The slow start did not phase Brittany Davis.
Alabama (14-11, 5-9) built on its upset of Tennessee last week by going into College Station and defeating Texas A&M (14-12, 4-10) by a final score of 81-79 in double overtime.
“Just a hard-nosed, great team win,” Alabama head coach Kristy Curry said. “We had so many people down the stretch step up and make play after play on both sides of the ball.”
From the opening tip, it was clear that rebounding was going to be an issue for the Crimson Tide on this road trip. The Aggies outrebounded Alabama by seven in the opening period, including six offensive rebounds that lead to nine second chance points.
Perhaps the most prominent setback for Alabama was the 1-10 start from the field by Davis, Alabama’s leading scorer, who has scored double-digits in all but two games this season.
“I told JaMya, Brittany, and Megan that we have to impact the stat sheet in a different way,” Curry said. “I loved the way they responded to that challenge. You miss a shot, you can’t allow that to affect you on the defensive end.”
Starting center Khyla Wade-Warren picked up three fouls in the first half, causing her to miss significant playing time.
Texas A&M did not shoot well from beyond the arc, shooting only 24%, but that did not matter for the Aggies. Texas A&M was able to get whatever looks it wanted in the paint, whether that be driving for a layup, feeding a cutting wing player, or a post-up working to perfection.
Full-court pressure from the Aggies gave Alabama fits towards the end of the first half, contributing to multiple turnovers and the lead being extended to nearly double-digits by halftime, which would be a challenge to overcome.
The second half finally saw Alabama find a rhythm offensively, with Davis finding somewhat of a stroke from outside and senior guard Megan Abrams taking on the majority of the scoring load herself, finding success in the driving game. Alabama was able to cut the lead down to just one point entering the fourth quarter, setting up for an exciting finish.
Both squads traded turns retaking the lead over the final four minutes of the game, with Davis overcoming her slow start and nailing two big-time three-pointers in the clutch, and Abrams getting a tough layup to go to take a two point lead with only 1.4 seconds remaining. Unfortunately for Alabama, a defensive lapse lead to a wide-open layup for the Aggies at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.
A dead-even overtime period led to double overtime, where Davis caught fire, hitting two threes in the period leading to the Alabama win.
“It was an unbelievable third and fourth quarter by her,” Curry said. “Especially in a game where it was so tight and every game mattered. When you can make those shots under that kind of pressure, it certainly has to help your confidence heading into the next one.”
Davis was superb following her slow start, finishing with 32 points. Abrams also ended with 26, marking the second game in a row that both Abrams and Davis have scored at least 20 points.
Alabama will be back in action on Thursday night as it travels to Baton Rouge to take on No. 11 LSU at 7 pm CT.