Lady Tigers control UAH down the stretch, win 68-55

(Courtesy: Joe Chance)
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LIVINGSTON, Ala. (UWA Athletics) West Alabama continued to play well at home, defeating Alabama Huntsville, 68-55, in a Gulf South Conference women's basketball game Thursday at Pruitt Hall Gym.

The win is the seventh in nine games at Pruitt Hall for the Tigers and improved UWA's overall record to 8-6 overall, 3-5 in league play. Alabama Huntsville is 7-8 and 4-5.

West Alabama blew the Chargers up in the fourth quarter, outscoring UAH 20-9 on the way to breaking a three-game losing streak.

"We felt like we had a really good chance if we kept them in the fifties, and even though they had 36 at the half, we answered the bell down the stretch," UWA head coach Rusty Cram said. "Our kids were very coachable tonight and responded well."

The Tigers turned up the defensive heat in the third period, limiting the Chargers to just four field goals to take a 48-46 lead into the final 10 minutes.

UAH had six three-pointers at halftime and the Tigers did not allow them to connect from long range in the final 20 minutes. The Chargers were 6-of-25 from the three-point arc, while UWA was 2-of-10.

Neither team shot even 40 percent from the floor, but West Alabama controlled the game in the paint, outrebounding UAH 47-37 and outscoring the Chargers 44-26 in the paint.

"Both Tazsa (Garrett-Hammett) and Bria (Dent) had double-doubles tonight," Cram said. "When you have two players with double-digit rebounds that's a great job on the glass."

West Alabama led 20-19 at the end of the first quarter, but UAH rebounded to lead 36-30 at the half. West Alabama retook the lead in the third and never looked back.

"We got out of the gate quickly, then managed to keep it close in the second quarter," Cram said. "When we got the lead we kept our foot on the gas."

Garrett-Hammett finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Dent contributed 11 points and 10 boards. Dent's double-double was her eighth. Garret-Hammett has four.

Zoe Watts and Jala Williams both chipped in 11 points to round out double-digit scorers for West Alabama. Watts had seven rebounds and Williams dished out four assists.

Aryn Sanders was the only UAH player in double figures with 20 points. She and Alexis Woods had seven boards, while Katie Speegle led UAH with eight rebounds.

West Alabama continues the homestand by hosting No. 7 Lee (16-1, 8-1) Saturday at 2 p.m. UAH is off until Thursday when Delta State (13-2, 6-2) visits the Rocket City.