Women’s basketball drops Sunday game against No. 1 Gamecocks

Will Miller, Staff Reporter

The Alabama women’s basketball team put forth a spirited effort, but it wasn’t enough to halt the unbeaten run of No. 1 South Carolina on Sunday, Jan. 29. The Crimson Tide (16-6, 5-4 SEC) fell to the Gamecocks in Coleman Coliseum, 65-52, in one of the biggest home games of the campaign. 

“No moral victories,” Alabama head coach Kristy Curry said. “We expected to win today. We came up short. … It’s a tall task — literally. Too many second chance points, loose balls. I loved two categories. I thought the fact that we made more free throws than they shot shows we were passionate and aggressive. The fact that we took care of the ball the way we did against a really good defensive team — they’re averaging 86 [points] a game and we held them to 65.” 

The game was more competitive than the final score indicates. The Alabama deficit was just one possession after the first quarter and, thanks to an impressive make by Brittany Davis just before halftime, Alabama kept itself within striking distance of the best team in the land at the break. The difference came when South Carolina created second and third chances and turned those into runs the Crimson Tide couldn’t match.  

“Just a tremendous effort,” Curry said. “[South Carolina is] phenomenal. We just came up a little short.” 

The furthest Alabama trimmed the deficit after the half was four points, but the Crimson Tide never made it a one-possession affair after quarter number one. In a blow to Alabama’s perimeter game, sharpshooter Aaliyah Nye fouled out late, and spent several minutes on the bench earlier in the game due to foul trouble. The Crimson Tide connected on six attempts in 16 tries from beyond the arc, two each from Nye and Sarah Ashlee Barker. Barker led Alabama with 15 points. 

“I think it’s important that you don’t pass up open shots,” Curry said. “I thought we passed up some open looks, even from two, that we probably ended up getting a worse shot.” 

The Crimson Tide was outrebounded 46-35, but doubled up the Gamecocks on made free throws. Alabama shot 35% from the field and had nine points off turnovers. The Crimson Tide had 12 offensive rebounds, compared to 20 by South Carolina. The undefeated Gamecocks shot 39% from the field and hoisted 67 shots.  

Davis was the only other Crimson Tide player in double figures with 13, but she was kept quiet in the second half, with just two in the final 20 minutes. Nye had eight before leaving the game and had made two three-pointers.  

Following Sunday’s game, Alabama has another weeklong layoff until its next game. That will be a road contest against the University of Missouri Tigers on Sunday, Feb. 5. The Crimson Tide has won its last three road games. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. CT. 

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