Despite an 11-point comeback in the fourth quarter, the Alabama women’s basketball team fell short to Georgia 76-67 in overtime . The loss puts the Crimson Tide at 12-15 (4-10 SEC), while the Lady Bulldogs improve to 17-10 (8-6 SEC).
Seniors Taylor Berry and Shaquera Wade were both honored with their families for senior night. Wade has been an essential part of the team’s success the past four years, and Berry earned a scholarship as a walk-on last season.
“I loved the fight,” head coach Kristy Curry said. “I told these two kids next to me (Taylor Berry and Shaquera Wade) that I thought that was as good of a performance from two seniors on senior day, I just hate we couldn’t finish it off for them today.”
Both players showed fight and toughness throughout the contest. Wade starting for the Crimson Tide was a big factor down the stretch, and Berry was a key player off the bench recording 10 minutes.
“It’s definitely bittersweet, four years really flew by,” Berry added. “I was really proud of our response that we gave because I felt like even though things weren’t going our way out on the court, we responded and kept ourselves in the game.”
The Crimson Tide was led by junior Cierra Johnson tallying 23 points, 12 rebounds and five assists getting her first career double-double. Following her, Shaquera Wade recorded 19 points, four rebounds, and two assists. Sophomore Ariyah Copeland had 10 points.
From the start, it was a back-and-forth battle. There were seven lead changes and eight ties throughout the game.
Both offenses came out shooting, and after a 13-10 lead by Georgia after the first media stoppage, Alabama rallied back to take a 19-18 lead into the second quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs went on a 7-2 run until Johnson hit a three-pointer as the shot clock went off. Alabama struggled with turnovers and getting fast-break points trailing 34-27 at halftime.
A back-and-forth third quarter trading shots and struggling shooting 3-of-11 for 27 percent Alabama trailed 49-40 heading into the final quarter.
After trailing by 11 late in the fourth quarter, the largest deficit of the game, Alabama went on an 11-0 run to even the score at 51. After a series of timeouts by both teams, late fouls and a blocked shot Georgia missed the game-winning last-second layup.
In overtime, Wade fouled out, and Georgia eventually pulled away to win.
The Crimson Tide shot 23-of-60 for 38 percent from the field, while the Lady Bulldogs shot 29-of-69 for 42 percent. Both teams recorded 41 rebounds. Alabama went 18-of-24 for 75 percent from the foul line.
The last time the two teams met, Alabama had 36 bench points, compared to the teams six tonight. An area of concern the past few games has been bench involvement, and the Crimson Tide continues to search for those answers.
On what was a special night for the seniors, and a game that was arguably the teams best performance in SEC play, the Crimson Tide is starting to find success in places where its struggled all season.
Alabama returns to action Thursday, Feb. 28 against Ole Miss in its final home game of the season. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.