Alabama women's basketball falls to Kentucky in SEC Tournament
Sixth-seeded Alabama women's basketball was sent home Thursday night at the SEC Tournament, losing its opening game to 14th-seeded Kentucky, 71-58, at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C.
It was the fourth straight loss for the Crimson Tide (20-10). A projected 8-seed in the NCAA Tournament entering Thursday, the Crimson Tide will have to wait for Selection Sunday to their March Madness destination.
Both teams started out hot, as Alabama made its first six shots and took a five-point lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the second, the Wildcats (12-18) were able to cut the deficit to one point, but 3-pointers by Ryan Cobbins and Aaliyah Nye extended the Crimson Tide lead to six at the half. Kentucky would make it a one-point game entering the fourth and then score 27 points, the most either team would score in a quarter all night.
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"Credit to Kentucky," said Alabama coach Kristy Curry. "Their kids really stepped up. We'll sit back and try to see what happens to us on Selection Sunday. I'm not going to criticize my kids, but I can credit Kentucky."
Here's what we learned:
Hot first quarter start
Brittany Davis opened the scoring for the Crimson Tide with a layup. Alabama would follow with two Jada Rice layups, a 3-pointer from Nye, and back-to-back 3s from Hannah Barber to jump out to a 15-13 lead before missing a shot. While the Crimson Tide would miss eventually, the lead grew to five by the start of the second.
Davis goes cold
Although she was named an All-SEC performer earlier this season, the Alabama senior would struggle throughout this game. Davis finished the night with just seven points on 3-for-15 shooting, including just 1-for-5 from 3-point range.
"It's the time of year where players step up and make plays, and for whatever reason she didn't do it tonight," said Curry. "It's uncharacteristic."
Streaky from 3-point range
Despite being one of the best shooting teams in the nation this season, Alabama's 3-point shooting on Thursday was inconsistent. While the box score shows a respectable 36% clip, how the Crimson Tide got there was strange. Alabama started with making its first three attempts from beyond the arc, it then made just three of its next 14. The Crimson Tide would make three consecutive 3s again, but would close the game 0-for-5.
"We want to ask ourselves why," said Curry. "Look in the mirror a little bit, I think."