Women’s basketball loses win streak, game at Tennessee

Will Miller, Staff Reporter

The first game of 2023 for the Alabama women’s basketball team did not yield the result that the Crimson Tide was hoping for. Sunday afternoon’s trip to Knoxville, Tennessee, marked the second road loss of the season and first since Nov. 16. 

Alabama (12-3, 1-1 SEC) fell 89-76 to the Tennessee Lady Volunteers, snapping a 10-game winning streak which had been active since Nov. 23. The Lady Vols picked up their 10th overall win of their campaign and 500th inside Thompson-Boling Arena.  

The second quarter was a massive momentum swing in the game — Tennessee outscored Alabama 26 to 11. The Lady Vols decisively won the rebounding battle by a margin of 43-27.  

“We were disappointed that [the 500th win] came against us,” Alabama head coach Kristy Curry said. “Tennessee played great. … It just wasn’t a very good day for us on the defensive side of the ball. We come back and score 76. Most days, when you score 76, you think you put yourself in a position to win. Not the day we wanted, but we’ll hit reset.” 

Curry remained optimistic about the team’s future despite the loss. 

“The race in this league goes to those that can withstand the hard days. When everything isn’t going well, how do you respond? I feel like our team will step up and respond,” Curry said. 

The Crimson Tide put up a valiant effort after being down at times by more than 20 points. The Alabama bench had a productive day in the defeat, with Megan Abrams’ 24 points being enough to lead all scorers. Loyal McQueen trailed just behind her with 21. 

“Being a fifth-year [player], I think this is the most depth that we’ve ever had as a team,” Abrams said. “We just have to find a way to play hard together, no matter who’s on the floor. … We really just want to stay positive as a team and know that there are 14 games, and then some after, that we still have to be locked in for.” 

The Crimson Tide made 32 field goals but only six triples. The teams had identical percentages from long range, but the Lady Volunteers shot 54% from the field and converted on seven more free throws than Alabama, which did win the turnover battle by three despite losing the game. 

“Our bench came in, and [wasn’t] afraid,” Curry said. “It just wasn’t our day. That’s gonna happen — it’s all in your response. We’ll let it go at midnight and get ready for Missouri.” 

The Crimson Tide will come back to Coleman Coliseum for that matchup against Missouri on Thursday. While the double-digit winning streak is at its end, Alabama must refocus and get back on the right track, especially with the Iron Bowl of Basketball set for Jan. 8. Tipoff against Missouri will be at 6 p.m. CT on Jan. 5. 

Questions or comments? Email Blake Byler (Sports Editor) at [email protected]