Alabama runs out Mount, 82-55 NCAA TOURNAMENT

March 17, 1995|By Rubin E. Grant | Rubin E. Grant,Special to The Sun

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- For the second straight year, it was one and out for the Mount St. Mary's Mountainers in the women's NCAA tournament.

The 13th-seeded Mountaineers couldn't keep up with fourth-seeded and 13th-ranked Alabama, falling to the Crimson Tide, 82-55, last night in the East subregional at Coleman Coliseum.

Last year, the Mount was eliminated, 70-47, by Iowa in the first round.

Alabama (21-8), which reached the Final Four last year, advances to the second round to play fifth-seeded and 20th-ranked Duke at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Blue Devils overcame a 14-point second-half deficit to defeat Oklahoma State, 76-64, in the opening game.

The Mountaineers (24-6) had an 18-game winning streak broken with the loss.

Mount St. Mary's scored the first five points of the game on Susie Rowlyk's jumper and one of Shari DeLaney's five three-pointers.

But Alabama went on a 9-2 run to go ahead 9-7. The Mount was able to tie it twice before Alabama All-American guard Niesa Johnson hit a three-pointer to put the Crimson Tide ahead for good, 14-11, with 9:59 remaining in the first half.

"Our game plan obviously was to take a little air out of the ball," Mount coach Bill Sheahan said. "We didn't think we could run for 40 minutes with them. We were fairly successful for most of the first half, but Alabama made a run and we couldn't answer. They are a strong team, stronger than we are."

Johnson, a senior, led Alabama with 20 points, but had an off night shooting. She was 6-for-17 from the field, including 2 of 8 from three-point range. She made up for it with eight assists and six rebounds.

"The key was our inability to stop Johnson," Sheahan said. "She's a person who can take over a game. We knew that. She was rather unstoppable."

DeLaney led the Mount with 15 points and Melissa Cuneo had 11. Rowlyk, playing with protective goggles over an injured right eye, got into early foul trouble and wasn't much of a factor. She finished with 10 points.

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