Alabama women’s basketball season ends in heartbreaking fashion
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Jeremy Bryant
In a battle of attrition to the end, the University of Alabama women’s basketball team faltered against South Dakota State University in the WNIT Quarterfinals 78-73.
Alabama came into the game having already fended off the Houston Cougars in a close win to get to the Quarterfinals. SDSU had a much easier route, beating Drake soundly to advance to the next round to play on their home floor.
The Tide got off to a slow start, while the Jackrabbits surged on both ends from the beginning of the game. Alabama found themselves down 15 points in the first quarter before they turned the tide and crawled back in the second quarter with a big run to get within 2 points of the lead.
The biggest problem that plagued the Tide was the amount of foul trouble they were suffering from. Brittany Davis accrued two early first-quarter fouls, while JaMya Mingo-Young was tagged with three first-half fouls limiting their time on the floor. Alabama head coach Kristy Curry was forced to go to a smaller lineup without her best scorer and wing defender and use more of a zone defense scheme.
The Jackrabbits took off there as they ended the first half on a 12-0 run to diminish all the momentum the Tide had going to reach back into the game.
Once the second half started, it looked like SDSU was playing a completely different team. The Tide came out and blazed the Jackrabbit in the third quarter on the backs of their star contributors. Davis scored 16 points in the quarter en route to her game-high 28 points.
The Tide outscored their opponents 34-12 in the third quarter, but then the Jackrabbits took back control of the game in the fourth. The Tide’s energy drained in front of the sold-out crowd as their shooting troubles began haunting them again.
SDSU ripped off a 14-2 run to begin the fourth as Alabama managed to only scored 9 points in the period. The end of the game became interesting as Mya Abrams hit a clutch jumper to give Alabama a 1-point lead before the two-minute mark. Lindsey Theuninck became the unlikely hero as she knocked down two late 3-pointers to cause the arena to erupt and send the Jackrabbits to the semifinals.
Alabama’s tumultuous and exciting season comes to a close, and SDSU will go on to play UCLA in the next round Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN.