STORRS, Conn. - In a game that came down to the final minute, the Alabama women's basketball team's season concluded Saturday in a heartbreaking, 78-74, loss in the first round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament to the seventh-seed Baylor Bears.
Baylor took the lead with 3:32 left to play in the game, but the Crimson Tide put together a 6-0 run to move ahead by three points with less than a minute to play. Foul trouble over the final minute of action, however, sent the Bears to the free throw line where Baylor converted 7-of-8 shots from the stripe to take the win.
The 10th-seeded Crimson Tide (20-11) was led by a 33-point performance from Brittany Daivs which tied the school's NCAA Tournament scoring record set by Yolanda Watkins in 1995. Davis' 33 points also tied a career-high as the UA senior additionally recorded a career high in three-point baskets with seven on the night. Jada Rice and Sarah Ashlee Barker both tallied 11 points and four boards in the game.
Baylor (20-12) was led by Ja'Mee Asberry, who tallied 26 points in the game. Caitlin Bickle had 14 points, seven boards and four assists while Sarah Andrews had 14 points, five assists and four blocks.
Alabama jumped out to an early 12-0 lead with Davis contributing 10 of UA's first 12 points.
UA would continue its dominance in the opening stanza, outscoring the Bears 22-4 Baylor, but closed the gap thanks to seven three pointers in the second quarter, with Ja'Mee Asberry going 4-of-4 from distance.
The two teams swapped baskets but Baylor would go on to outscore UA 26-19 in the second.
UA was 51.9 percent from the floor and 58.3 percent from distance as the Tide held an 11-point advantage (41-30) heading into halftime.
Davis finished the half with 22 points, including making 4-of-5 shots from beyond the arc Baylor was 35.7 percent from the floor and 46.7 percent from distance.
A 16-3 run to start the third quarter gave the Bears their first lead of the game (46-44) Alabama responded with an 8-2 run to regain the lead at 52-48 with 3:48 remaining in the quarter.
Baylor found a late 8-0 run to move ahead at 71-68 with 3:32 on the clock.
A three-pointer by Davis tied the game at 71-71 with just over a minute and a half to play as an and-one from Jada Rice gave the Tide a three-point advantage with 53 seconds on the clock, but Baylor would take a 7-0 run from the free throw line over the final 53 seconds to secure the four-point win
Alabama Head Coach Kristy Curry
"First of all, I'm really proud of the kids in that locker room for the season that they've had. Obviously, we're visibly upset. Any time that -- I mean, you have a group of kids that have poured their heart and soul into the program for three straight postseasons. For a group of kids that came to Alabama and turned the program around and put it on a trajectory that's really special, the legacy that they will leave is (that) they left it a whole lot better than they found it.
"So, I don't want their body of work to take away from how disappointed they are today. I'm really proud to be their coach and love them a lot. We just had too many mistakes down the stretch. A silly foul, a travel, a missed box out there on the free throw. Basketball is a game of mistakes. I don't want those three mistakes to define who they are and what they've done for the program. Baylor made some plays down the stretch, and we weren't able to. At the end of the day, that's the game."
- Davis tied UA's NCAA Tournament scoring record set by Yoland Watkins against Duke during the 1995 tournament.
- The 33 points also tied a career-high for Davis, in addition to her seven three-points in the game tying a career-high.
- Baylor's four points in the opening stanza marked a season low for the Bears in points scored in a single quarter.
- UA tied Baylor in shots from distance as both teams made 14 baskets from beyond the arc.
- Alabama held the lead for over 35 minutes of the game Alabama was 49.1 percent from the floor and 53.8 percent from distance.
- Baylor shot 45.5 percent from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc.