WBB Analysis | What we learned from the Tide’s Sunday loss

A road loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks still featured impressive play from guards Destiny Rice and Jordan Lewis.


Courtesy of Alabama Athletics.

A rough road trip for Alabama women’s basketball ended with the team falling to the University of South Carolina Gamecocks 87-63 Sunday. Even with head coach Kristy Curry’s squad struggling in the second half, there were still bright spots in Alabama’s performance.

Losing the Momentum 

Alabama came out guns blazing in the first half. Senior point guard Jordan Lewis started off the game shooting 3 for 3 from the field, scoring nine points. Alabama was getting open looks and unrushed shots, something they were unable to do in the first meeting between the two teams. Alabama was also limiting South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston’s effectiveness on the court.  All five players on the court for the Crimson Tide were doing their fair share, balancing the workload between them. When time expired in the second quarter, Alabama was leading the Gamecocks by one point. Everything seemed to be clicking for Alabama to get their first win against South Carolina since head coach Dawn Staley took over the program.

Then halftime ended. 

South Carolina took over. 

Alabama was suddenly being rushed to make shots, as the Gamecocks became stingier on defense. The Gamecocks were able to penetrate the zone defense of Alabama with effective ball passing. Now South Carolina was getting the wide open looks Alabama had in the first half. South Carolina guard Zia Cooke became unstoppable from the field, scoring half of South Carolina’s 24 third quarter points. 

Alabama no longer had the answers to South Carolina’s challenges. 

After the game, Curry gave the Gamecocks their due for coming back strong in the second half. 

“Just credit [to] South Carolina,” Curry said. “They came out and got some stops and got to the free throw line. We just couldn’t score like we did in the first and second quarter.” 

Alabama outscored South Carolina 41-40 in the first half. 

The tables turned and South Carolina outscored Alabama 47-22 in the second half. 

Alabama’s inability to adjust to South Carolina’s stinginess on defense led to the team’s quick downfall.  

Players Stepping Up 

Sunday afternoon was not all doom and gloom for the Crimson Tide. In the first half of the game, Alabama was getting balanced offensive production. Lewis was against leading the charge, with nine points. Lewis finished the game closer to her SEC conference play average of 20 points with 19 points. She also had two assists and five rebounds. 

Alabama finally saw some much needed production from the bench. 

The bench’s production was led by sophomore guard Destiny Rice. Rice played some meaningful minutes Sunday afternoon, finishing the game with 21 minutes on the court. While on court, she scored nine points and had two rebounds. Rice briefly left the game after taking a fall early in the first half, but showed some grit and returned to the game. 

After the game, Curry praised Rice’s efforts in Columbia.

“Destiny [Rice] is just constantly improving,” Curry said. “She just wants to help her team.”

Her presence and effort on the court caused South Carolina to focus on her a little more. This allowed other players like senior forward Jasmine Walker to get open looks.

Consistent improvement off the bench will be needed for the tough stretch of games still ahead for the Crimson Tide. 

What’s Next 

Alabama falls to 12-4 overall this season, with a Southeastern Conference record of 5-4. The ladies look to stop this late January skid and start February right against No. 22 ranked Georgia. The Crimson Tide will be back in Coleman Coliseum and the matchup is on Feb. 4.