No. 10 Alabama 95, Appalachian St. 66
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) _ No. 10 Alabama’s 1-2 punch was almost better than Appalachian State’s starting five.
Shalonda Enis scored 32 points and Dominique Canty had 31, outscoring the Lady Mountaineers in the first half and nearly for the game, as the Crimson Tide cruised to a 95-66 victory on the first round of the women’s West Regional.
The Crimson Tide (23-7) plays North Carolina State (20-9) in the second round on Sunday.
Appalachian State (24-6) was not supposed to be a pushover. The Lady Mountaineers had taken three highly rated teams down to the wire during the regular season, losing to Florida and Iowa by a combined four points and to South Carolina by one in overtime.
``The last thing in the world I expected was a blowout,″ Alabama coach Rick Moody said.
Enis and Canty outscored the Lady Mountaineers 43-33 in the first half. Canty did most of the damage, scoring 17 points during a dizzying 21-2 run over a four-minute stretch before halftime.
Nearly everything Canty threw up found the basket. One shot was an absolute prayer that she tossed in over her shoulder while spinning in the lane. She hit 14-of-21 for the game and Enis 13-of-17.
``I was just playing ball,″ Canty said.
Brittney Ezell, a whirling point guard who set up many of Canty’s baskets, dropped in a 3-pointer and then rifled a pass to Leah Monteith for a layup at the buzzer, giving Alabama a 55-33 halftime lead.
Ezell had 10 points and seven assists.
Appalachian State coach Linda Robinson was about as dumbstruck as her players.
``Tonight we had breakdown after breakdown,″ Robinson said. ``They have everything an NCAA tournament team needs.″
Alabama opened with a 12-4 run, with Enis scoring the first eight points of the game. Appalachian State scored seven straight before the Crimson Tide turned it into as romp.
Karolina Karlqvist made three straight 3-pointers during a brief run by the Lady Mountaineers, but Alabama already had run away.
Tiana Tate led Appalachian State with 20 points, and Karlqvist had 18.