Finally Home: Women’s basketball draws Gardner-Webb in return to Coleman Coliseum

Will Miller, Staff Reporter

The Alabama women’s basketball team is finally returning to its home arena after a four-game stretch away from Tuscaloosa. Gardner-Webb University awaits on Sunday, ready to welcome the Crimson Tide (3-2) back home with an afternoon contest. 

Alabama has played games in Louisiana, Florida and the Bahamas during its recent stretch, going 2-2. That includes one victory and one defeat in the Bahamas. That particular trip ended with the Crimson Tide’s most recent outing, a tough 61-58 win over Wake Forest University, which snapped a two-game losing streak. 

Gardner-Webb (4-1) has not lost since a season-opening blemish against Clemson. Since then, the team has defeated its previous four opponents. In its wins, Gardner-Webb has put up 82, 83, 90 and 91 points. 

“We’re excited to be home,” Alabama head coach Kristy Curry said. “We’re excited for Sunday, and just the fact that we’re home — we’re very grateful for that.” 

“[Gardner-Webb is] very athletic, they do a great job with their full-court press, they’ll pressure you, they love to play fast,” Curry said. “We’re going to have to take great care of the basketball, make sure that we don’t allow our turnovers and offensive rebounds that we could give up to create extra possessions for Gardner-Webb.” 

In the Bahamas, Alabama went toe-to-toe with a ranked University of Utah team that can score the basketball at a high level, then had a bit of a different style of game in the win against Wake Forest. In both games, the Crimson Tide gave itself chances to be victorious, and that has included production from several different players. 

“I think [the chemistry] has been great,” Curry said. “I appreciate who they’re all trying to be. I appreciate the selflessness — it’s about ‘we.’ We continue to get better and make the best decisions that are about this team, not only as a staff, but I think the team is trying to make the best decisions for this team, and I really appreciate them.” 

Curry also emphasized communication on the defensive side, sticking to assignments and staying disciplined to limit big moments for other teams. 

“In back-to-back games, [we’ve] given up big shots at the end of a quarter,” she said. “I’m not sure in my career that I’ve had that happen. … Both of those were critical moments. I love who our team is trying to be defensively.” 

Rebounding has continued to be a vital area for the Crimson Tide, as it is in any game. Even before the season began, production on the glass was an important key for Alabama to be successful.  

“I think we have to create extra possessions on the offensive end,” Curry said. “I thought we did a better job of that in the [Wake Forest] game.” 

Alabama will undoubtedly be ready to return to familiar territory on Sunday. The last time the Crimson Tide played in Coleman Coliseum was in the opening game on Nov. 7. Tipoff for the Gardner-Webb game will be at 2 p.m. CT on SEC Network+. 

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]