For the fifth time in the last seven meetings between the Alabama and Georgia women’s basketball teams, the game went to overtime. And for the fifth time, the Bulldogs came away with the overtime victory, this time by a 83-76 final in Coleman Coliseum Thursday night.
“That’s just two really good teams,” Alabama coach Kristy Curry said. “That’s tough to be on this side of the way the ball bounced down the stretch.”
Destiny Rice had the opportunity to take a 76-75 lead in overtime for Alabama if she could make her two free throws. Instead she missed both and No. 25 Georgia closed the game on a 8-2 run to seal it.
Rice had her best game of the year, finishing with a season high 12 points.
Another big turning point in overtime was senior forward Ariyah Copeland fouling out with four minutes left after getting called for fouls on back-to-back possessions.
Copeland had been dominating down low for Alabama in the regulation period. She already had a double-double by halftime and finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Jasmine Walker also had a double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds.
Without Walker, Alabama might not have even made it to overtime. Alabama was down 66-60 when Walker converted an and-one opportunity after an offensive rebound on a missed free throw helped complete a five-point possession to cut the Georgia lead to 66-65.
“Being that we emphasize on rebounding, I just had to go get it,” Walker said of the possession. “I saw an opportunity, and I just went and got it.”
Two possessions later Walker sunk two free throws to give Alabama a lead at 69-67, its first lead since early in the third quarter, but then the Crimson Tide was held scoreless the final 2:27 of regulation.
This is the Crimson Tide’s third straight loss overall and was the second game in a row that Alabama held a halftime lead over a ranked opponent, but was once again outscored in the third quarter, this time 22-15. Alabama falls to 12-5 (5-5) SEC.
Alabama is off on Sunday before traveling to Ole Miss next Thursday at 6 p.m.
“We’ll be ready to go for next week’s opportunity because we can either be frustrated as I’ve said, or we can be fascinated and really enjoy the opportunities ahead,” Curry said.