Women’s basketball falls late to Duke in Maggie Dixon Classic

Guard Megan Abrams surveys the court during Sundays loss to the Duke Blue Devils.

Courtesy of UA Athletics

Guard Megan Abrams surveys the court during Sunday’s loss to the Duke Blue Devils.

Austin Hannon, Staff Reporter

Following a 32-point victory over Southern Miss on Wednesday, the Alabama women’s basketball team lost 74-71 to the Duke Blue Devils on Sunday.

The teams faced off in the Maggie Dixon Classic at Texas Christian University.

Alabama guard Megan Abrams led the Crimson Tide with a career-high 27 points on 10-for-18 shooting. She led the team in rebounds, with seven. Her opponent, Duke guard Celeste Taylor, led the Blue Devils with 21 points.

The Crimson Tide had 15 offensive rebounds. 

Alabama head coach Kristy Curry described the game as “two great guards going at it.”

“She’s just really good,” Curry said. “She’s a Texas transfer. Celeste was great; she always is. She’s a really good player.”

The Blue Devils jumped to a 17-9 lead through the first eight minutes and led 20-14 after the first quarter, but the Crimson Tide responded well in the next two quarters.

Alabama cut the lead to four at halftime, trailing 34-30. 

The Crimson Tide only shot 33.3% in the first half but were still in the game with 20 minutes to play. 

Abrams took over in the third quarter. Scoring 11 points in the 10-minute frame, Abrams led her team to a 52-51 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

After a 5-0 run to start the last frame, the Crimson Tide led 57-51 with 8:10 to go.

The combination of Abrams and guard Brittany Davis pushed Alabama through the fourth quarter. Alabama had a 69-63 lead with 2:19 remaining.

Leading by four, guard Myra Gordon was called for a controversial foul that looked like a clean block on Duke guard Shayeann Day-Wilson. Day-Wilson knocked down both free throws to cut the lead to two with a minute remaining.

Curry said she’s not the type to complain about calls, but she wanted more consistency from the referees.

“I thought it was just unbelievable what happened,” Curry said. “I thought Myra had a clean block.”

Trailing by a point, Duke forward Jade Williams scored in the paint to put the Blue Devils up 70-69 with 30 seconds left.

Once again, Abrams answered. She drove into the lane and put in a layup. Alabama led 71-70 with 18 ticks on the clock.

Williams scored again to give Duke the 72-71 lead with six seconds left. On the following possession, Abrams got a good look at the basket but missed the layup. The Blue Devils knocked down two free throws and won the game by 3.

It was a tough loss for the Crimson Tide.

“A lot of tears in that locker room,” Curry said. “I thought our kids really showed a tremendous amount of grit. Great effort. That’s just a tough one to swallow.”

Alabama moves to 2-2 on the season, while the Blue Devils remain at a perfect 4-0.

Next up for the Crimson Tide is a home matchup with the Mercer Bears on Wednesday, Nov. 24, at 6 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network+.

Questions? Email the Sports desk at sports@cw.ua.edu.