Alabama women basketball can't hang late with Tennessee, falls 62-44 to start SEC play

·2 min read

Alabama women’s basketball played Tennessee close for three quarters but couldn’t keep up during the final period as it fell 62-44 at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Thursday in the SEC opener for both teams.

Alabama found itself down by one as the fourth quarter started but couldn’t keep up with the No. 9 Lady Volunteers (12-1, 1-0 SEC) from there. Alabama had 11 available players for the game and fought some in-game injuries. It caught up late as the Lady Volunteers outscored the Crimson Tide 24-7 in the final quarter.

The Crimson Tide (9-3, 0-1 SEC) was led by Brittany Davis’s 12 points and six rebounds. JaMya Mingo-Young scored 11 points while bringing down six rebounds.

Alabama played the second half without Megan Abrams, who left with an apparent mouth injury and will be evaluated in Tuscaloosa, UA coach Kristy Curry said.

Short-handed on both sides

Alabama was without Taylor Sutton and Taylor Cullinan due to COVID-19 protocols. Sutton averages 5.5 points a game in 15 minutes as one of the first off the bench.

Myra Gordon and Nia Daniel were the first two guards off the bench.

Tennessee was missing Jordan Horston, who was out with a non-COVID-19 illness. Sara Puckett started in her place. Horston is the Volunteers' leading scorer and rebounder.

Early rust shaken off

Alabama had not played in 17 days due to COVID-19 cancellations and restarted practice on Dec 26. It showed as Alabama was outscored 23-12 in the first quarter.

Alabama shot 33.3% from the field while Tennessee shot over 57%. Alabama struggled to rebound, allowing the Lady Volunteers to get three offensive rebounds that turned into four second-chance points.

Alabama did shake off the rust on the defensive end, holding Tennessee to seven second-quarter points, but only scored 12 to cut the Lady Volunteers lead to six at halftime.

Alabama guard JaMya Mingo-Young (2) attempts to score while guarded by Tennessee guard Kaiya Wynn (5) in the NCAA women's basketball game between the Tennessee Lady Vols and Alabama Crimson Tide in Knoxville, Tenn. on Thursday, December 30, 2021.
Alabama guard JaMya Mingo-Young (2) attempts to score while guarded by Tennessee guard Kaiya Wynn (5) in the NCAA women's basketball game between the Tennessee Lady Vols and Alabama Crimson Tide in Knoxville, Tenn. on Thursday, December 30, 2021.

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Cold shooting night

The cold shooting night was made evident as the Crimson Tide held the Lady Volunteers scoreless for the first six minutes of the third quarter.

Both teams average more than 72 points but combined for 73 through three quarters. Between tough defense and unlucky rims, both teams struggled to buy a bucket.

Alabama shot 23.9% from the field and 17.2% from 3-point range, while Tennessee shot 42.9% from the field and 26.7% from deep as they found offensive rhythm in the final quarter.

"We need to make shots," Curry said.

Up next

Alabama will host Auburn on Sunday at 4 p.m. CT on SEC Network.

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Alabama women's basketball falls to Tennessee, 66-44 to start SEC play

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