TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – In an SEC matchup between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Tennessee Lady Vols, the Alabama Crimson Tide secured their fourth consecutive victory with a final score of 72-56.

The game kicked off with high energy, sparked by head coach Kristy Curry’s recognition and induction to Alabama’s 500-win club — a major milestone in her coaching career. However, Curry was much more focused on continuing the team’s win streak than celebrating a personal milestone.

Under the PlayforKay theme, and a momentous night for their coach, the Tide harnessed the atmosphere of Coleman Coliseum into their play on the floor. Defensively, the Tide played aggressive. Swarming to the ball handler, switching on defense, and suffocating  passing lanes. Offensively, The Tide had no trouble getting into rhythm thanks to Aaliyah Nye, Jessica Timmons, and Loyal McQueen. Nye, who has been lights out this season from three, finished with 23 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals. Coming into the game, 71% of Nye’s shots have been from beyond the arc.  However, this wouldn’t be the case tonight as she adapted to the Vols commitment to face guard. Despite the defensive attention, it did not stop Alabama from getting their top shooter open.

“My coaches put me in those positions to be able to move without the ball,” said Nye. “My teammates give me the ball when I’m hoping they send me a lot of screens… a lot of people don’t chase me on ball screens when I do shoot …”

Alongside Nye, Jessica Timmons was huge for the Tide emerging as the top offensive option to start the second half. Timmons was in her bag as she let the game come to her and put an impressive offensive display. At one point hitting a nasty reverse pivot into an up and under layup that would make the legendary Kobe Bryant proud. Her 14 points, coupled with McQueen’s 10 points, 4 assists, and 6 rebounds, helped Alabama extend their lead to their biggest of the night (58-42).

While the Tide seemed to have a rhythm offensively, Alabama’s leading scorer, Sarah Ashlee Barker struggled finishing with 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. However, Barker still had a huge impact on the game as she continuously made effort plays that would not show up in the box score. Through Barker, the Tide and it’s home crowd were able to feed off her energy and hustle.

As the game progressed, it appeared the Tide would cruise to an easy victory after a closely contested first half. However, a resilient fourth-quarter push from Tennessee, marked by a 10-0 run, and a near four minute scoring drought for Alabama would draw suspense.

Nonetheless, the Tide would weather the storm and escape with a victory giving Kristy Curry her  No. 501 win.

“Just an unbelievable win,” said head coach Kristy Curry. “ I think we showed a lot of toughness and grit, especially when they made that run there and our kids responded all night long and just stayed together. Another big résumé win and I’m just so proud of each one of these kids. Sarah Ashlee Barker struggled a little bit but found other ways to contribute and made some big baskets late. I thought Aaliyah Nye and Jessica Timmons really stepped up and our bench was as good as it’s been all year with the little things. Tonight really said a lot about our team and I’m really proud of them.”

When reflecting on her 500 win achievement, Curry said “ I don’t want any of this to be about me. I didn’t even want to do anything before the game and then they told me I had to [Curry was recognized prior to tipoff for collecting her 500th career coaching victory with UA’s win at Vanderbilt last Monday]. You know at the end of the day, it’s so much bigger than just one person. Purdue, Texas Tech, and especially the way we’ve done it at Alabama which is grit, toughness, hard work and being the hardest worker in the room…So I credit my parents for that in a community where I was raised for just hard work and faith and family is important. So we’ve always tried to carry over into our programs, but it’s the people, it’s our players. It’s our staff. I’ve been so blessed, really blessed to have so many great people. So it’s been a team effort.”

Jaylon Brooks serves as WVUA-FM’s senior women’s basketball writer and host of The Student Section: NFL Tuesdays 7 p.m. & The Crimson Case Fridays 12:15 p.m. on WVUA 90.7.

You can follow him on X @JaylonbrooksUA.