Women’s basketball travels to Georgia seeking much-needed win


CW / Kelsey Mullins

Robert Cortez, Contributing Writer

Alabama women’s basketball faces Georgia on Sunday in a game with big SEC standing implications.

It has almost been a week since Alabama women’s basketball beat rival Auburn, 68-64, in its Power of Pink game, and the team will head on the road to face another rival in the Georgia Bulldogs.

“We do feel like we’ve got a lot of momentum,” coach Kristy Curry said. “We need to come out and be the aggressors.”

The last time Alabama and Georgia faced off was last year in Coleman Coliseum, and the Bulldogs handed the Crimson Tide a 76-67 loss in overtime. That loss led to the year’s series being split since Alabama had won earlier in the year in Athens. The recent rivalry has been competitive between the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs, as three of the last four matchups have gone into overtime. Alabama lost all three overtime games.

“I think they’re [Georgia] a tough team, but you have to play every game like it’s a regular game and you can’t look at the name in the front of their jerseys,” redshirt junior guard Jordan Lewis said.

The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs each head into the game tied for eighth place in the SEC with a 4-7 conference record. Both squads enter Sunday having won their previous game.

The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs also both badly need wins to have a chance at the NCAA Tournament, ranking 76th and 83rd in the RPI, respectively. Last year, the three lowest-ranked at-large bids to the tournament were Nos. 50, 51 and 60.

“I think it’s very big especially since we’re moving towards the end of the season,” sophomore guard Megan Abrams said. “Games are getting less so I think it’ll be good for us to get this win.”

Alabama has the advantage over Georgia offensively. The Crimson Tide is fourth in points scored in the SEC, 72.1 points per game, while Georgia is at the bottom in scoring in the SEC, ranked 13th with 62.4 points per game.

Lewis leads the Crimson Tide with an average of 12.6 points per game and is coming off of a 17-point performance against Auburn.

Abrams played 30 minutes against Auburn while scoring 8 points on 4-of-9 shooting.

“We have to protect the ball and not turn it over,” Lewis said. “I think we have to take advantage of the pressure and attack the basket.”

Georgia guard Gabby Connally ranks in the top 10 in the SEC in assists per game and steals per game. Center Jenna Staiti ranks 10th in the conference in blocks per game.

The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs’ defenses are both very similar in rebounds, blocks and steals. Alabama averages just over 36 rebounds while the Bulldogs average just under 35. Alabama averages just under four blocks per game while Georgia averages just over four blocks per game, which ranks fourth in the SEC. Both the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs rank in the bottom half of the conference in steals.

“You got to defend the glass and make sure you take care of the basketball,” Curry said. “The most aggressive team in all categories in scoring the basketball, getting to the free-throw line and taking care of it will win on Sunday.”

The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs square off on Sunday, Feb. 16, at noon in Athens.