COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Alabama women's basketball team made program history after defeating a top-15 opponent in back-to-back games for the first time ever with its 76-63 victory over No. 12 Texas A&M on Thursday night inside Reed Arena in College Station, Texas. The win marks the first time the Crimson Tide (17-11, 7-8 SEC) has defeated the Aggies (22-6, 10-5 SEC) in series history.
The Tide entered Thursday's game with an 0-9 record all-time against Texas A&M, including a 0-5 mark in Reed Arena with all five losses coming by 15 points or more.
We warned y'all about @TheRealJuice40!!! 🔥🎯— Alabama Women’s Basketball (@AlabamaWBB) February 28, 2020
She's got a career-high SIX 3's!!
Q3 - 1:36 | 🐘 56 🤙 37#RollTide #GritAndGratitude 🐘🏀 pic.twitter.com/S8ADOQegHU
Alabama was led by junior Jasmine Walker who notched a career-high 24 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the floor, including a career-best 6-of-12 from beyond the arc and nine rebounds. Junior Ariyah Copeland dominated down low after compiling her third double-double for the season with 18 points and a team-high 12 points. In her first start of the year, senior Cierra Johnson added 14 points and six rebounds, while redshirt junior Jordan Lewis added nine points, a career-high nine assists and six rebounds in the win.
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"Ariyah (Copeland) played with a lot of energy tonight and she really rose to the challenge," said head coach Kristy Curry. "She hasn't had the best few games, but she looked like she did against Auburn a few weeks ago. I thought that Ashley Knight came in well as a reliever and got the big three-point play before the half, those two together were really special tonight. What can I say about Ariyah, she had a double-double against one of the best centers in this league and it was huge for us tonight. It was a credit to everybody — Jordan [Lewis] had nine assists to three turnovers in this environment. It was an incredible effort from our kids."
The Tide jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the first four minutes of the game thanks to eight points from Walker. A&M battled back to tie it at 12-12 after the first period.
Alabama exploded for 27 points in the second frame, led by eight points in the quarter from Copeland. The Tide caught fire, shooting 10-of-15 (67 percent) from the floor, while holding the Aggies to 4-of-16 (25 percent) from the field in the quarter. In addition, the stifling UA defense held Chennedy Carter to just 1-of-11 shooting in the half on its way to the 39-23 halftime lead.
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After Texas A&M cut its deficit to 43-31 with just under six minutes left in the quarter, Alabama expanded its lead to as many as 20 in the quarter and went into the fourth with a sizeable 58-42 advantage.
🚨 Double-Double 🚨— Alabama Women’s Basketball (@AlabamaWBB) February 28, 2020
@_ariyahzc is dominating! 16 pts | 11 rebs 💪💪#RollTide #GritAndGratitude 🐘🏀 pic.twitter.com/hUzPzkddGy
UA held strong in the fourth, despite an A&M run that trimmed the Alabama advantage down to 10 with 5:19 to go. However, the Aggies could not pull within single digits as the Crimson Tide held on for the 76-63 victory.
- Alabama dominated the boards by outrebounding A&M 46-35.
- The trio of Walker, Copeland and Johnson combined for 56 points on 22-of-41 (54 percent) shooting for the night.
- A&M standout Chennedy Carter came in averaging 22 points per game and was held in check after shooting 5-of-20 from the floor.
- Alabama shot 43.5 percent (27-of-62) for the game while holding A&M to just 36 percent (24-of-66). The Tide also went 14-of-15 (93 percent) from the foul line, while hitting eight three-pointers in the victory.
Alabama will play its final regular-season game of the season on Sunday, March 1 for Senior Day against Missouri inside Coleman Coliseum. Tipoff between the Crimson Tide and Tigers is at 12:40 p.m. CT and will be streamed on SEC Network+.