Women’s basketball winning streak halted at five

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Women’s basketball winning streak halted at five

CW / Austin Bigoney

CW / Austin Bigoney

CW / Austin Bigoney

CW / Austin Bigoney

Carey Reeder | @realCareyReeder, Staff Reporter

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Alabama women’s basketball’s five-game winning streak was snapped on Saturday as it fell to Southern California 60-57 in the Crimson Tide’s last game of the 2019 South Point Thanksgiving Shootout.

Alabama (5-2) shot 33% (21 of 63) from the field in the game after averaging 81 points per game during its five-game winning streak.

Sophomore guard De’Sha Benjamin put in 13 points on 50% shooting and senior guard Cierra Johnson had 11 points and five rebounds and were the only Crimson Tide players in double figures.

After a stellar two-game run that featured going 9 for 10 from three-point land, redshirt junior guard Jordan Lewis took a step back on Saturday, going 3 for 11 from the field and making one of five attempts from beyond the arc with seven points on Saturday.

“We’re disappointed,” coach Kristy Curry said in a release. “We weren’t able to hit shots, especially in a situation where both teams are tired.”

The lead jumped between the two teams early in the first quarter with neither building more than a four-point advantage. The Trojans held an 18-14 lead after the first period.

In the second quarter, the Crimson Tide offense sputtered, shooting 4 of 16 in the period and missing all five attempts from three-point range. USC shot the same 25 from the field as Alabama and only extending their lead by two points to 28-22 at halftime.

A back-and-forth third quarter saw Alabama cut into the Trojans lead by one at 44-39 going into the fourth quarter.

A normally potent Alabama bench produced 27 points on Saturday and was a key factor in the lowest scoring output by the Crimson Tide all season.

“I thought our bench would’ve helped us a little more,” Curry said. “We didn’t have good play from our backcourt so that hurt us as well.”

Junior forward Jasmine Walker, who scored nine points in the game, knocked down a three-pointer to open the final period but was answered with a 6-0 run by USC to extend its lead, which grew to as many as 11.

Six straight points from sophomore guard Megan Abrams, who had eight points in the game, cut the lead to four with 2:34 to play. Johnson hit three free throws to bring the Crimson Tide within one, but USC converted their trips to the line down the stretch to withstand the Alabama comeback bid.

The Crimson Tide made 5 of 11 shots from the free throw line in the final quarter and shot 57% from the charity stripe in the game.

Alabama will now turn its attention to the SEC/Big 12 Challenge as it hosts Iowa State on Thursday at 6 p.m. in Coleman Coliseum, the first home game for the Crimson Tide since Nov. 17.

“We just have to be more consistent,” Curry said. “That’s the most disappointing thing from this experience.”