TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – It looked like Alabama women’s basketball was about to head home fruitless from the Bahamas.
Being down eight points after one quarter against Wake Forest would, on its own, be tough enough. But add that to a heartbreaking loss against No. 17 Utah just a few days earlier, and you’d think the Crimson Tide were about ready to pack their bags.
Alabama would storm back, however, stopping a two-game losing skid and sending the Tide back happy from their Caribbean vacation.
Game One: Alabama versus No. 17 Utah
Alabama’s two games at the Bah Mar Pink Flamingo championship couldn’t have been more different. Against the Utes, it was an offensive shootout.
Both teams shot the ball at a 50% clip for the game, but in the end, it was the free-throw battle that hurt the Crimson Tide down the stretch. Utah got to the line 28 times, missing just once on the night, while Alabama had just 14 free throws, making 12.
“You know, to have three more field goals (than Utah) was great, but the difference was at the free throw line,” said Head Coach Kristy Curry.
“We just weren’t able to get enough stops without putting them on the free throw line.”
Brittany Davis had 23 points against the Utes, a bounce-back from a tough performance against South Florida. It’s not much of a surprise to get that kind of performance from the veteran, who had already scored twenty points twice through three games.
The real surprise came with Aaliyah Nye, who had 17 points on 6-8 shooting in her first start for Alabama. Curry opted to switch things up ahead of the game against Utah, and her decision to start Nye clearly paid off.
Nye knocked down five threes before exiting the game in the third quarter after appearing to reaggravate a lingering ankle injury. The Crimson Tide were able to open up a nine-point lead prior to her exit, but proceeded to allow a Utah run that gave the Utes a seven-point lead heading into the fourth.
Alabama wouldn’t get closer than five points for the remainder of the game.
Although they narrowly missed out on a chance to get a marquee win against a talented Utah roster, Curry was nonetheless pleased with her team’s performance.
“I told our team that this schedule was put in place to make January less difficult and to be more prepared,” Curry said.
“I loved who they were trying to be today and now we have to let this go at midnight and get ready for the next one.”
Game Two: Alabama versus Wake Forest
Unlike the Utah game, this contest was a gritty battle that the Crimson Tide somehow found a way to win.
The game was tight down to the final seconds, but it was Megan Abrams’s heroics that allowed Alabama to get the victory.
With just 12 seconds left on the clock, Abrams converted an and-one to give the Tide a three-point lead with four seconds remaining. Wake Forest’s final attempt wouldn’t fall.
Abrams led Alabama in scoring with 14 points on 5-7 shooting. She also had five rebounds against the Demon Deacons.
“I’m just really proud of our team,” said Curry.
“I think that’s what really good teams do, is find a way to win games that are a little ugly at times. I just really complimented our team on making plays down the stretch.”
Alabama found a way to win the game despite an off-shooting night from Brittany Davis, who was 5-17 (1-8 from three) on the night for 12 points.
Aaliyah Nye also returned to action against the Deacons, just two days after reaggravating her ankle. Despite scoring just three points in 19 minutes, Nye was a +14 in her time on the floor.
Following their trip to the Bahamas, Alabama emerges with a 3-2 record on the year. They’ll finally return to Tuscaloosa to take on Gardner-Webb Sunday, Nov. 27th. Tip is set for 2 P.M. CT and the game will air on SEC Network+.