Tide Comeback Falls Short Vs. Vandy

When Alabama’s women’s basketball team defeated Auburn last week, that was good. But it came at a price with sophomore Breanna Hayden getting a two-game suspension after being involved in a fight. Hayden may or may not have made a difference in Sunday’s tough loss to Vanderbilt.

Alabama started the game ice cold and came up just short in its comeback attempt Sunday, falling to Vanderbilt, 55-52, in Foster Auditorium. Khadijah Carter took a last-second, three-point shot that bounced off the front of the rim as the buzzer sounded.

The loss moves the Tide to 12-10 overall and 1-6 in conference play.

Next up Alabama will take to the road, heading to Columbia to face one of the nation’s best teams, South Carolina, on Thursday. The Tide and Gamecocks will tip off at 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network +.

Alabama started the game 0-11 from the field before Karyla Middlebrook hit a jumper at the 9:52 mark. The Commodores led by as many as 16 in the first half, but Alabama trailed by only 32-24 at the half.

“I’m just really disappointed in how we started the game,” said Coach Kristy Curry. “The first 10 minutes of the game were extremely embarrassing and disappointing. People outside were saying how it was a good job of fighting hard and trying to put yourself in a position to win, but we have got to understand that we want to win games. We are here to win. We’ve got to understand that we have to put 40 minutes together. Today, we didn’t put 40 minutes together, and you cannot win in this league not putting 40 minutes together. It’s just disappointing today.”

Alabama rallied to even the score at the 10:58 mark of the second half and took its first lead moments later following a pair of made free throws from Meoshonti Knight. From that point forward, the two teams battled as the clock ran down to the final seconds with the Tide determining its own destiny. Down three with 10 seconds to play, the Alabama offense produced a three-point opportunity for Carter, but her shot grazed the front of the rim as time expired.

Ashley Williams led the Tide with 12 points, while Hannah Cook contributed 11. Middlebrook put up nine points and provided four assists in a career-high 39 minutes. Nikki Hegstetter led all rebounders with nine.

For the game, Alabama shot 31.5 per cent (17-54), while Vanderbilt hit 46.9 per cent (23-49) of its attempts. The Commodores outrebounded the Tide, 39-32, and outscored Alabama in the paint, 30-18.

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