Women’s basketball beats back-to-back top-15 opponents for first time


CW / Hannah Saad

Robert Cortez, Contributing Writer

Despite a late offensive surge from No. 12 Texas A&M, Alabama women’s basketball held on to the defeat the Aggies, 76-63, on the road on Thursday night. This win marked back-to-back wins over top-15 teams, which is the first time this has happened in program history.

“Just incredible grit,” coach Kristy Curry said . “This bunch has come to work everyday, with great leadership at the point guard position. It’s just a tremendous team effort by our kids and credit to our kids.”

According to NCAA women’s basketball bracketologist Charlie Creme, Alabama will move up to the next four out in the NCAA tournament bracket. Alabama was ranked No. 64 in Rating Percentage Index (RPI) before the game and the win will only improve the Crimson Tide’s RPI.

“This was another huge RPI game for us,” Curry said. “We are at [64] right now; we have hope and hope is still alive in Tuscaloosa.”

Alabama didn’t trail after the 8:37 mark in the first quarter, and led for the final 29 minutes of the game.

The Aggies offense looked to narrow the lead in the fourth quarter, but senior guard Cierra Johnson made a couple of baskets to keep the Aggies from coming within reach. Johnson finished with 14 points in her first start of the season.

Sixty-nine of Alabama’s 76 points came from its five starters, who played 171 of a possible 200 minutes.

Junior forward Jasmine Walker led the Alabama offense with six 3-pointers and 24 points, which matched her career high. Walker also collected nine rebounds and three assists in the 39 minutes she played.

Junior forward Ariyah Copeland scored 18 points, which marked a new season high, and added 12 rebounds for her eighth career double-double.

The Crimson Tide out-rebounded the Aggies, 46-35, which was something Curry said would need to happen if the Crimson Tide hoped to walk out of College Station with a win.

Redshirt junior guard Jordan Lewis, the reigning SEC Player of the Week, played all 40 minutes of the game and posted 9 points in the win.

The Crimson Tide will close out the regular season in Coleman Coliseum on Sunday, March 1, against the Missouri Tigers. Tipoff is set for 12:40 p.m. CT.