TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama women's basketball team defeated Houston in the Women's National Invitation Tournament Round of 16, 79-64, Thursday in Coleman Coliseum. The Crimson Tide improved to 20-13 (6-10) on the season, while the Cougars fell to 18-16 (8-9 American) in 2021-22.
UA earned its first 20-win season since 2017-18, which is also the last time the Crimson Tide reached the WNIT Quarterfinals.
Megan Abrams and Brittany Davis paced the Crimson Tide in scoring against the Cougars, recording matching 18-point performances.
Davis scored 10 of her 18 points in the first quarter. She ended the game making six of 15 attempts from the field, including a trio of three-point field goals. The veteran added eight rebounds and one steal in 37 minutes of action. Abrams, who was recognized for reaching 1,000 career points pregame, went 5-of-11 from the field, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers, while she also went 6-of-8 from the line. The senior added a career-high six steals and two assists.
JaMya Mingo-Young rounded out the Crimson Tide's double-digit scorers with 17 points, draining a couple of three-point field goals and nine of her 12 attempts at the stripe.
Despite Alabama jumping out to a 24-12 lead on 66.7 percent shooting in the first quarter, it was a back-and-forth affair through the second quarter as the two teams went into halftime tied up at 40-40. Alabama went on a 22-6 run in the third quarter, helping the Crimson Tide maintain momentum until the end.
Alabama made 22 of its 46 attempts from the field for 47.9 percent shooting, including hitting 10 three-point field goals. It marked the 10th time this season UA has hit at least 10 shots from long range. The 10 3-pointers came just three days after the team reset the school record for single-season, three-point field goals made, which is now 259.
From Head Coach Kristy Curry
"Just proud of our team, you know, this time of year to still be playing is a compliment to their energy and effort, their preparation every day and their approach. We were fortunate to come out in the third and play a little bit better defense, get some stops and get to the free-throw line, and be who we needed to be. Again, with our double-digit scorers, I just thought we had a lot of people step up and make plays all night."
News and Notes
- Alabama is in its 48th season with an 811-627 (.563) all-time record. The Crimson Tide is 20-13 (6-10 SEC) in 2021-22.
- Kristy Curry is in her ninth season as the head coach of the Crimson Tide, holding a 153-131 record in her time at The Capstone. Curry is in her 23rd season as a head coach in her career, holding a 462-280 mark all-time.
- Alabama's starting combination included guards Megan Abrams, Hannah Barber, JaMya Mingo-Young and Brittany Davis and center Jada Rice, marking the third straight game the Crimson Tide has used this starting combination. Brittany Davis scored first for Alabama in the game. Allie Craig Cruce was the first sub for the Crimson Tide. Houston won the opening tip.
- Alabama has won eight of its last 10 games, including six of its last seven games.
- The Crimson Tide improved to a 14-7 record in the WNIT Tournament all time.
- The Crimson Tide went 78.1 percent from the free-throw line on 25-of-32 shooting. The 25 makes mark a new team high in 2021-22.
- Six out of the eight Alabama players that saw minutes against the Cougars were able to sink at least one shot from beyond the arc, as the team recorded its 10th game this season posting at least 10 three-point field goals.
- The Crimson Tide was able to turn defense intensity into offense in the home matchup, scoring 28 points off of the Cougars' 19 turnovers.
How It Happened
- Despite Houston scoring first on a three-point field goal, Alabama responded with an 11-0 run thanks to the scoring effort of four different players.
- Alabama led Houston, 24-12, after the first quarter. The Crimson Tide shot 66.7 percent, thanks to 10-of-15 from the field and 4-of-6 from long range. Brittany Davis had a quick 10 points in that period.
- Houston began the second quarter with a scoring advantage, 16-4, in the first five minutes and two seconds. The Cougars' start to the period included a 13-1 run ahead of the media timeout to help Houston tie Alabama, 28-28, at the break in action. However, after the timeout, the Cougars took its second lead in the game on a jumper.
- Both teams would go on small runs in a back-and-forth affair until halftime.
- Thanks to an assist by JaMya Mingo-Young, Megan Abrams scored a three-point field goal at the buzzer to help Alabama tie Houston, 40-40, at halftime. Houston went from 35.7 percent shooting in the first quarter to 66.7 percent shooting in the second quarter, while the Crimson Tide went from 66.7 percent shooting in the first quarter to 42.9 percent shooting in the second quarter.
- Alabama went on a 5-0 run to begin the second half thanks to a handful of free throws. In fact, the first nine points in the third quarter all came from the line (7-2, Alabama). Alabama scored the first field goal of the second half with four minutes and 58 seconds in that period thanks to a jumper by Megan Abrams.
- The Crimson Tide led the Cougars, 62-46, at the end of the third quarter after the Tide outscored the Cougs, 22-6, in that period. The Tide went 14-of-16 from the line in that period.
- Houston cut Alabama's lead to just nine points in the middle of the fourth quarter, 69-60, but a free throw by JaMya Mingo-Young, followed by a three-point field goal by Brittany Davis put momentum back on the Crimson Tide's side.
Alabama will travel to Brookings, S.D., to play South Dakota State Sunday, March 27 at 5 p.m. CT in the WNIT Quarterfinals.