for-4 from three-point range, with her last coming just seconds before the buzzer, to lift Alabama women's basketball over Missouri, 59-58, at Mizzou Arena on Sunday. 

The win, which was the Crimson Tide's first Southeastern Conference road victory since Feb. 23, 2014, moves Alabama to 14-2 overall and 2-1 in league play, while the loss puts the Tigers at 11-6 and 1-2 in the SEC.

"That last time we won (an SEC road game) was February, 23 (2014) at Vanderbilt," said Alabama head coach Kristy Curry. "My dad died that day, so believe me, I remember the last one for a lot of reasons. Hannah Cook, NeNe Bolton, Meo Knight, those kids haven't won an SEC road game, and it's something that you look at as we build a program. That's important to them."

Ashley Williams is the only player on our roster to have won on the road, so it shows you that we don't have a lot of experience, but we're building that. Again, this is just a great thing to check off that list. It's tough to win in any week on the road. I've won here once or twice during Big 12 time. I'm just thankful for today, and more than anything, just happy for our kids."

Bolton finished as the Tide's leader in points with 18. She and fellow junior Ashley Williams led the way on the boards with nine rebounds apiece, while freshman Jordan Lewis had another big game distributing the ball with seven assists. Missouri was paced by sophomore Sophie Cunningham, who finished with 24 points. Sophomore Cierra Porter also had a big game with 11 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks.

Alabama started off slow offensively, allowing Missouri to build an 11-2 lead midway through the first. The Crimson Tide scored four of the final six points of the quarter to trail by seven, 13-6, at the end of one.

Lewis knocked down the first basket of the second period, connecting on a floater off the glass. The two teams traded buckets over the next five minutes, but Alabama would go on to end the half on a 7-0 run to tie the game at 21-21 heading into the locker room.

The Tigers pushed their lead back out to seven with just under four minutes played in the third, however the Tide would respond with 12 straight, including back-to-back three-pointers from Bolton, to give Alabama its first lead of the game. The Tide remained in front and carried a four-point lead, 39-35, into the fourth.

Missouri started the final period on a 6-2 run to even the score at 41 with one minute played. The Tigers' third three-pointer of the frame, which came at the 6:35 mark, would give the home team a one-point edge minutes later, 46-45. Alabama tied the game four times down the stretch, but a three from way beyond the arc by senior Sierra Michaelis gave Missouri a 57-54 edge with 1:03 to go.

Bolton connected on the second-chance opportunity off the put-back on the next possession, which gave the Tigers the ball back with 29 seconds to go. Just before the shot clock went off, junior Meoshonti Knight picked up a foul, sending Porter to the line. Porter made her first attempt and missed the second, and Bolton went up and secured the defensive rebound for the Tide. Following a timeout by both benches, Alabama inbounded the ball with 2.5 seconds remaining, which was just enough time for Bolton to get the game-winning shot off.

"This was about kids making plays and not coaches drawing up plays at that point in the game," added Curry. (Sierra) Michaelis made a big shot, and we were just fortunate to have the ball at the end against a very good Missouri team that we have so much respect for. It was an incredible crowd today. Just a great atmosphere for SEC women's basketball, and we were just fortunate to have the last possession and make a play."

For the game, Alabama hit 33.8 percent (22-65) of its attempts, while Missouri was 42.0 percent (21-50) from the floor. The Tide outrebounded the Tigers, 44-31, and outscored Missouri, 28-8, in bench points.

Alabama now returns to Tuscaloosa for three consecutive home games, the first of which will take place on Thursday, Jan. 12 against Kentucky. Tip is set for 7 p.m. CT on SEC Network +.

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