Alabama women’s basketball lost to Kentucky 81-71 at home on Thursday night in Coleman Coliseum, dropping to 0-3 in the SEC and 10-6 overall.
The Crimson Tide beat Kentucky in three of four quarters, but lost the second quarter 28-9. The Wildcats shot 39.0% (16 of 41) in the other three quarters but went 11 of 17 (64.7%) in the second.
“I just thought our effort was poor defensively,” coach Kristy Curry said. “You can’t do that against a really good team, so credit to Kentucky and we will pick ourselves up.”
Kentucky guard Rhyne Howard scored 12 points in the second quarter — more than Alabama’s entire team — and finished with 43 points. She went 14 of 21 from the field and 7 of 11 from three-point range.
“Rhyne Howard may be one of the best players I’ve ever seen and the players around her understand their role and do a great job of sharing the basketball,” Curry said.
The Crimson Tide out-rebounded Kentucky 35-32, but Curry said the communication needs to be better as SEC games in hostile road environments await.
“It’s the highest level, and as you play with bigger crowds and against bigger teams, the crowds are going to take over,” redshirt junior guard Jordan Lewis said. “It is very important to communicate loud and extra often and do everything extraordinary because just regular isn’t enough to win in this league.”
Going forward into the next game against Auburn and the rest of the season, Curry wants to see more confidence in her team. That is something the team has lacked this season and it is a key aspect that is affecting their game.
“We’ve played three really good teams,” Curry said. “The most important thing is to stay together, keep believing in one another, and keep fighting and clawing. We have got to be consistent for four quarters against really good teams.”
Junior forwards Jasmine Walker and Ariyah Copeland led the Crimson Tide with 15 points each. It was Walker’s third straight game in double figures and she also added eight rebounds.
A lively fan base came out to support the Crimson Tide in its matchup against the Wildcats. Despite the loss, the fans continued to keep the energy high throughout the whole game. Both the players and the coaches are thankful for the fans always coming out to support.
The Crimson Tide will play at Auburn Arena against its the rival Auburn Tigers on Sunday, Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. CT.