Women drop drop decision to VaTech

TUSCALOOSA -- Poor free-throw shooting and turnovers haunted the Alabama women's basketball team as their 53-game non-conference home winning streak was snapped by 23rd ranked Virginia Tech, 68-51 on Sunday afternoon.

The Tide enjoyed a 32-29 halftime advantage, after a first half highlighted by strong defense by both teams. Bama converted only 33 percent of their first half baskets, while the Hokies shot just short of 31 percent from the field.

"We had ourselves in position to do something, especially in the first half," Alabama head coach Rick Moody said. "We were executing our half-court offense pretty well, and we were obviously playing very well on the defensive end."

The second half would be anything but close for the Crimson Tide, as Virginia Tech began the period with a 21-5 run, eventually stretching their lead to 18 points. The Hokies also took advantage of Alabama's foul troubles, hitting just over 79 percent of their free throws overall, including 85 percent in the second half.

Alabama was not as successful from the charity stripe. After hitting 75 percent of their first period free throws, the Tide cooled from the line, converting just eight of 20 attempts for 40 percent in the second half. Turnovers were also a problem for both squads, as Bama turned the ball over 22 times to the Hokies' 18.

Monique Bivins and Navonda Moore led the Tide in scoring with 12 points each. Lauren Hill was the only other Tide player to score in double digits, adding 10 points of her own. Bivins also led Alabama in rebounding, collecting seven boards.

Erin Gibson, Ieva Kublina, and Dawn Chriss each scored 13 points to lead the Hokies in scoring. Gibson was also Virginia Tech's top rebounder, pulling down 12 boards.

Alabama owned the rebounding edge in the game, pulling down 41 rebounds to Virginia Tech's 38.

"I thought we let an opportunity slip through our fingers today," Moody said. "How many opportunities do you get against a top 25 team?"

Alabama will have a week to prepare for their next opponent: the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles. The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 15 at Coleman Coliseum.

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