Women’s basketball drops ninth conference game

Ashlee Woods | @ashleemwoods, Sports Editor

The Crimson Tide cracked under the full-court pressure of the Kentucky Wildcats and fell to Kentucky 67-63 Sunday afternoon. 

This is the Crimson Tide’s ninth conference loss and 11th loss overall this season. 

The guards once again led the way for the Crimson Tide. Megan Abrams, Brittany Davis and JaMya Mingo-Young all scored in double digits. 

Abrams led the team with 21 points. Davis struggled from 3-point range Sunday afternoon, missing all six attempts. 

Center Jada Rice scored eight of Alabama’s nine bench points. Rice also had five blocks and eight rebounds. 

“I think it’s [coming off the bench has] given her a sense of being comfortable and kind of getting a feel for the game,” Alabama head coach Kristy Curry said.

Kentucky forward Dre’Una Edwards was a problem the Crimson Tide couldn’t solve. Edwards led the team with 24 points off of the bench. The Wildcats had 39 total bench points Sunday afternoon. 

Alabama didn’t handle the ball well either with 18 turnovers, 12 of which occurred in the first half.  

After defeating the Vanderbilt Commodores in overtime, it seemed like Alabama was finding its stride in a rocky conference season. 

Alabama came out of the gate hot, making its first five buckets. That put the Crimson Tide up 11-2 and forced Kentucky head coach Kyra Elzy to call an early timeout. 

The pressure was on Alabama after that timeout. 

Kentucky started playing a full-court press defense after that first timeout, which led to three Alabama turnovers in 69 seconds. The Wildcats took full advantage of Alabama’s sloppy ball handling. Kentucky cut Alabama’s lead down to just 1 point by the end of the first quarter. 

Two free throws by Abrams pushed the Crimson Tide’s lead back up to 3, but Alabama’s turnovers continued to pile up and eventually gave Kentucky a 3-point lead with just over six minutes left in the half. 

Both teams had long scoring droughts in the second quarter. Kentucky was held scoreless for almost three minutes. Rice kept Kentucky’s offense honest during that stretch with two blocks. 

Despite that, Alabama could get very little going on offense. Abrams, Rice and forward Allie Craig Cruce were the only players to score in the second quarter. 

The Wildcats took a 29-28 lead into the locker room. Alabama once again needed to dig itself out of a hole.

The second half turned into a back-and-forth battle, with each team pulling ahead at different parts of the final 20 minutes. Kentucky’s press defense forced Alabama to make tough baskets late in the game. 

Abrams was the player who made those tough shots. 

“I think that the coaching staff and the team, they just have faith in me,” Abrams said. 

Abrams’ late-game tenacity would not be rewarded. Alabama couldn’t make the easy bucket and committed six fouls in the last 10 minutes of play. That led to seven successful free throws for Kentucky, which would ice the game. 

Curry gave credit to Kentucky’s play late in the game. 

“I thought they were able to make a few plays down the stretch and we were not,” Curry said. 

The conference schedule does not get easier for the Crimson Tide. Alabama will host No. 13 Tennessee on Feb. 17, at Coleman Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 6:00 p.m. on SEC Network+. 

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