TUSCALOOSA, ALA. - For the third consecutive season, and the ninth time in program history, the University of Alabama sits atop the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) Intercollegiate Division wheelchair basketball world.
The top-seeded Crimson Tide rolled to an 88-41 victory over the second-seeded University of Texas-Arlington Mavericks in the championship game of the NWBA Intercollegiate Women’s National Tournament at Stran-Hardin Arena on the campus of the University of Alabama.
“It’s absolutely amazing, knowing that you’re on top of the world; you’re number one!” Alabama’s Lindsey Zurbrugg exclaimed. "We did the dang thing! All the work paid off in the end.”
Alabama’s Bailey Moody hit a mid-range jumper on the first possession of the game 15 seconds in and the Tide never looked back.
Alabama led by six points after one quarter, by 24 points at halftime, and by 40 points after three quarters before finishing with a 47-point margin of victory.
“I think that says this is a very talented group, but the only reason we were able to dominate that game is because we came together; we played the right way,” said Alabama head coach Ryan Hynes.
Zurbrugg put up 15 points along with 12 assists and six rebounds in the win over Texas-Arlington and was named championship game MVP.
She talked about how much it meant for her to get that honor being a lower-class player – Zurbrugg is a class 2.5 player – and mentioned the great feeling of being able to represent for all the lower-class players who get much less recognition than the higher-class players who tend to put up higher point totals.
Zurbrugg was one of four Alabama players with double-digit points in the championship game along with Ixhelt Gonzalez’s 17 points, Mary Silberman’s 16 points, and Moira Paulus’ 10 points.
Zoe Voris was the Mavericks’ leading scorer with 10 points.
Alabama got to the championship game by defeating fourth-seeded University of Arizona 78-34 in the semifinal behind a game-high 25 points by Gonzalez.
Texas-Arlington advanced to the championship game by outlasting third-seeded University of Illinois 62-67 in double overtime in the other semifinal.
Zurbrugg acknowledged the great tournament atmosphere in Tuscaloosa.
“Having the crowd on your side is amazing!” she proclaimed. “This place was rocking! The party hasn’t stopped!”
Contributing Writer: Elliot Lapin