Davis drains 8 3-pointers as women’s basketball sweeps Vanderbilt to cap regular season

Ashlee Woods | @ashleemwoods, Sports Editor

In basketball, sometimes a team lives by the 3, other times a team dies by the 3. The Crimson Tide lived by the 3 Sunday afternoon. 

Alabama knocked down 14 3-pointers Sunday afternoon and defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores 77-71 during Senior Day. Alabama finishes the regular season with a 15-12 overall record and a 6-10 conference record. 

“Just really proud of our kids’ grit and toughness down the stretch,” Alabama head coach Kristy Curry said. 

Guard Brittany Davis once again proved just how good of a shooter she is Sunday afternoon. Davis scored 32 points for the second time in three games. She also went 8-of-9 from downtown. 

Davis’ family was in town for Senior Day and cheered her on from tipoff to the final buzzer. 

“It felt great to know my teammates and my family were here to support me today,” Davis said. 

Guard Hannah Barber also performed well on Senior Day. Barber was second on the Crimson Tide in scoring with 15 points, making four 3-pointers. She also led the team in assists with five Sunday afternoon. 

Guard Megan Abrams had a quieter game Sunday afternoon, scoring just 6 points, but was impactful in other areas on the stat sheet. Abrams snagged four rebounds, four assists and one block in 33 minutes of play. 

Forward Allie Craig Cruce earned her first start of the 2021-2022 season against the Commodores. The graduate student from Killen, Alabama, scored three points and had one block in nine minutes of play. 

Vanderbilt forward Sacha Washington led the Commodores in scoring and rebounding. The freshman from Lawrenceville, Georgia, scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. 

Vanderbilt won the turnover battle, only committing 14 turnovers to Alabama’s 20. The Commodores scored 22 points off of those Crimson Tide turnovers. 

But it proved to be too little, too late for the Commodores. 

Alabama started the game off hot in the first quarter. After a layup by Washington, the Crimson Tide scored eight unanswered points to take an early 8-2 lead. 

A jumper from Vanderbilt guard Jordyn Cambridge stopped the bleeding temporarily, but it wasn’t enough. Alabama went on a 7-0 run after that shot to increase its lead to 11. 

Vanderbilt head coach Shea Ralph called a timeout to right the ship. 

After that timeout, the Commodores outscored Alabama 9-5 in the final four minutes of the first frame. Alabama’s 11-point lead was cut down to 7. 

Alabama followed a clean first quarter of play with a sloppy second quarter. Vanderbilt started the second frame with a 5-0 run, cutting the Crimson Tide’s lead to just 2 points. Davis ended the scoring drought with a 3-pointer. 

That’s when the turnover issues started for Alabama. 

The Crimson Tide only committed one turnover in the first quarter. Alabama committed eight in the second frame. That led to 13 points off of turnovers for Vanderbilt. The Commodores ended the first half leading 33-30. 

Vanderbilt outscored Alabama 20-10 in the second quarter. 

The momentum was firmly in the Commodores’ corner, and they planned on keeping it that way at the start of the second half. Vanderbilt made back-to-back layups, increasing its lead to 7 points. 

Both teams started trading buckets two minutes into the third quarter. The Commodores managed to push their lead to 9. 

With Vanderbilt gaining confidence, the Crimson Tide needed someone to step up and help the team. 

Davis was that person. 

The senior from Manchester, Georgia, scored six unanswered buckets during the midway portion of the third frame. Vanderbilt now only led 48-46, and the crowd in Coleman Coliseum was coming alive again. 

“They were definitely a sixth man,” Curry said of the crowd. “They were the team behind our team today. I know our team really fed off their energy.” 

Two successful free throws from guard JaMya Mingo-Young tied the game at 48 with 2:44 to go. Alabama outscored Vanderbilt 6-4 to end the third quarter. The Crimson Tide held a narrow 54-52 lead. 

The start of the fourth quarter showed shades of the second quarter. The Commodores went on a 6-0 scoring run to take back the lead. Two free throws from center Jada Rice ended the run. 

Vanderbilt led the game until there was 4:45 left in regulation. At this point, Alabama outscored the Commodores 16-9 to finish the game and seal the win.

Shortly after the game, Alabama recognized Cruce, Abrams, Barber, Davis and guard Taylor Sutton. Curry said that this class has left a special legacy. 

“I always say, ‘When you leave, did you make it [the program] better,’” Curry said. “Without a doubt, we’re in a better place than we were when they first got here because of their presence.” 

The regular season is now over, but the postseason will begin Wednesday, March 2. Alabama will enter the SEC women’s basketball tournament as the No. 11 seed and will face the Auburn Tigers. Tipoff from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, is scheduled for 1:25 p.m. CT on the SEC Network. 

“There’s a lot of basketball to be played this year,” Barber said.

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