By: Nicholas Pursley
TUSCALOOSA, Ala — Alabama (12-10, 3-8 SEC) hosted the Kentucky Wildcats (9-11, 2-8 SEC) at home for their annual Power of Pink game. As they looked to build momentum following their overtime win against Vanderbilt the prior week.
The Tide would come out strong, but have a hard time adjusting to Kentucky’s defense on Sunday in a loss at home 67-63.
Alabama’s leading scorer Brittany Davis struggled on Sunday, putting up just 12 points on 4-17 shooting from the field.
Her teammates kept the Tide in the game however, with Megan Abrams putting up 21 points, and Jamya Mingo-Young adding on 16 points in addition to 10 rebounds. Jada Rice also had a nice showing off the bench, putting up 8 points and 8 rebounds to go along with 5 blocks.
The Tide prevented Kentucky’s leading scorer Rhyne Howard from becoming much of a factor, and held her to just 9 points on 3-10 shooting, but failed to account for Dre’una Edwards, who would put up 24 in her place.
Alabama got off to an incredible start, with 5 points from Megan Abrams to lead off the scoring. Getting to the rim with ease, they would push their lead to nine before Kentucky would call timeout with 6:02 remaining in the first.
Following that timeout however, Kentucky would come out in a press defense that caused the Tide to struggle getting the ball across half court. Kentucky would take advantage of this, putting up 12 points on those miscues alone.
Alabama would go on to record 12 turnovers in the first half, and enter the second half trailing 29-28.
The team continued to struggle with Kentucky’s defense, depite halftime adjustments, but would keep the game close, going into the fourth trailing by just 1 point, 44-45.
Alabama opened the fourth with plenty of energy, creating plenty of good looks off of turnovers from Kentucky, but the Wildcats battled and kept the game close.
Trailing 64-61, Davis would grab an offensive rebound and make a layup to cut Kentucky’s lead to just one with 48 seconds remaining. Jada Rice would then have a huge block for Alabama coming out of the timeout, but the Tide were unable to capitalize on the play.
Alabama would then foul Edwards to stop the clock with 24 seconds remaining, where she would go 1-2 from the line, giving the Tide a chance to tie or potentially win the game with a three.
Coming out of a timeout, Mingo-Young had an open look at a three which she missed. Kentucky however would fail to control the rebound and Alabama would have another chance with seven seconds remaining.
Alabama would turn the ball over on the ensuing inbounds pass, sealing the game for Kentucky.
The Tide would finish the day with 18 turnovers, which Kentucky turned into 18 points, along with 17 second-chance points on the boards.
Speaking after the game, head-coach Kristy Curry would attribute the loss to turnovers and second- chance points for Kentucky.
“The difference in the game, obviously, was eight-plus points for Kentucky off turnovers and a nine-plus points on second chance. That’s 17 points in the SEC that you can’t give up and expect in a close game to win. So, we’ll continue to work on those things and continue to get better.” said Curry.
The win breaks a four game losing streak for Kentucky, improving them to 10-11 on the season, 3-8 in SEC play. Alabama now falls to 12-10, 3-9 in the SEC.
Alabama looks to bounce back Thursday at home when they host Tennessee. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. CST and the game can be seen on SEC Network+.