This story was updated to include quotes from Head Coach Kristy Curry’s post-game press conference (2/20/23).
Alabama found something late, but it wasn’t quite enough to overcome their offensive struggles that plagued them for a majority of the game.
With the loss, Alabama falls to 9-5 in the SEC and tied with Ole Miss for fourth place and a double bye in the SEC Tournament.
Despite cutting the lead to as little as 11 on their first big offensive run of the game – albeit late in the fourth – the Bulldogs had built an insurmountable lead off of the Tide’s inability to control the game inside.
“Just credit to Mississippi State today,” said head coach Kristy Curry after the loss.
“We had a lot of shots that we missed, but I thought a lot of it had to do with their defense. We just allowed them to dictate us and be really physical with us today, and we didn’t respond very well.”
Curry’s squad scored just 18 points in the paint compared to 26 for Mississippi State and dominated the glass with 40 rebounds to Alabama’s 30. 32 of the Bulldogs’ rebounds came on the defensive end.
And Alabama’s shooting couldn’t save them this time either, as they shot just 29.3% from the field (17-58) and 28.6% from deep on the night (8-28).
Brittany Davis scored 14 points on 6-15 shooting, adding eight rebounds and three steals.
Aaliyah Nye had an efficient night, scoring 12 on 4-9 shooting including a trio of threes. She was also able to collect three steals.
“Every position (struggled), especially Jada (Rice), Sarah Ashlee (Barker) and Ryan (Cobbins) were 3-of-16. We’re going to struggle on a day when we really can’t find points at the four and the five spot beyond Britt…” Curry said.
Rice was held scoreless, going 0-5 inside for the Tide.
“We just had a hard day. It was just one of those days, and it’s all going to be about our response and we get another opportunity to do that again on Thursday,” Curry said.
How It Happened
Alabama opened the game with a trio of three-pointers, but struggled to get their offense going against Mississippi State’s tough defense.
The Tide scored just six points in the paint, often settling for threes that simply didn’t fall after the opening minutes. Alabama shot just 25% from deep in the first (4-16) and 21.9% from the field overall.
They didn’t attempt a single free throw in the first half.
On the other side, Mississippi State couldn’t have had a better start on offense. They knocked down five threes in just nine attempts, shooting 53.6% from the field overall.
All told, the Tide found themselves down 17 points headed into the locker room.
Mississippi State continued to extend their lead in the third, despite Alabama getting off to a nice start and playing excellent defense. Again however, the Tide couldn’t take advantage and buckets just wouldn’t fall.
The fourth was much of the same story, although Alabama did mount a 13-2 run to get the game within 11-points with 3:25 remaining.
Abrams’ Continued Return
Megan Abrams played just 13 minutes against the Bulldogs, down from 14 against Vanderbilt. 12 of those minutes came in the second half. She scored just two points (1-4).
Alabama will travel to Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators Feb. 23. The game is set to broadcast on SEC Network+. Tip is set for 5 p.m. CT.
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Photo Credit to UA Athletics.