Tide Women Just Miss Upset Of Bulldogs

The Alabama women’s basketball team came up just short against No. 14/16 Mississippi State, 57-55, in front of a record crowd of 3,133 in Foster Auditorium on Sunday. With the loss, the Crimson Tide stands at 13-16 overall and 2-12 in the Southeastern Conference, while the win brings the Bulldogs to 25-4 on the season and 10-4 in league play.

Sophomore Ashley Williams, once again, led Alabama (and all scorers) with 21 points, hitting eight of her 11 attempts from the floor. She was joined in double figures by redshirt freshman Karyla Middlebrook, who had 11 points after hitting 8-of-9 free throws. Mississippi State had four players finish in double figures, led by freshman Victoria Vivians with 14.

The first five points of the game were scored from the free throw line, four of which belonged to Alabama. Mississippi State evened the score at 4-4 at the 15:11 mark as Vivians hit the first basket from the floor for either team. With the exception of three more ties, UA led until the 4:38 mark when the second of two made free throws for senior Martha Alwal gave the Bulldogs a 16-15 edge. The game would go back and forth over the final minutes of the period, but a three for Mississippi State freshman Blair Schaefer with seven seconds remaining on the clock would give the Bulldogs a 27-25 advantage at the half.

Mississippi State continued to lead until a jumper from Williams with 13:24 to go put Alabama in front by one, 34-33. The Bulldogs scored a pair of quick buckets to give them the lead back, which sparked a 7-0 run for Mississippi State. The Bulldogs went on to lead by as many as eight, but the Tide would not back down and strung together a 6-0 run of its own late in the half to cut its deficit to two. Alabama forced a turnover on Mississippi State’s final possession, giving the Tide one last shot to tie or win the game with 18.9 seconds left, but the attempt was unsuccessful, giving the Bulldogs the win.

For the game, Alabama shot 41.5 percent (17-41) and limited Mississippi State to 31.7 percent (19-60). The Tide also held the Bulldogs nearly 20 points below their season average and forced 21 turnovers.

Alabama will play its final home game of the season on Thursday when it hosts the Florida Gators at 6 p.m. Briana Hutchen, Sharin Rivers and manager Anna Locklier will all be honored as part of the team’s Senior Day festivities.

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