A 17-point deficit in the second quarter was too much for the Alabama women’s basketball team to overcome as the Crimson Tide’s run in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament came to an end with a 76-66 loss to Georgia Tech in Atlanta.
Alabama outscored Georgia Tech 22-15 in the final quarter, but time ran out on the Crimson Tide. Still, Bama finished the season at 22-14, the highest win total since the 1007-98 season.
“We just missed so many looks over and over again,” said Alabama Coach Kristy Curry. “Credit Georgia Tech. I thought they shot the ball extremely well from a lot of different people. It was one of those days where we couldn’t make shots. It’s 17-17 after the first and 17-17 (points scored) after the third. We outscore them by seven in the fourth. It’s that second quarter that jumped up and caught up with us. We have a lot to build on, a lot to be proud of and a lot to move forward with in the future.”
Alabama had four finish in double figures led by sophomore Shaquera Wade’s 15 points. Junior Ashley Williams finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds for her third double-double of the season and 12th of her career. Freshman Jordan Lewis added 13 points and game highs in assists with six and steals with three, while junior Hannah Cook chipped in 11 points. Freshman Ashley Knight had three blocks, bringing her season total to 90.
The Yellow Jackets were led by redshirt junior Elo Edeferioka, who finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Junior Zaire O’Neil added 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while fellow junior Antonia Peresson went 3-for-5 from three-point range and finished with 12 points.
Georgia Tech scored the first points of the game, but Wade answered with five straight to put Alabama in front with two minutes played. The Tide led until the 1:50 mark when a three from Peresson put the Yellow Jackets on top by one, 14-13. Williams scored the next four to give Alabama a three-point edge, but Edeferioka hit a three at the buzzer to tie the game, 17-17, at quarter’s end.
Georgia Tech put up four unanswered to start the second before Lewis knocked down a three for the Tide. The Yellow Jackets went on a 10-1 run midway through the frame to extend their lead out to double digits for the first time and closed out the half by outscoring Alabama, 9-2, over the final 3:18 to hold a 44-27 advantage heading into the locker room.
The Tide scored five of the first seven points of the third, however Georgia Tech would respond with the next four. The two teams would trade baskets for the duration of the frame, both scoring 17 in the quarter. The Yellow Jackets would lead, 61-44, heading into the final period.
Georgia Tech scored on its first three possessions of the fourth to extend its lead out to 24 with 8:13 to go. Alabama answered with the next 10 points to cut the Yellow Jacket lead down to 14, 68-54, with 4:44 to play. Georgia Tech pushed it back out to 19, and the Tide made another run to cut it to 10 by outscoring the Yellow Jackets, 12-3, over a three-minute span but ran out of time.
For the game, Georgia Tech shot 50.0 per cent (29-58), while Alabama finished at 31.8 percent (21-66 from the floor. The Yellow Jackets outrebounded the Tide by one, 37-36, and got 26 points from its bench compared to 8 for Alabama.
Alabama was outscored by 38-24 in the paint, but Bama took advantage of turnovers scoring 19 points off 18 Tech miscues, giving up 12 on 12 turnovers.