TUSCALOOSA, Ala., (February 6, 2016) – The University of Alabama Women’s wheelchair basketball team took on two teams on Saturday afternoon. The women’s team lost to the Shepard Stealers men’s team in the first game, 65-43 but pulled away with a big win against Lakeshore, 64-49.
The first game against Shepard was a close fight from the tip off to the last shot. The Tide women battled the Shepard men, trailing by a few points the whole game. Although the women never caught the Stealers, their perseverance and determination was clear from the sweat dripping down their face, heavy breathing and blackened hands from pushing their chairs so hard. Freshman, Arinn Young, had one of her best games this season with 29 points out of the 43 scored against the Steelers. Maude Jacques scored six points and captain Caitlin McDermott put four points for the tide.
The tide women regularly play men’s teams due to the need to fill their schedule and lack of enough women’s teams.
“Oh I love it. It’s a grind. They’re bigger than us. They’re stronger than us. They’re faster than us. That is what’s going to make us better,” said Arinn Young about regularly competing against men’s teams.
The second game against the Lakeshore men and women’s team was also a tough battle for the Alabama crimson tide. The tide started behind in the first half, but worked their way to an eight-point lead by halftime. One of Maude Jacques’ many seals gave way to an easy layup for Arinn Young was just the start of the tide’s fight back to being the winning team. The tide dominated the second half, specifically Arinn Young, who had her highest scoring game with 38 points. Darda Sales’ energy on the court, including her screams of “Ball! Ball! Ball!” at every opponent, played a big role in the tide’s victory.
“We’ve really grown and come together. We’re pretty much a new team and it’s been really good to see the progression and the trust built with each other,” Coach Williams said about the team’s progression this season.
The Tide women’s basketball team ended the day tired, but excited for the upcoming tournament in Illinois and The Night of Champions, which will be hosted at the University of Alabama on February 25-26.
Beat Writer – Amanda Perrucci