With Alabama coming into the game on a four-game winning streak, the expectations coming in were another dominate Alabama victory.
That was not the case however, as the Crimson Tide was unable to establish its tempo from the start and had to win a different way. Chattanooga was able to slow the game down and made Alabama play at a slow pace.
In the win against Mercer, Alabama had 71 total possessions and 20 fast-break points. Compared to Saturday afternoon against the Mocs, Alabama had 57 possessions and just six fast-break points.
"It was an ugly win, but those count. We can take a lot away from this, and have a growth mindset," Alabama head coach Kristy Curry said.
This game is an early season "roadmap" of how the Crimson Tide can be beaten this year, and with SEC play quickly approaching, there could be some concern as to how this team will fare against a tougher opponent.
Another thing Alabama struggled with was establishing its press on defense. The team did not use it for stretches in the first half, and really did not look to use it until the fourth quarter, when they were able to play it and got a couple of baskets.
"I think we were pressing a little bit, but we were able to move the ball, run some sets and make the defense shift," Curry said.
Chattanooga's main strategy was to get over the half court line and run their half-court offense, using up most of the clock and forcing Alabama to slow it down. Due to the nature of Chattanooga's offense, Alabama was not able to force turnovers and run the floor, and they had to settle for longer defensive possessions.
Offensively, Alabama had a bad day shooting, 27 percent from 3-point range and 44 percent from the field. This forced Alabama to move to ball inside and settle for tougher shot against Chattanooga (6-4).
Jada Rice was a key player for the Crimson Tide down the stretch. She was three-of-three in the fourth quarter, and her seven rebounds led the team in that stat.
"We were thinking that we cannot walk away with the loss," said Rice about the effort from the team.
Despite the struggles, Alabama moved to 6-2 on the year, earning its fourth-straight win, and looks to a road test against Southern Miss on Sunday.
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