By (Molly Catherine Walsh)

Alabama women’s basketball head coach Kristy Curry knelt low to the ground on the sidelines and watched intently as her team took to the hardwood. The Alabama Crimson Tide women’s basketball team (3-6, 15-7) faced its rival, the Auburn Tigers (5-3, 15-7) at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Ala. on Sunday night.

Alabama has lost its past three home games in Tuscaloosa, falling to Kentucky (54-71), Arkansas (50-68) and No. 4 Mississippi State (54-67). Alabama’s last win in Coleman came on Jan. 5 against Ole Miss, 90-80. Although the Crimson Tide led in score for three periods, the Auburn Tigers finished strong in the 4th period and managed to win the game (66-55).

The Crimson Tide managed to make 45 percent of its shots, grabbed 33 rebounds, and finished with 22 turnovers in total, while Auburn made 46 percent of its shots, grabbed 28 rebounds, and finished with 10 turnovers. Alabama junior Hannah Cook was on fire to start the game when she accounted for three three-pointers, while Nene Bolton showed aggression on offense and managed 2 rebounds and 2 free throws by the end of the first period.

“You have to get open, you can’t just stand around, you have to go off screens,” Cook said of creating three-pointer opportunities. “It’s about moving around and you just have to change your pace a lot.”

The Crimson Tide fought for every rebound and managed to almost always get a hand on the ball. Auburn’s offense got a run for its money in the second period when it often shot the ball with moments left in the shot clock. The Crimson Tide showed aggression on defense throughout the game as they stuck to the Tigers like glue while in the paint, but it still wasn’t enough to secure a win.

“You have to put four quarters together against senior leadership like [Katie] Frerking, [Brandy] Montgomery and [Khady] Dieng,” Curry said. “I thought Frerking just made play after play, and for whatever reason we weren’t able to make shots and the counter- make stops like we had been for three quarters and that’s what really good senior leadership does.”

The Crimson Tide maintained a fragile lead against the Tigers throughout the first three periods, only to fall to them in the fourth with just minutes until the final buzzer.

“When we started the fourth quarter I told them ‘you’re not playing any defense’ and our defense is what makes our offense so we had to step up the pressure a little bit.” said Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy. “These players have unbelievable heart.”

Auburn seniors Montgomery, Dieng and Frerking utilized leadership on the court to contribute to the win. Frerking came out with an uncontainable performance in the 4th period when she accounted for 18 points and one rebound.

The Crimson Tide will face the LSU Tigers (15-6) at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge on Feb 5.

…read more

Source:: The Crimson White Sports