Alabama's comeback attempt came up short as the Crimson Tide lost their fourth straight game Thursday night, this time a 67-62 loss to Ole Miss in Coleman Coliseum for the annual Power of Pink game.
"It was a really physical game, but we weren't as physical as they were, and I thought that that was the big difference in the game down the stretch," coach Kristy Curry said.
This is Alabama's first loss to an unranked opponent on the season, and the team falls to 12-6 overall, 5-6 in the SEC. Ole Miss improved to 9-7, (3-7 SEC.)
The Alabama offense struggled in the first half, only making eight shots from the field and trailed by 11 at halftime. An 8-0 run to start the third quarter helped the Crimson Tide get back in the game.
Two Jordan Lewis free throws at the end of the third gave Alabama a 47-45 lead, its first since opening the game up 2-0. Alabama then pushed that lead to 52-47 in the fourth before Ole Miss went on a 12-0 run.
After that run by the Rebels, Alabama could never retake the lead. The Crimson Tide did cut the deficit to 64-62 with 34 seconds left, but could not get a stop on defense after, and the Rebels sunk their free throws to seal the win.
The Alabama defense had trouble all night stopping Ole Miss forward Shakira Austin. She shot 9-15 from the field and had 25 points and 13 rebounds.
"I thought we had us well prepared, just for whatever reason, we certainly allowed her to catch and move freely," Curry said about the performance from Austin.
On the offensive end, Alabama had its worst three-point shooting performance of the season. The Crimson Tide was 4-18 from deep. Senior forward Jasmine Walker came into the matchup leading the SEC in made three-pointers per game, but went 1-7 on the night.
Walker had 14 points, and Megan Abrams added 12 points before fouling out with over five minutes left in the game. Lewis finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds, her first double-double of the season, but was not pleased with herself as a leader on this team.
"I don't think I'm playing up to the level of being the leader that I need to be for my team so what's important to me right now is our teammates and winning games, so I think that I need to be better in my role," Lewis said.
Next up for the Crimson Tide is a rematch with the Auburn Tigers on Sunday at 5 p.m. in Auburn Arena. Alabama previously beat the Tigers 67-55 back in January.