TROY, Ala. — Survive and advance. That’s what March is all about.

Despite allowing a 13-2 run in the closing minutes, Alabama survived a late surge by Troy to win their first-round WNIT matchup 82-79.

Megan Abrams led the way for the Tide with 24 points, including icing the game with two free throws in clutch time.

Abrams was one of four Alabama starters that finished the game in double digits, along with Brittany Davis (17 points and EIGHT steals), JaMya Mingo-Young (16 points) and Jada Rice (15 points).

Rice, in her first start since being benched late in the regular season, grabbed 15 rebounds against one of the best rebounding teams in the nation.

Coach Kristy Curry attributed the decision to start Rice to her effort during the practice.

”She’s worked so hard in practice. I loved who Jada was,” Said Curry.

Troy’s home court proved to be quite the advantage, as the Trojans would jump out to a 10-point lead in the opening four minutes of the contest.

“This was the game of their lives. This was the game of the century. They were [Troy] tweeting ‘We Want Bama,’ all this,” said Curry when asked about the environment on the road.

The Tide certainly made that statement into locker room material.

Following a timeout, the Tide would go on a 7-0 run to bring the game within three.

They would close the first quarter down just three, despite shooting just 30% from the field.

Alabama would then go on a tear, shooting 52.6% from the field to lead Troy by eight heading into the locker room.

That stretch was led by JaMya Mingo-Young, who had eight of her 16 points in the second quarter alone.

Rice would take over coming out of the locker room, scoring seven for the Tide that included the first four points of the period.

Alabama held a comfortable lead heading into the fourth, and followed every Troy bucket with one of their own, killing any momentum the Trojans could muster.

The game seemed to be a forgone conclusion, but Alabama would make just one of its final 10 shots and allow Troy to come roaring back.

Troy had a chance to tie the game late, but a hustle play from Mingo-Young led to a travel from freshman Guard Sharonica Hartsfield.

“I thought our kids really stayed together and showed a lot of poise and patience and togetherness,” said Curry.

As coach has often said late over the course of the season, they found a way to win.

The Crimson Tide will now head to New Orleans to take on Tulane in the second round of the WNIT on Monday. Tip is set for 6:30 p.m. CT.

PHOTO CREDIT to @AlabamaWBB on Twitter.