TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — For the second time this week the Alabama women’s basketball team took a late loss to a ranked opponent, falling to Texas A&M 79-74 inside Coleman Coliseum on Thursday night.
However, instead of taking a loss on a buzzer-beater like it did at Tennessee on Monday, No. 15 Texas A&M successfully made its final five field goal attempts to close out the game while Alabama dropped its final four attempts from the floor.
“I thought the difference in the game was that A&M gets to line 32 times, we get there 13 times," Crimson Tide coach Kristy Curry said. "I thought we were able to the second half put ourselves in a position with our rebounding and to have 15 assist and only seven turnovers, we did a lot of really, really good things. I thought they were able to make a play at the end. No, it wasn’t what we wanted. We wanted a catch-and-shoot three and didn’t execute there at the end, so I need to coach better.
"The most important thing in the world to me is these kids know we have lost to No. 4, No. 12, No. 15 and No. 23. We have had the toughest opening in the SEC. We can learn from that and we can continue to put these experiences into play because we have lost to some really good teams and tonight was another good team.”
The loss dropped the Crimson Tide to 11-8 (1-5 SEC) but pushed the Aggies to 16-3 (4-2 SEC) for the season.
Junior Jasmine Walker contributed 18 points and five rebounds for Alabama. Walker has reached double figures in all six SEC contests this season. The junior is leads the team with an average of 16.8 points and 7.5 rebound per game in conference play.
Junior Jordan Lewis had 17 points and seven assists, moving up to No. 8 all-time in career assists at Alabama with 357. She's also reached double figures in scoring nine straight games.
Sophomore Megan Abrams nailed 11 points and seven rebounds, which set a new career-high in rebounds. Abrams also went a perfect 5-of-5 from the free-throw line.
Abrams tied the score in the beginning of the first quarter, 3-3, after knocking down a free throw. Lewis pushed the Crimson Tide up to a 6-3 lead after draining a 3-pointer. The Aggies fought back before senior Cierra Johnson interrupted with a 3-pointer, tying the game 11-11.
Sophomore De’sha Benjamin also contributed 3 points, helping Alabama jump back into a 16-14 lead. After Texas A&M scored one from off the glass, sophomore Brittany Davis finished the first quarter with a layup and 18-18 tie.
Alabama marked the beginning of the second quarter with a 3-pointer from Johnson, tying the score 20-20. Walker broke that tie with a 3-pointer, pushing Alabama to the lead that was maintained to halftime. Alabama entered halftime holding Texas A&M by four points, with a 36-32 lead.
Lewis started up the second half with two points off the glass, putting Alabama up 38-32. Shortly after, Lewis threw up another three points which increased the margin by six. The Aggies put a free throw on the board before Walker answered with a layup, pushing Alabama up 47-37. Alabama ended the third quarter with a five-point lead, 56-51.
The two teams went back-and-fourth during the fourth quarter, tying at 61 and 64. Texas A&M scored a 3-pointer with 30 seconds remaining for a 75-73 lead. Alabama missed a 3-point opportunity before the Aggies made two consecutive free throws to close out the game.
Alabama plays another home game against Vanderbilt on Sunday afternoon. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. CT.