Alabama women’s basketball finished the regular season 11th in the SEC with 5-11 record, so it will play in the first round of the SEC tournament on Wednesday.
Its first opponent: the Vanderbilt Commodores.
The two matched up earlier this year and the Crimson Tide won by 19 points.
In that game, four of Alabama’s five starters finished in double figures, led by Cierra Johnson, who was three rebounds shy of a double-double (25 points and seven rebounds). The Crimson Tide shot 52.8 percent and scored 20 points off Vanderbilt’s 15 turnovers.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for us,” Tide coach Kristy Curry said. “There were some things that they did that we can improve.”
The Commodores are led by Mariella Fasoula, who leads the team with 16.2 points and 7.1 rebounds a game. Cierra Walker and Chelsie Hall each average double-digit scoring, with 10.8 and 10.2, respectively.
Alabama ended the regular season struggling to score, finishing with less than 50 points in its last two games.
Alabama defeated Ole Miss in the first of the two games, holding off a late comeback by the Rebels. Three players scored in double figures for Alabama, but the next highest was just four points. The Crimson Tide shot just 35.7 percent in that game, including just 10 percent from 3-point range.
The season-finale 35-point loss to Missouri was one of the team’s worst losses of the year. The only bright spot for the Crimson Tide was Johnson, who finished with 22 points. No other player scored more than eight points.
“It’s not about the Xs and Os, it’s about effort and how hard you play,” Johnson said. “You have to go out there confident.”
As of now, the Crimson Tide is out of the NCAA tournament unless it can win the SEC. To make the NIT tournament, Alabama would need to make the SEC semifinals.
“It’s a brand-new season,” Curry said. “We have a great opportunity…. We’ve had a lot of lessons. Our kids one two out of three before we got to Missouri, and the one loss was in overtime. We need to draw a lot of positives.”
Alabama vs Vanderbilt
When: 12:30 p.m.
Where: Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, S.C.
Records: Alabama 13-16, 5-11 SEC; Vanderbilt 7-22 2-14 SEC
Broadcast: SEC Network
Radio: 100.1 FM