TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Distractions were aplenty for Alabama on Thursday night.
Tuscaloosa had been under tornado watch for most of the day, class was canceled, and even the band didn’t show up to Coleman. But the Tide are simply playing too well to let that bother them.
“I tried to use the example of our Tennessee game a year ago… During warmups we had to come off the floor because there was a warning,” said head coach Kristy Curry.
And much like on that night, the Tide claimed another historic victory for the program.
With the win, Alabama reached the 20-win mark in the regular season for the first time since the 97-98 season.
“I’m just happy for everyone around the program. But like I said, we haven’t done anything yet so I think there’s a mentality to try and go get 21 this weekend,” said Curry.
Aaliyah Nye led the Tide with 17 points, including five three of Alabama’s 16 made threes on the night.
“I think it was definitely the looks that opened up tonight, I got a lot of open threes.”
“But also, my coaches have been telling me to shoot the ball so that’s what I’m trying to do,” said Nye when asked about her confidence to fire up 13 threes on the night.
Reigning SEC Player of the Week Brittany Davis had 16 points, eight assists and five rebounds against Vanderbilt.
When asked about Alabama’s hot night on offense, Davis was quick to call out the team’s unselfish mentality.
“I feel like everyone on our team is locked in, and we’re playing we basketball not me [basketball], so I think that’s big for us.”
How it Happened
Alabama opened the first quarter on fire, knocking down 5 triples and shooting 62.5% from the field.
Davis started the quarter with a quick triple, setting the tone early for the Crimson Tide.
Vanderbilt quickly found themselves down 10 with just over five minutes to go. That lead would extend to as many as 20, and it looked like Alabama was going to coast their way to an easy victory.
But the second quarter was a major departure from the red-hot start for the Crimson Tide. After Nye knocked down an opening three, Vanderbilt would score the next eight points.
Vanderbilt also started to rack up the fouls, going to the line eight times in the second quarter compared to none in the opening 10 minutes.
Headed into the locker room, Alabama found their 17-point lead diminished to just six points.
The third quarter was an entirely different story for Alabama.
The Tide would one-up their opening quarter heater, making six threes and shooting 64.3% from the field.
How’d they close it out? Loyal McQueen knocked down a stepback three while Hannah Barber took a charge on the other end.
Alabama would take their 17 point lead at the end of the third and coast to victory against the Commodores, despite some physical play from both teams.
The dagger? A Karly Weathers three that put the Tide up 24 with under five minutes to go.
Megan Abrams’ minutes continue to be ramped up following her return from injury. Abrams scored 10 points in 14 minutes against the Commodores.
“Honestly, I’m just happy to be back on the floor with my teammates,” said Abrams.
“It was pretty hard to sit out and feel like I couldn’t really help them. I’ve always wanted my legacy here to not be based off of performance, so while I’m on the bench I want to cheer my teammates on. I think that gives them energy and I’m just trying to help the team any way I can.”
Alabama will travel to Starkville to take on Mississippi State Feb. 19. The game is set to tip at 4:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on SEC Network+.
Follow Nicholas Pursley on Twitter @nicholaspursley for 24/7 coverage of Alabama women’s basketball.