Women’s basketball drops fourth straight to Florida Gators


Courtesy of UA Athletics

Guard Megan Abrams goes for a layup during Sunday’s 85-77 loss to Florida Gators.

Ashlee Woods | @ashleemwoods, Sports Editor

Women’s basketball drops fourth straight to Florida Gators

The losses are piling up for the Crimson Tide. 

Alabama women’s basketball lost to the Florida Gators 85-77 at Coleman Coliseum Sunday afternoon. This is the fourth consecutive conference loss for the Crimson Tide. 

Alabama’s last win in SEC play was a 56-53 victory over the Auburn Tigers on Jan. 2. 

Alabama hasn’t had an easy time as of late in conference play. Sunday was no different. Four players — forward Allie Craig Cruce and guards Hannah Barber, Nia Daniel and Ahriahna Grizzle — missed Sunday’s matchup due to COVID-19 protocols. 

That meant guard Taylor Sutton started for the first time in an Alabama uniform. 

Sutton got off to a fast start, leading the Crimson Tide in scoring with six points early in the first. However, Sutton made some mistakes late in the game and fouled out of the game. She finished with six points, one assist and one steal.

“For the most part, her heart’s in the right place,” Alabama head coach Kristy Curry said after the game. 

Guards JaMya Mingo-Young and Megan Abrams also saw increased minutes with four players missing the game. Mingo-Young played for 38 minutes and Abrams played for 34 minutes. Abrams also led all Alabama scorers with 22 points, including some gritty, contested shots late in the fourth quarter. 

“Meg played to the point of exhaustion,” Curry said. “I just can’t say enough about her.” 

Mingo-Young said that the team knew they needed to have a “next-man-up mentality.”

“Coming into the game, we knew that we were down people, so we knew that we needed to have that next-man-up mentality,” Mingo-Young said. “It wasn’t just me that had to step [up]. That was the mindset for us, next man up.” 

The game started off similar to the Ole Miss game on Thursday in Oxford. Both teams traded shots early. Alabama took a slim 5-2 lead a minute into the first quarter. Five minutes into the first, the Gators took a 9-7 lead.

Both teams spent the first quarter trading buckets, but by the time the buzzer for the first quarter sounded, Florida led narrowly, 17-16. 

Alabama began to pull away from Florida halfway through the second quarter. Mingo-Young scored four straight points to put the Crimson Tide up 25-21. Alabama kept the lead for the rest of the half, despite giving up a buzzer-beater to Florida guard Nina Rickards. 

Alabama narrowly outscored the Gators 13-10 in the second quarter. 

The second half was where the momentum flipped from the Crimson Tide to Florida. 

Alabama led by as many as 6 points in the third, but the Gators didn’t go away. 

After holding Florida to just 14 points in the paint in the first half, the Crimson Tide gave up 14 in the third quarter. The Gators also shot 60% from 3-point range in the third. That helped the Gators cut Alabama’s lead to just 3 before the fourth quarter. 

If you let a team hang around long enough, they will find a way to take over. That’s exactly what Florida did in the fourth. 

Florida scored another 14 points in the paint and shot 55% from 2-point range. Alabama’s limited roster could no longer keep up with Florida and was outscored 30-19 in the final 10 minutes of the game. 

Alabama gave its best effort, but the exhaustion caught up to the Crimson Tide. When the buzzer sounded, Alabama fell to 1-5 in conference play. 

“A lot of tears in the locker room, a group of kids that fought their hearts out, and we’re really proud of their effort,” Curry said.  

Next up for the Crimson Tide are the Arkansas Razorbacks on Thursday at Coleman Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 8:00 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on SEC Network.