TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – It wasn’t pretty, but Alabama fought their way to a victory at home against Chattanooga 61-52.
The Mocs kept the game close until the weaning minutes, refusing to go away. Seemingly any time that the Crimson Tide gained momentum, Chattanooga was able to come up with a big bucket or stop.
Alabama’s offense struggled to gain any semblance of rhythm thanks to Chattanooga’s tough defense. The Mocs held Alabama to just 28% shooting from deep, including 23% in the opening half. The second quarter was particularly rough, with the Tide shooting just 28% from the floor on 4-14 shooting.
Thankfully for Kristy Curry’s squad, Jada Rice came ready to play. Rice had one of her best games on the season, scoring 12 points on 6-9 shooting.
While that might not seem like a standout scoreline, Rice came up clutch when her team needed her most. When Alabama’s offense was struggling and they needed a bucket, she came up with several tough buckets in the paint. On defense, Rice accounted for three blocks including two on one possession that led to a Chattanooga shot clock violation. She also led the Tide in rebounds with seven on the night.
“I thought Jada played with tremendous passion down the stretch,” Curry said.
“She was dominant in the paint. We found ways to get her the basketball, she found ways to rebound the basketball. Just a lot of little things down the stretch.”
Brittany Davis was also her usual self, scoring 14 points and five rebounds against the Mocs.
JaMya Mingo-Young also had one of her best games for Alabama on the season, scoring 10 points on an efficient 3-5 shooting while adding five rebounds. Mingo-Young played a majority of the late minutes for the Tide, and played her usual gritty style of basketball.
For Curry, the path for Alabama’s improvement is clear.
“Our effort defensively was not what it was on Wednesday [against Mercer],” Curry said.
“We have to ask ourselves how we got to the point we got to today. But I think when it’s 18–22-year-olds the consistency piece of it at times, today, wasn’t there. We have to look at that and have a growth mindset on how we can be more consistent and defend better.”
Alabama improves to 6-2 on the season with their fourth consecutive win. The Tide will travel to Hattiesburg, Miss. to take on Southern Miss on Dec. 11.
Follow Nicholas Pursley on Twitter @nicholaspursley for 24/7 coverage of Alabama women’s basketball.