By Nadia Isaac
Special to The Tuscaloosa News
It’s been one tough week for Alabama.
A few days after falling to Tennessee on a buzzer-beater, the Crimson Tide women’s basketball team was tripped up by No. 15 Texas A&M on Thursday, 79-74.
Alabama, which led for most of the second half, held a one-point lead with 30 seconds left. What sealed it for the Aggies was a 3 pointer by guard Aaliyah Wilson. Later, Alabama’s Jordan Lewis had a chance to tie the game but her 3-pointer with 11 seconds left didn’t fall.
“We did a lot of really good things,” Alabama coach Kristy Curry said. “I thought they were able to make a play at the end. We over helped and gave up a corner three. No it wasn’t what we wanted. We wanted to catch and shoot three and we didn’t execute there at the end. I need to coach better.”
Alabama guard Jasmine Walker led team with 18 points and five rebounds. Lewis followed close behind notching 17 points, four rebounds and seven assists.
Both teams started strong. In the first half there were five lead changes and the game was tied six times. Walker scored 10 first-half points while guard Lewis followed with eight. Texas A&M center Ciera Johnson and guard Shambria Washington both had nine points each. Alabama managed to pull away to take a 36-32 lead at the half.
Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair praised Alabama’s performance.
“They hit a bunch of tough shots in the first half,” Blair said. “They have really good players in Lewis and Walker and are one of the top teams in the NCAA.”
Alabama came out in the second half swinging, but seemed to lose steam at the start of the fourth quarter holding a five-point lead.
With about six minutes left the Tide committed two fouls that allowed Texas A&M to tie the game. The game went back and forth until the Aggies hit some big 3-pointers late, including Wilson’s clincher. Texas A&M was 8 of 14 on 3-pointers while Alabama was 8 of 25.
“We’ve lost to number four, twelve, fifteen and four,” Curry said. “We’ve had the toughest open in the SEC, so we can learn from that and we can continue to put these experiences into play because we lost to some really good teams and tonight was another really good team.”
Also for Alabama, Megan Abrams scored 11 points and Cierra Johnson scored 10.
N’Dea Jones had 21 points and Washington had a season-high 20 points to lead the Aggies (16-3, 4-2 SEC)
The Tide (11-8, 1-5) looks to learn from their mistakes from this game and get ready for the next game against Vanderbilt on Sunday.