On the Road Again: Women’s basketball set for midweek tilt with Mercer

Will Miller, Staff Reporter

As quickly as it returned home, the Alabama women’s basketball team is going back on the road. 

The Crimson Tide (4-2) will face the Mercer University Bears on Wednesday night. 

Alabama has won two straight games and is less than a week removed from soundly beating Gardner-Webb University by 29 points inside Coleman Coliseum. The Crimson Tide put up 89 points on 59% shooting in the victory. Perfect-at-home Alabama had not played on its home court since the season opener and will now have to venture into enemy territory once again. 

The Bears (2-3) have hit an early rough patch this season, losing two straight. Most recently, Mercer lost 78-66 to Alabama head coach Kristy Curry’s former team, Texas Tech University. The team has one win over a Division I opponent in 2022, and two of its next three games are against SEC teams. Unfortunately for the Bears, they have seen their opportunities to develop in game action diminished in November, with two straight games after the opener being canceled. 

“Similar to us, [Mercer] has really had a challenging schedule, hasn’t taken the easy road,” Curry said. “It’s going to be two teams that I think are vastly improved from game one, and it will be a good environment for us to continue to prepare for January.” 

Alabama’s schedule has already featured a ranked foe and several games against mid-majors feature squads picked to finish high in their respective conferences. 

For the Crimson Tide, the key to a third victory away from home this fall is to put another high number on the scoreboard. It’s hard to lose when scoring nearly 90 points — particularly against a Mercer team that hasn’t yet scored 80. To create opportunities to score at that high of a level, Alabama must stick with areas Curry has highlighted — rebounding, cutting down turnovers and limiting chances for the other team. This means heads-up play on both sides of the basketball. 

“There are a lot of little things we can continue to clean up, and it all comes down to one word- it’s discipline,” Curry said. “We have to continue to improve and understand, be disciplined, with taking care of the basketball from a turnover standpoint, rebounding every single time, making sure we’re defending without the foul.” 

The Crimson Tide did these things a lot better in its return home from the Bahamas and building on success and positive performances will have to come with a quick turnaround. Traveling as much as Alabama has this early in the season commands discipline and consistency. Translating positives from game to game is a must. 

Collecting three consecutive early-season wins is a milestone that is pivotal for teams playing a season as long as the one in college basketball. The Crimson Tide can do it in its final November outing, but it is going to take another strong effort on the road. 

Tipoff in Macon, Georgia, is set for Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN+. 

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