Women’s basketball defeats Memphis, wins fourth straight


Courtesy of UA Athletics

Guard Megan Abrams celebrates after Alabama’s fourth consecutive win on Nov. 30, 2021.

Ashlee Woods | @ashleemwoods, Sports Editor

Alabama women’s basketball showed up and showed out. 

The Crimson Tide defeated the Memphis Tigers 71-44 Tuesday night. This is Alabama’s fourth straight win as the team improves to 6-2 overall. 

Coming into this game, the Crimson Tide understood the challenge the Tigers presented. The Tigers, before tonight, averaged 71 points a game. Memphis’ sole loss was a 55-50 defeat at the hands of Little Rock. 

The Tigers had length and size all throughout their lineup, but the Crimson Tide has been battle-tested a couple of times already this season. 

Alabama fell to Tulane 69-66 in the second of the season. Two games later, the Crimson Tide fell to Duke 74-71 at the Maggie Dixon Classic. 

The team knew — and showed — that it had what it takes to earn a signature win over a tough opponent. 

“We’ve talked a lot about just staying together and staying consistent,” Alabama head coach Kristy Curry said. “I think it’s leadership, too.” 

The Crimson Tide showed leadership in several ways Tuesday night, starting with the score. 

Alabama got out to a hot start, kicking off the game with an 8-0 scoring run. The run was fueled by two 3-pointers — one each for guards Hannah Barber and Brittany Davis.

The run forced Memphis to call an early timeout. The crowd in Coleman Coliseum rocked during that run.

Out of the timeout, Memphis guard Madison Griggs sunk a 3-pointer to end the run. Still, the Crimson Tide kept challenging the Tigers.  

Alabama played aggressively on both sides of the court. The Crimson Tide notched 11 total rebounds — six of them defensive — in the first quarter. The team also scored four points off of four Memphis turnovers. 

If that wasn’t enough, Alabama also forced two shot clock violations in the first half. 

By the time the first 20 minutes of the game were done, Alabama was up 43-18. Memphis was held to its lowest score at halftime all season. 

Eager to build some momentum, the Tigers came out firing on all cylinders in the second half. Memphis guard Jatyjia Jones sank two 3-pointers. It seemed like it was going to be yet another slow start out of the half for the Crimson Tide. 

Except it wasn’t. 

Alabama quickly dialed back in with a 5-0 scoring run of its own. Alabama guard Megan Abrams got the run started with a free throw. 

The Crimson Tide finished the game shooting 71.4% from the line. 

Memphis continued to push for the last 20 minutes, but the 43-18 deficit at halftime was too much to overcome. 

Four of Alabama’s five starters finished with double-digit points. Alabama center Jada Rice had her second double-double of the season. Rice scored 13 points and 11 rebounds. 

Davis and Abrams led the team in scoring with 14 points. Rice and guard JaMya Mingo-Young each had three steals. 

“I think it says a lot about how [the starters] share the basketball, how they feed and play off one another,” Curry said. 

Since falling to Duke on Nov. 21, Alabama has won four straight games. The Crimson Tide have averaged 73 points during that stretch. It seems like Alabama is finding its rhythm and its identity. 

“It’s pretty good energy,” Rice said about the team in the locker room. 

There is no rest for the weary. The Crimson Tide will be back in Coleman Coliseum on Friday, with a matchup against Houston. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. CT, and the game will be broadcast on SEC Network+.