Outlined by the neon pink shoes worn by Shaquera Wade and Quanetria Bolton, Alabama’s offense was easy to trace on Sunday against Arkansas, but it was not very efficient.
The Razorbacks dominated much of the game, beating Alabama, 74-66, and giving the Crimson Tide its fifth loss in its last six contests.
Matching the pink exterior lights at Coleman Coliseum from Friday’s Power of Pink gymnastics meet, Alabama upperclassmen Bolton and Wade brought a little shine to the ugly loss, as they continued the push for breast cancer awareness by sporting off-color footwear. In fact, the shoes worn by the two players were so glowingly colored that they could be seen when the lights went off for player introductions before the game.
“February is breast cancer awareness month for basketball, and I just felt comfortable wearing (the pink shoes),” Bolton said. “It wasn’t for any specific reason.”
While Bolton had one of her better games in the new kicks, the rest of her team struggled to get anything going on the offensive end. UA shot just 34 percent from the floor in the first half, and did not make a shot from behind the 3-point line.
At halftime, Alabama trailed the Razorbacks by 14 points, and was uncharacteristically being outworked on the glass as well.
“We really try to work inside-out when your shot’s not falling, ” Alabama point guard Jordan Lewis said. “So, maybe getting to the free-throw line or layups can make you see the ball go through the hoop, and it can help you get your confidence back.”
Unfortunately for Alabama, that was not the answer to its shooting woes on Sunday. The Crimson Tide finished the game one for 10 from behind the arc.
An injury to senior Meo Knight at the 2:28 mark of the first quarter didn’t help with the shooting struggles, either. The guard left the game with a noticeable limp, grabbing at her ankle when leaving the court and going into the locker room. She did not return for the remainder of the game.
“I don’t think (the injury to Knight) rattled us,” Alabama coach Kristy Curry said. “I think she was cleared to go, and she just couldn’t.”
The press got the Crimson Tide back on track in the second half, cutting the Razorback’s lead from 16 to down to seven. But in the end, Arkansas’ shooting was too much for UA to combat.
The Razorbacks made six of 15 shots from deep in the game, outscoring Alabama by 15 from beyond the arc. As soon as the Crimson Tide would get anything going on the offensive end, Arkansas guards Malica Monk and Devin Cosper had an answer. Monk and Cosper scored 21 and 17 points, respectively.
“(Cosper and Monk) did a great job,” Curry said. “I thought Monk was really steadying, and Cosper. But, I thought that more than that it was their accessories. (Kiara) Williams scored 10, and I thought Bailey (Zimmerman) played so hard today.”
Bolton and sophomore Lewis combined for 38 points and 14 rebounds against the Razorbacks. Next up for the Crimson Tide is a home game on Thursday against No. 9 South Carolina.
“We are prepared right now,” Curry said about the upcoming matchup. “Monday in our staff meeting we’ll put that game plan together, and we hope we can have a team behind us that executes it and improves from our lack of execution today.”