Thanksgiving Week Hoops: Women’s basketball set for Pink Flamingo Championship in Bahamas

Will Miller, Staff Reporter

The Alabama women’s basketball team has an opportunity to rebound from its first loss on an international stage. 

The Crimson Tide (2-1) will begin play at the Pink Flamingo Championship in the Bahamas on Monday, Nov. 21. It will be the team’s first action since dropping a road game to the University of South Florida on Nov. 16. 

First, Alabama will battle with the unbeaten University of Utah Utes (4-0). This team can score — 124 points graced the scoreboard in the Utes’ last outing, a rout against a ranked University of Oklahoma squad. In three other matchups this season, Utah has scored between 88 and 99 points. The Crimson Tide’s season-opening 98 points might be due for an encore to start the party in the Bahamas. 

On Wednesday, Nov. 23, Alabama will line up opposite the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons (3-1). Wake Forest rebounded from a 20-point conference loss against the University of Virginia to beat Mercer University on Nov. 17. While the Demon Deacons have not scored in the triple digits, the lowest margin of victory the team has had this season is 11 points. 

Alabama will need to play a strong fundamental game to be successful in the Bahamas. The past two road games have seen their share of fouls, turnovers and other mistakes, and head coach Kristy Curry has stated consistently that it is important for her team to do the little things right.  

“We’ve just got some little things we’ve got to clean up,” Curry said after the South Florida loss. “We’ve got to rebound the ball better.” 

The Crimson Tide surrendered 15 offensive boards to the Bulls, making it clear that it must give high-scoring teams as few chances as possible. 

Another area Curry pointed to as a potential learning experience was the travel process.  

“We’re not only teaching the X’s and O’s, but understanding every aspect of what travel is about to put you in a position [to succeed],” Curry said. “It’s much bigger than on the court.” 

Alabama’s revamped roster has gelled well to start the season, and a big part of that is Brittany Davis, whom South Florida effectively neutralized. She was held to just five points and did not score at all in the first half. If Alabama is to be victorious at the Pink Flamingo Championship, Davis will have to get back into rhythm. 

The Crimson Tide will also need to make the most of its possessions on offense, minimizing empty trips and playing physical to snag offensive rebounds. Second chance points will be a necessity. High percentages from the field and charity stripe are something Alabama has shown itself capable of, and the team will look to capitalize on that. 

Alabama’s press has challenged other teams’ offenses. Cutting down on the number of fouls will be tantamount to defending well and disrupting opponents’ gameplans. Forcing turnovers and not giving them up will be an area that the Crimson Tide can utilize to get — and keep — leads and momentum in the games. 

The matchup with Utah is set to tip off at 1:30 p.m. CT on Monday, Nov. 21. Wake Forest will follow at 10 a.m. CT on Wednesday, Nov. 23.