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

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Aggies blast Alabama on home court, 71-46

An anemic shooting performance by Alabama (11-14, 4-8) conceded the team’s second loss this season to the No. 14 Texas A&M Aggies (20-6, 10-2) in Foster Auditorium on Sunday. The Alabama women’s basketball team lost to the Aggies, 71-46. The point total was the second-lowest for the Crimson Tide this season, save for the 39-point effort against Auburn on Jan. 16.

Freshman Ashley Williams led all players with 19 points and nine rebounds, going 6-of-11 from the field. Daisha Simmons was second on the team with 10 points, despite fouling out with 2:32 to go.

Aggie coach Gary Blair, who coached his team to the 2011 NCAA Championship, praised Williams’ play in particular after the game.

“Williams is a heck of a recruit,” Blair said. “She’s definitely one of the top-five recruits in the league.”

(See also “Alabama men’s basketball team seeking shelter from storm“)

Alabama was 0-7 on three-pointers in the first half as the Aggies’ zone dared the Crimson Tide to shoot long jumpers. Open shots were plentiful, but Simmons (0-4) and Sharin Rivers (0-3) were unable to knock one down in the first 20 minutes.

For the game, the Crimson Tide went 1-13 from behind the arc, with Simmons and Rivers finishing a cold 0-5 from deep. Shafontaye Myers’ three with 1:37 to go was the only made by the Crimson Tide and her only points that afternoon.

“You cannot come out and shoot the ball from the foul line and the perimeter the way we did and have an opportunity to be successful,” Alabama coach Kristy Curry said.

Texas A&M shot just over 53 percent from the field, while Alabama finished at a 28.6 percent shooting mark.

(See also “Volleyball ready for Power of Pink match against Texas A&M“)

The Crimson Tide kept it close early, holding Texas A&M to a slim 10-9 lead. Midway through the first half, the Aggies broke through for a 7-0 run, widening their lead. Over the next several minutes, Texas A&M would go on a 17-5 run and settle into a 37-22 halftime lead.

Forward Nikki Hegstetter was on a tear early, scoring seven of the team’s first nine points. However, the field would not be kind to the Crimson Tide for much of the rest of the first half, as Hegstetter finished with nine points.

“We just had a scoring drought, and it’s just one of those nights,” Hegstetter said. “We had good shots, and we had good looks. They just couldn’t throw it in.”

Overall, the Aggies outscored the Crimson Tide 44-26 in the paint. Alabama switched between man and zone throughout the afternoon but did not have an answer for the Aggies’ inside game.

As in the Arkansas game Thursday, the Crimson Tide struggled with turnovers, surrendering 17 possessions, which the Aggies turned into 12 points.

“It was a credit to their defense, but also our lack of awareness, I think would be the best way to say it,” Hegstetter said of the turnovers.

The bench points were heavily tilted in the Aggies’ favor as well. The Crimson Tide’s reserves went scoreless, while Texas A&M scored 14 points off the bench.

With four games left in the regular season, Alabama must win out in order to have a winning season, which hasn’t happened since the 2010-11 season, when the team compiled an 18-15 record. The Crimson Tide will next face Mississippi State on Thursday and then travel to Vanderbilt and Auburn before the final regular season game against LSU at home on March 2.

(See also “Alabama gymnastics meet travels to hostile LSU“)

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