TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Looking to snap its four-game losing streak, Alabama came into Thursday night's game missing a key player once again.
After starting senior guard Hannah Barber as well as other reserves returned to the lineup, senior Megan Abrams was ruled out this time around due to COVID-19 protocols.
The Crimson Tide (10-8, 1-6) fell to Arkansas (12-6, 2-3) by a score of 99-71, marking its worst defeat of the season and extending its losing streak to five.
In addition to missing Abrams, Alabama's offense looked wildly out of sorts in the first half. Before a steal and runout layup from Mingo-Young with mere seconds left in the quarter, Alabama's only points came from three-pointers without much movement offensively. Arkansas was clicking on all cylinders, making its first four shots and using a 16-3 run throughout the majority of the quarter to race out to an early double digit lead.
Reserve forward Allie Craig Cruce provided a nice spark for Alabama to start the second quarter, drawing a charge and scoring inside early on. The lead got down to as little as five points, but defensive lapses from Alabama led to a wide variety of open shots for the Razorbacks, as three after three was made. Arkansas made seven of its 14 three point attempts in the first half resulting in a 17 point halftime lead.
The second half proved to be more of the same for the Crimson Tide. Arkansas got any look it wanted, whether that be a rattled in three, a wide open cut to the basket, or an offensive rebound leading to a putback. Alabama could not get a shot to fall, and Arkansas' lead grew to be more than insurmountable. The Razorbacks would coast to a win over the course of the second half.
"You could talk about a lot of things, from our on-ball defense to making sure we meet our switches, our communication," Alabama head coach Kristy Curry said. "There's a lot of negativity obviously, from maybe things that aren't going our way right now, but at the end of the day you have to either work on the adversity or it's going to work on you."
The bright spots for Alabama included guards Brittany Davis and JaMya Mingo-Young, who scored 20 and 22 points respectively and accounted for 42 of Alabama's 71 points.
"We have to go back individually and look at ourselves in the mirror," Mingo-Young said. "We also have to let it go because we do have a game on Sunday so we can't sit and dwell on a loss for too long."
The Crimson Tide will travel to Auburn on Sunday in a rematch against its lone conference win of the season. Tipoff will be at 3 p.m. CT, and Abrams is expected to be available.