Alabama women's basketball escapes Auburn with 56-53 win

Maxwell Donaldson
The Tuscaloosa News

The Alabama women's basketball team picked its first SEC win of the season by holding off Auburn 56-53 in Coleman Coliseum on Sunday. 

It was Alabama's fifth straight win against Auburn. 

The Tigers (8-4, 0-1 SEC)  didn’t make the final quarter easy on the Crimson Tide (10-3, 1-1). Auburn held Alabama without a field goal over the last 4:44 of the game. 

The Crimson Tide was led by Brittany Davis' 12 points and 11 rebounds. JaMya Mingo-Young had12 points and eight rebounds, and Jada Rice had seven points and 10 rebounds before they both fouled out. 

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Megan Abrams scored nine points with six rebounds. Abrams played with a mouth guard after leaving the Tennessee game last Thursday with a mouth injury.

The Tigers were led by Aicha Coulibaly, who scored 19 points with 12 rebounds, with 17 points coming in the second half. Honesty Scott-Grayson had 17 points.

Slow first quarter

Alabama and Auburn combined for 28 first-quarter points as Alabama held a four-point lead. Alabama shot 29% from the field while the Tigers shot 36%. Both teams locked down on defense, forcing a combined eight turnovers with three blocks apiece.

Both teams shot better as the quarter went on but turnovers slowed both teams’ offensive rhythm.

Free-throw shooting struggles

Alabama is the best free-throw shooting team in the conference, making 73.8%.

It's not just that Alabama is making foul shots. It is doing a good job of getting to the line, as well. It shoots about 20 foul shots a game.

Alabama struggled from the line against Auburn, going 14-for-25 (56%). Alabama had chances to put the game away late at the line but couldn't capitalize on those opportunities. Abrams made went 2-for-4 to seal the game at the line. 

Alabama guard Megan Abrams (1) takes the ball to the hoop against Auburn forward Kiyae' White (10) Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022 at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa.

Bench help

Alabama only got 12 points from its bench Sunday, with five coming from Taylor Sutton over 11 minutes. But there was no dropoff on defense with the reserve unit.  

That was important with multiple starters fouling out or in foul trouble for the Crimson Tide. 

"It was just a collective effort," Alabama coach Kristy Curry said. “Not just on the points production, they did not make a lot of mistakes defensively.”

Up next 

Alabama hosts Mississippi State on Thursday (6 p.m. CT, SEC Network+). 

Auburn plays at Missouri on Thursday (7 p.m., SEC Network+).