Recap | Women’s basketball stumbles against no. 3 Texas A&M 

The Aggies effectively snapped the Crimson Tide’s three-game winning streak – a loss characterized by long scoring runs and lackluster defense around the perimeter. 

Ashlee Woods | @ashleemwoods, Assistant Sports Editor

Fans did all they could inside Coleman Coliseum to spur the Alabama women’s basketball team to victory. The energy was not enough. Alabama fell to the #3 Texas A&M Aggies, 73-67 Thursday night. 

Score to Win

Alabama is no stranger to long scoring droughts. It was an issue that plagued the team during their four-game losing streak. Thursday night, those issues returned. Overall, Alabama didn’t have a bad night shooting; the team shot 41.4% from the field. 

It was shooting consistently that hurt the Crimson Tide. 

Midway through the second quarter, Alabama scored ten unanswered points to take the lead from the Aggies. Excellent shotmaking by junior guard Hannah Barber and senior guard Jordan Lewis helped the Crimson Tide close the gap. 

Texas A&M would respond in a massive way. 

First, a timeout was called. Then, both teams returned to the floor. But the Aggies changed their defensive approach. Texas A&M now had all of their defenders on the perimeter and forced Alabama to make contested shots. 

Unable to get inside and shoot from outside, Alabama’s scoring run came to a screeching halt. 

Texas A&M would finish the first half of Thursday’s game on a 13-0 run. This run all but put the nail in the coffin for Alabama’s chances of winning. Alabama not being able to adjust to Texas A&M perimeter defense spelled their downfall. The team fought for every shot. But few went in the basket. The size of Texas A&M coupled with stout defense made shooting consistently a tall task. 

After the game, Alabama head coach Kristy Curry discussed the Aggies’ run in a press conference. 

“It definitely did, and I need to coach better,” Curry said. “I need to go back and look at lineups, look at possessions and see what I did and didn’t do to help them more. But we also have to make plays. We can’t be satisfied with evening it,” Curry said.

Despite Barber scoring the first basket in the third quarter, Alabama allowed the Aggies to score twelve unanswered. Alabama must find a way to prevent extended scoring droughts going into Sunday afternoon’s matchup against #16 Arkansas. 

Defend The Ball

Alabama struggled on the defensive side of the ball as well. During the team’s three-game winning streak, Alabama was defending the perimeter very well. Teams were struggling to shoot mid and long range jumpers. Alabama forced opposing teams to beat Alabama inside the paint. 

Texas A&M beat Alabama inside and outside. 

Thursday night, the Texas A&M Aggies shot 46.7% from field goal range and 50% from three point range. The Aggies created wide open looks for players like senior guard Destiny Pitts. However, the team couldn’t find the key and unlock their perimeter defense. Texas A&M was able to repeatedly pick on Alabama’s post defense by driving inside from the perimeter. The Aggies’ strong movement to the inside and ball-handling kept Alabama’s defense at bay. During the post-game press conference, head coach Curry discussed Alabama’s struggles defending the perimeter. 

“We allowed too many of their perimeter [players] to get great looks in the paint,” Curry said. “So, you’re not just talking about post defense when you’re talking about points in the paint. You gotta defend the perimeter. We gotta do a better job of that, regardless. This league is about getting to the rim and we gotta do a better job at defending the ball.”

It was a rough night for Alabama around the line. Even when the defense did come alive, Texas A&M was able to adjust and create favorable matchups. 

The Texas A&M Aggies provided a tall challenge for Alabama. Even in a loss, Alabama still showed a ton of heart. But Alabama must stop hurting themselves if they want the SEC—and potentially the NCAA— tournament to be successful. This team can’t afford any more extended scoring drought or lackluster defensive performances. 

This loss can be a lesson going into Sunday afternoon’s matchup against #16 Arkansas.