By: Nicholas Pursley
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Alabama women’s basketball team put an exclamation on an already chaotic Thursday night in Tuscaloosa with a 74-64 upset victory over the No. 12 Tennessee Lady Volunteers.
The game was initially delayed, as both teams were called back into the locker room as tornado sirens wailed across Tuscaloosa. But things cleared up, and tipoff still went at the original time of 6 p.m. CT.
The delay didn’t seem to phase anyone, especially not Brittany Davis.
Davis would lead off the scoring for Alabama, knocking down a three pointer to get things going.
Alabama wouldn’t stop firing, shooting nine threes in the first quarter, including six before the first media timeout. The Tide shot just 22.2% from deep however, allowing the Lady Vols to keep it close.
Despite the poor shooting, Alabama took advantage of mistakes from the Lady Vols to end the first up 16-14.
Tennessee couldn’t keep pace with Alabama’s red hot offense in the second. Behind the firepower of Brittany Davis and Meghan Abrams, Alabama would shoot 53.8% (7-13) from the field, including a blazing 66.7% (4-6) from three.
That theme could continue in the third quarter, as Alabama knocked down shots with 52.9% (9-17) accuracy from the field, including 50% (4-8) from three.
The Tide’s lead would surge all the way to 20 with 9:34 remaining in the fourth.
Tennessee’s defense would finally come alive in the fourth quarter, not allowing Alabama a field goal in the final seven minutes of the game. The Crimson Tide however would go 7-of-8 at the line to put the game away down the stretch.
The Crimson Tide got great performances from their two leading scorers, as Abrams and Davis combined for 50 points.
Abrams built on her strong performance versus Kentucky, scoring 27 points (9-14). She drove hard to the basket all night, drawing fouls often and going perfect from the line on the night (7-7).
Davis improved mightily on a rough performance last Sunday against Kentucky, tallying 23 points (8-15), including four threes. She also grabbed 6 rebounds on the night.
JaMya Mingo-Young might have had an off shooting night with just eight points (2-9 shooting), but her impact on the game should not be understated. She hauled in 10 rebounds, including four on the offensive boards, in addition to six steals and five assists.
“JaMya was unbelievable in so many categories. Maybe a day where her shot wasn’t falling… and she found other ways to impact the stat sheet. She really makes us a better team,” said head coach Kristy Curry.
Tennessee struggled to generate offense, as leading scorer Jordan Horston didn’t get going until the fourth quarter where she would go down with a scary injury.
Center Tamari Key was a bright spot for the Lady Vols, putting up 20 points (7-10) and 13 rebounds. 11 of her 13 rebounds came on the offensive glass.
Alabama improves to 13-11 on the season, 4-9 in conference play. Tennessee falls to 21-5 on the season, 10-3 in conference play.
Thursday’s win marks Alabama’s first ranked win since January of 2021, when they beat the then No. 14 Mississippi State in Starkville.
Alabama looks to build momentum with this win as they finish out their season.
“Confidence. Confidence can be fragile in this league. Anytime you can get a win like this, it can just propel you into the next one.” said head-coach Kristy Curry after the game.
Alabama travels to College Station to take on Texas A&M on Sunday Feb. 20 at 5 p.m. CT.