The Alabama women’s basketball fell to in-state rival Auburn 59-55, for Auburn’s third-straight victory over the Crimson Tide. A packed house in Foster Auditorium saw a game that came down to final minute, with Alabama just falling short after clawing its way back into the game.
This game, however was about more than just basketball and rivalries as, today, both fan bases and teams honored those who have battled or are currently battling breast cancer. As a part of the Power of Pink and Play4Kay initiatives, both teams dressed in special uniforms that featured the color that is symbolic of breast cancer awareness. Alabama head coach Kristy Curry believes this game is another way that athletics are about more than just winning and losing.
“I hope today that we were able to raise some awareness for what the Power of Pink represents,” said Curry. “I hope that each and every day we can realize what a blessing it is to have what we have and to support those who are fighting a much bigger fight than the game of basketball.”
In front of a pink-clad crowd, Auburn was able to fight off a late push by Alabama to take home the victory. With both teams trading baskets in the first quarter, Alabama took a 14-11 lead into the second. Auburn was able to bounce back in second quarter, when a basket in the final seconds by Tra’Cee Tanner gave Auburn the 23-21 lead going into halftime.
Coming out of halftime, Auburn was able to grab this game by the throat, outscoring Alabama 24-13 in the third and gaining a 13-point lead heading into the final quarter. The fourth quarter was a different story, as Alabama used its inside presence to fight back and bring the game within three with about two minutes left. Auburn was then able to cause turnovers and knock down free throws to secure the four-point victory.
“Our team has got to grow up,” Curry said. “You have to grow up and this is not an easy league to grow up in, but you have to. We have to continuously improve and I thought today, for whatever reason, we just didn’t look like we continued to improve.”
Auburn got a huge performance out of junior Katie Frerking, who shot 80 percent form the field in her 21-point performance. She added three rebounds and two assists on the day. Her scoring was one of the key elements in Auburn’s road victory.
“Katie is such a team player that she wants to get everyone else involved and sometimes we just need her to be selfish for the team,” said Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. “She is very capable of scoring. She is a great shooter.”
As for Alabama, two players were able to reach double figures, with sophomore Meoshonti Knight scoring 16 points and freshman Shaquera Wade tallying 14 points in one of her best games. Wade also had nine rebounds in her first game against Auburn in Foster Auditorium.
“Having to play here my freshman with the big crowd and my team and the coaching staff behind us, we just have to trust each other,” Wade said. “We have to trust the coaching staff and play together as a team. It was a tough and it was a disappointing loss, but at the end of the day, we have to trust each other.”
For Alabama, it falls to just 14-10 overall and 3-8 in SEC play. It is the team’s fifth loss out of its last 6 games, with only two of those losses coming at home. Auburn improves its record to 16-8 overall, while its conference record now is over .500 at 6-5.
Alabama will be back in action on Feb. 11 when the team travels up to Missouri to take on the Missouri Tigers at 7 p.m. CT. That game will air on SEC Network+.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports