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The Crimson White


Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Women’s basketball splits Betty Chancellor Classic with loss against Gonzaga, win against Liberty

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Courtesy of UA Athletics
Alabama Guard Karly Weathers (22) shoots a three at Leonard E. Merrell Center in Katy, TX on Saturday, Nov 25, 2023.
  1. Betty Chancellor Classic offers split weekend for women’s basketball  
  1. Womens basketball splits weekend with loss against Gonzaga  
  1. Womens basketball takes first loss of the season against Gonzaga 

 

This weekend, the women’s basketball team suffered its first loss of the season, against Gonzaga, but also bounced back to leave the Betty Chancellor Classic with a win, against Liberty. 

Saturday vs. Gonzaga  

Women’s basketball lost in a tough match against Gonzaga this Saturday after winning against ranked Louisville on Friday evening. 

In contrast to their previous performances this season, Alabama struggled to get through Gonzaga’s defense. The Zags took an early lead, establishing a 15-2 advantage before the Crimson Tide could find its footing. In those initial minutes, the lone scorer for Alabama emerged as guard Sarah Ashlee Barker, who managed a jump shot at the eight-minute mark. 

“I was disappointed with our start,” head coach Kristy Curry said. “We did everything we could as a staff to get their attention. I think we showed a sense of immaturity there. We went down early and just weren’t on our heels the whole day.”  

Although Alabama could somewhat close the gap, the team remained at half of Gonzaga’s score. A jump shot by guard Jessica Timmons, a free throw by forward Essence Cody, and a layup by Timmons took the score to 7-15.  

Barker, currently ranked 11th in the SEC for 3-pointer percentages, surprisingly failed to make a single 3-point shot in this game despite making three attempts, marking the first occurrence of such an outcome this season. 

Entering the second quarter, the Crimson Tide experienced a season-low shooting performance at 29.6%. Despite making efforts to recover and narrowing the margin to 14 points, any momentum gained was short-lived. Gonzaga was quick to extend its lead by hitting a 3-pointer, four layups, and two jump shots, widening the deficit to 22 points. 

During the second half, the Crimson Tide improved dramatically. The team increased its 3-pointer percentage from 9.1% to 42.9%. Moreover, its overall field goal percentage surged from 29.6% to 42.3%. 

However, despite these improvements, Alabama faced challenges in the third quarter. Gonzaga continued to score, preventing Alabama from closing the gap to more than 19 points. At specific points, the deficit widened, with Alabama trailing by as much as 27 points. 

Despite trailing by 21 points going into the fourth quarter, the Crimson Tide was able to pick up and lower the deficit to 10 with three layups, nine free throws, and two 3-pointers.  

As the game unfolded, the Crimson Tide showed improvement. Transitioning from the third to the fourth quarter, the team’s 3-point percentage surged from 33.3% to 50%. They also outscored Gonzaga with 37 points, compared with the opponent’s 25 during the second half — a significant turnaround considering Gonzaga had previously outscored Alabama by 22 points in the first half.  

However, there was a slight dip in their overall field goal percentage, dropping from 46.2% to 38.5%. 

“You have to love our effort there in the fourth,” Curry said. “The no-quit; we won the third and the fourth; it was just a really slow start. To win the second half says a lot, but we can learn and grow from this; we’ve just got to play better.”  

A 3-point jump shot by Cody would round out scoring for the night at 58-68 and cement the Crimson Tide at only 10 points lower than Gonzaga, a massive jump from where they’d started at the beginning of the game.  

“There’s a lot of things we can learn from today,” Curry said. “Boy, they punched us in the mouth early, and we’ll continue to get better for it.”  

Sunday vs. Liberty  

Despite a tough defeat against the Zags the day before, the Crimson Tide bounced back to dominate against the Liberty Eagles. They secured a decisive 72-42 victory to conclude its appearance at the Betty Chancellor Classic on a high note.  

The Crimson Tide wasted no time, securing a 7-0 lead against Liberty in the initial eight minutes of the game. Timmons initiated the scoring with a jumper at 9:32, setting the tone for Barker’s subsequent layup and successful free throw. Forward Aaliyah Nye then contributed to the growing momentum with a jump shot. 

Alabama’s control extended beyond scoring, dominating other categories with a commanding 22-4 lead in points off turnovers, a 23-17 advantage in points off the bench and a 40-31 victory in the rebounding battle. 

The team demonstrated notable improvement from the Gonzaga game, with its field goal percentage increasing to 43.5%. Nye and Cody scored 5-10, while guard Karly Weathers boasted an impressive 80% success rate at 4-5. In comparison, each player made only two field goals against Gonzaga. 

“I love the response today,” Curry said. “Just really proud of our team. I think we can take an awful lot away from the weekend as far as our growth and learning opportunity. Loved everything about who we were today.”  

The team also showcased improvement in its 3-point shooting percentage, climbing from 22.2% to 28%. Nye contributed with a 2-5 success rate, while Weathers shot an impressive 75% accuracy from beyond the arc.  

Liberty struggled to match Alabama’s shooting efficiency, managing only 34% from the floor, 19% from 3-point range and 67% from the free-throw line.  

The victory showcased Alabama’s depth, with five players reaching double digits in points. Alongside Nye and Weathers, Cody, Timmons, and guard Loyal McQueen each contributed 10 points. Cody also played a pivotal role on the boards, leading the team with seven rebounds, including five on the defensive end. 

The Crimson Tide is gearing up to head to No. 20 Syracuse to play Thursday at 6 p.m. CT. 

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