Lessons learned: A look into Alabama Women’s Basketball’s recent struggles

Robert Cortez, Staff Reporter

For Alabama Women’s basketball and teams across the sports world, there’s one key factor to winning games: finish strong. However, a strong finish in basketball may topple the rest, as the victor can be decided within seconds. Great basketball teams find a way to win closely-contested games that come down to the last few possessions. 

Alabama women’s basketball fell on the wrong side of these close games last season; collecting a 7-9 record in games within a 10-point differentiation. If Alabama had won a couple more of these games, then they would have had a chance to capture its first NCAA tournament berth since the 1999 season. 

More can be learned from a loss than a win, and Alabama must learn from last year’s losses in order to come out on top of close games in the future.

Lessons to learn from last years losses:

November 6, 2019 – Hampton 64, Alabama 61: As mentioned earlier, a strong finish is of the utmost importance in basketball. Hampton outscored Alabama by four points in the fourth quarter, resulting in a three-point loss. 

January 9, 2020 – Kentucky 81, Alabama 71: Alabama was outscored by 19 points in the second quarter. Alabama will have to minimize scoring runs by opponents in order to keep within striking distance. 

January 20, 2020 – Tennessee 65, Alabama 63: Alabama must be strong on the glass to prevent opponents from offensive rebounds and capitalize on its own offensive rebounds. In this contest, Tennessee scored 12 points off of offensive rebounds while Alabama only scored two. 

January 23, 2020 – Texas A&M 79, Alabama 74: Alabama did not play clean basketball, which resulted in Texas A&M capturing 21 points from the free-throw line. This game against the Aggies also showed the importance of playing a complete forty minutes. Alabama was outscored in the final quarter by ten points, losing the lead it had heading into the fourth quarter. 

February 6, 2020 – Kentucky 66, Alabama 62: Ball security is crucial to preventing extra possession for opponents. Alabama turned the ball over 17 times, compared to Kentucky’s six, resulting in 21 extra points for the Wildcats. 

February 16, 2020 – Georgia 76, Alabama 75: Alabama’s defense had a lackluster first-half performance, allowing Georgia to outscore it in the first two quarters. This gave the Bulldogs a cushion to fall back on in the second half, which proved vital in its defeat of Alabama. A strong start in the first half is needed to stay in a game and still give the team a chance to win if a slow second half is to follow.  

March 5, 2020 – Georgia 68, Alabama 61: Ball security proved important once again in the first round of the SEC tournament. Alabama committed five more turnovers than Georgia, resulting in three more points off of turnovers for the Bulldogs. 

Luckily for head coach Kristy Curry, four of the five predicted starters for this upcoming season were also in the starting lineup last year. The experience brought back to the team can prove vital toward success, if these past experiences have been learned from, and can help bring the program back to the national stage for the first time in 22 years.