Women’s basketball snaps losing streak in overtime thriller against Commodores


Courtesy of the SEC Media Portal

Alabama guard Brittany Davis attempts to score in the paint during Sunday’s 77-71 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores on Feb. 6, 2022.

Ashlee Woods | @ashleemwoods, Sports Editor

The road woes ended for the Crimson Tide. 

Alabama women’s basketball defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores 77-71 in overtime. This is the Crimson Tide’s third conference win and snaps a two-game losing streak. 

The guards shined in Sunday’s win. Brittany Davis, Megan Abrams and JaMya Mingo-Young combined for 59 of Alabama’s 77 points. Davis recorded 20 or more points for the 19th time this season, with 25. 

Mingo-Young was vital at the free-throw line. She made 10 of her 14 attempts, which included six free throws in overtime. 

The Commodores outrebounded the Crimson Tide 41-29, but the Crimson Tide forced 15 turnovers and turned those into 19 points. 

To cap off a solid offensive performance, Alabama shot 55% from the floor and 39% from 3-point range. 

“Really proud,” Alabama head coach Kristy Curry said. “Road wins are difficult in this league. I thought we showed tremendous resilience and toughness down the stretch.” 

Last season, February was an important month for the Crimson Tide. Although Alabama finished the month 3-4, wins over Florida, Auburn and Mississippi State propelled the Crimson Tide to their first NCAA tournament in 22 years. 

“It’s how you finish conference seasons, and we have a chance to finish strong and put ourselves in a position to be right where we want to be,” Curry said. 

This February didn’t get off to a good start, as the Crimson Tide fell to No. 1 South Carolina on Thursday. Alabama had yet another tough opponent on the road, the resurgent Vanderbilt program. 

Vanderbilt — like four other teams Alabama has faced — is among the top 10 in the SEC in 3-point percentage. Alabama has struggled on the road this season so far, winning just two games before the trip to Nashville, Tennessee. 

A win here was vital to the Crimson Tide’s confidence. 

Alabama got off to a quick start in the Music City. A layup from Davis and a 3-pointer from guard Hannah Barber put the Crimson Tide up 5-0. 

From there, Vanderbilt clamped down on defense. 

The Commodores played an aggressive 2-3 zone defense to start the game. Vanderbilt had little trouble trapping Alabama at half court, which led to three turnovers in the first frame. 

Vanderbilt also found its rhythm on offense. Midway through the first quarter, the Commodores shot 4-for-4 and finished the first quarter making 5 of 7 shots. 

If Alabama wanted to win this game, it needed to find a way to limit the effectiveness of the 2-3 zone. That’s exactly what the Crimson Tide did in the second quarter. 

“I thought we did a better job of coming out and being more aggressive, not allowing the zone to get set,” Curry said. 

Alabama shot 50% in the first quarter and skyrocketed to 67% in the second quarter. The Crimson Tide shot 50% from 3-point range. Instead of going to the sides of the court, Alabama attacked the middle of the court. This softened Vanderbilt’s defense. 

Fourteen lead changes and four ties later, the Commodores and the Crimson Tide were dead even at 31 at halftime. 

The competition got even tighter in the second half. 

Both teams scored 17 points in the third quarter. Alabama outrebounded Vanderbilt 10-8. Mingo-Young and center Jada Rice snagged five of the 10. After six more lead changes and ties, the two teams were still tied up after the third frame. 

A thrilling conclusion was on the horizon. 

Both teams came out ready to score in the final 10 minutes of regulation. Vanderbilt started first with a 5-0 scoring run to go up 53-48 early in the fourth quarter. Alabama answered with a 6-0 run to go up 54-53 with just under seven minutes to play. 

Both teams again traded leads for much of the fourth quarter. With 96 seconds left, Vanderbilt freshman Sacha Washington made two free throws to give the Commodores a 64-62 lead. 

Mingo-Young answered with a turnaround jump shot to tie the game at 64. 

Both teams missed opportunities to take the game at the last second. Five extra minutes were needed to seal the deal for the Crimson Tide. 

Alabama proved to be the better team in the final five minutes of play. 

Davis scored five points out the gate to put Alabama up 69-64, and that was one of the many nails in Vanderbilt’s coffin. 

The Commodores — after shooting 52% from the free-throw line in regulation — shot only 37% from the charity stripe. Meanwhile, Alabama shot 75% from the free-throw line, all made by Mingo-Young. 

“I thought she was able to get her hands on a few loose balls and she was able to really impact the game from a defensive standpoint,” Curry said. 

Overtime ended and Alabama found that elusive third conference win. 

The road only gets tougher from here. Next up, Alabama will host the Kentucky Wildcats on Sunday, Feb. 13. Tipoff from Coleman Coliseum is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT, and the game will be broadcast on SEC Network.

Questions? Email the Sports desk at [email protected].