Women’s basketball earns 20th win in triumph over Vanderbilt

Will Miller, Staff Reporter

The Alabama women’s basketball team has four straight victories, but more importantly, it has a 20-win regular season for the first time in the 21st century. 

The Crimson Tide (20-6, 9-4 SEC) toppled Vanderbilt 88-70 on Thursday night to reach the historic milestone. The Commodores made things interesting with a strong second quarter and with the first score of the second half, but Alabama pulled away and closed it out. 

“I thought we dominated a lot of categories,” Alabama head coach Kristy Curry said. “Tremendous third quarter. Really proud of our team.”  

Regarding her team’s strong third quarter, Curry said that basketball is a game of runs and Alabama’s were longer.  

“We had some adversity, and it’s always about your response. I don’t think you’re going to play a perfect 40 minutes,” Curry said.  

Alabama had five players in double figures, continuing a stretch that is now three straight games of four players or more. Guard Aaliyah Nye led Alabama’s scoring with 17 points. Guard Brittany Davis narrowly missed a double-double with 16 points and eight rebounds. Guards Hannah Barber, Sarah Ashlee Barker and Megan Abrams were also in double figures.  

These efforts were aided by 16 makes from long range out of the Crimson Tide’s 36 attempts. Nye shot 13 of those threes.  

“I’m just happy to be back on the floor with my teammates,” Abrams said. “It was pretty hard to sit out and to feel like I couldn’t really help them.” Abrams was injured on Jan. 8 against Auburn and missed just over a month, returning on Feb. 9 against Kentucky.  

Davis said she feels like everyone on the team is locked in.  

“We’re playing ‘we’ basketball, and not ‘me,’” Davis said. “If we continue to do that, we’ll continue to see success.”  

The Crimson Tide converted on 52% of its attempts from the field, with seven more makes overall than the Commodores. Alabama had 34 points off turnovers to Vanderbilt’s 16, and had 10 more assists.  

The halftime lead was cut down to six following a first quarter that saw the Crimson Tide lead 27-10, but Alabama dominated the third quarter to make it a 17-point game heading into the final 10 minutes. Vanderbilt’s Sacha Washington led all scorers in the game with 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting. Nye, Alabama’s points leader, had five triples.  

The win meant Alabama’s first 20-win performance in the regular season since 1997-98. Curry said that her team is still looking to do more.  

“That’s something that we take a lot of pride in,” said Curry. “There’s a mentality to try to go get 21 [wins] this weekend.”  

The Crimson Tide has won five consecutive conference games on the road, also a program first. Alabama will have a chance to extend that mark to six in its next game when it travels to Mississippi State. Tipoff for that game is set to be at 4:30 p.m. CT on Sunday, Feb. 19. Alabama has just one home game remaining on its schedule, which will be on Feb. 26.  

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