Women’s basketball’s road finale ends in loss to Florida

Will Miller, Staff Reporter

The Alabama women’s basketball team had its final road game of the regular season on Thursday evening. The contest with the Florida Gators ended in the Crimson Tide’s second consecutive loss. A late surge was not enough to bring Alabama back from a 15-point halftime deficit in an 81-77 defeat. 

The Crimson Tide (20-8, 9-6 SEC) trailed by as many as 18 points in the game. 

“When you score 77 [points], you expect to win, but I think it was the turnovers and second-chance points that took a toll in the end,” Alabama head coach Kristy Curry said. “You can’t put somebody on the free-throw line 36 times, either. … Every opportunity is right in front of us.” 

It was a slow start for the Crimson Tide, and the Gators led 45-30 at the half. Florida (15-13, 4-11 SEC) snapped a five-game losing streak in Thursday’s effort. In the second half, Alabama came out strong, hitting key buckets and bringing itself back within range. The Crimson Tide outscored the Gators 22-14 in the third quarter on the strength of four triples. 

In the fourth quarter, Alabama started lighting it up from three-point land, with six made baskets from long range. The Crimson Tide finally tied it up with just over two minutes remaining on a Ryan Cobbins 3-pointer. From there, Florida retook the lead, and Alabama failed to capitalize on its chances in the final seconds. After the game-tying sequence, Florida scored six more points, compared to just two for Alabama. 

Alabama converted 53% of its attempts from the field — 67% from long range — and went 71% from the charity stripe. The Gators went 41% from the field but had 11 fewer turnovers than the Crimson Tide and 10 more offensive rebounds. Despite this, Alabama was only outscored by six in points off turnovers. 

The Crimson Tide did have four players in double figures: Brittany Davis with 16 points), Aaliyah Nye and Hannah Barber each with (15 and Sarah Ashlee Barker with 10. Alabama went 12-for-18 from beyond the arc. Davis and Jada Rice led the effort on the glass with eight rebounds each. Rice became only the fourth player in program history with 60 or more blocks in a season in the loss. 

“It was an incredible effort,” Curry said. “When you dig yourself into that deep of a hole, you expend so much energy to get back in it. … An amazing effort — [we] just didn’t have enough to finish. I can’t say enough about the fight in this group and how hard they battled.” 

Curry emphasized that it is important for her team to work through adversity and exceed the opposition’s urgency, while improving ball security and not surrendering second-chance points. 

“The positive is we have every opportunity in front of us, with a win on Sunday, to do exactly what we want to do,” she said. That opportunity is the No. 4 seed in the SEC Tournament, which would give the Crimson Tide a double bye. 

The next game for Alabama will be the regular season finale. Ole Miss is coming to Coleman Coliseum for a rematch of the two squads’ Jan. 15 game, and it will be Senior Day. Tipoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. CT. 

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