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Alabama Women's Basketball Drops Fourth Game in a Row, Loses 85-77 to Florida

The short-handed Crimson Tide was unable to get it done at home.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Hoping to bounce back from a series of unfortunate losses, Alabama began Sunday afternoon's game already behind the eight-ball.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, Alabama would be without starting point guard Hannah Barber, as well as reserves Ahriahna Grizzle, Nia Daniel, and Allie Craig Cruce against Florida.

"I've had small-roster teams, when they know there's nobody else. We need to take that approach," Alabama head coach Kristy Curry said. "At the end of the day sometimes you do your best and you come up short. It's growth. Right now we're developing, we're growing, we're learning and I couldn't be more proud."

The Crimson Tide (10-7, 1-5 SEC) would fall to the Gators (13-6, 3-2 SEC) 85-77.

Despite the depleted roster, Alabama looked ready for a dogfight against the Gators in the early minutes. Both teams traded blows early, resulting in a one-point lead for the Gators by the end of the first quarter. Though trailing, Alabama looked more locked in defensively than it had in recent games, with more effective rotations forcing a wider difficulty of shots.

Senior guard Taylor Sutton looked eager to take advantage of her first start of the season, scoring six first quarter points and being aggressive offensively. 

By halftime, Alabama's defensive intensity was hitting its peak. The Crimson Tide forced nine steals and recorded an additional three blocks in the first half, allowing for a two-point lead to be built entering the break.

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The second half saw an immediate uptick in scoring from both squads. Florida began to score at will inside, but Alabama responded by drawing fouls and finishing through contact time and time again. Guards JaMya Mingo-Young and Megan Abrams finished multiple and-ones each, sparking the energy of the Alabama sideline in the process.

Sophomore forward Khyla Wade-Warren stepped up in the third quarter, scoring seven of her nine total points. 

"[My confidence] has grown pretty greatly, even in the last couple days," Wade-Warren said. "We've had no choice but to step up, and to have my teammates and coaches have my back means a lot."

Early in the final quarter, guard Brittany Davis got her turn to handle the scoring load, nailing two threes to give Alabama a comfortable eight point lead. Florida refused to go away, though, and continued scoring at will in the paint, retaking the lead with just over three minutes to play after a 7-0 run. Alabama made merely one of its last eight field goals down the stretch, leading to a seven point win for Florida.

Abrams and Davis led Alabama offensively per usual, with 22 and 19 points apiece. Mingo-Young stepped up tremendously in the absence of Barber, posting 18 points and recording four steals. 

"Coming into the game we knew that we were down people so we have to have next-man-up mentality," Mingo-Young said. "It wasn't just me that had to step up in scoring. Khyla came in a did a great job for us, so that's the mindset for us, next man up."

The Crimson Tide will get another home game on Thursday to try to right the ship and get back in the win column. Arkansas will visit Coleman Coliseum for an 8 p.m. tip.

Final stats

Final stats