The thrilling and lengthy postseason run by Alabama has come to an end.
The Crimson Tide (20-14) fell to South Dakota State (27-9) by a final score of 78-73 in the quarterfinal round of the WNIT, ending Alabama’s season.
Every quarter of the game was unique, as Alabama trailed by as many as 17 and lead by as many as eight.
From the opening tip, it was clear that South Dakota State was going to put the pressure on Alabama.
The Jackrabbits took the opening tip and made a three-pointer within the first 11 seconds of the game, and continued to play at an incredibly fast pace, making three three-pointers in the first two minutes of the game.
The hot start ignited the sellout crowd inside Frost Arena in Brookings, S.D., which was its largest crowd for a game since 2015.
Alabama’s offense struggled mightily, rushing shots in an erratic effort to catch up to South Dakota State’s blazing pace. The chaotic nature of Alabama’s offense lead to a 15-4 run by the Jackrabbits to end the first quarter, resulting in a double-digit lead and no signs of momentum for the Crimson Tide.
In the second quarter, though, Alabama looked like an entirely different team. The Crimson Tide tightened up its efforts defensively, doing its best to run South Dakota State shooters off the three-point lane and improving on its close-outs.
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Alabama found success offensively from All-SEC second team selection Brittany Davis as well as senior center Jada Rice, with shots in the lane falling at a promising rate.
Davis was incredible the entire game, scoring 28 points on 11-of-21 shooting.
The lead was cut to as little as two points, but the Jackrabbits answered with a very fast 12-0 run to end the half, extending its lead back to double digits.
After halftime, Alabama caught some major momentum of its own. Turnovers from the Jackrabbits, many of which were steals forced by Davis, helped Alabama go on a lengthy run over the course of the quarter to get back into contention, and take an eight point lead heading into the final quarter. Alabama scored an incredible 34 points in the third quarter.
Just like every other quarter of the game, the final period felt like an entirely different game. The Jackrabbits used a 14-0 and the momentum of the crowd to rally and take the lead, creating an exciting back-and-forth affair. Turnovers ultimately did Alabama in, with multiple possessions late in the game coming up empty before a shot could even be taken.
Despite the loss, Alabama’s ending to the season was nothing to scoff at. Having only two SEC wins at one point in February, the Crimson Tide won four of its last six game, and made the quarterfinals of both the SEC Tournament and WNIT.
There was zero quit in this team, and Curry and her players can be proud of the effort that was shown to end the season.
This story will be updated with quotes from head coach Kristy Curry.
Gallery: Alabama vs South Dakota State