Lady Vols’ downward spiral continues in loss to Alabama

The Lady Vols traveled to Tuscaloosa on Thursday looking to turn around their season. Unfortunately, Tennessee could not find its stroke from the field in a 54-46 loss.

Lady Vols

Lady Vols

[title_box title=”Lady Vols’ downward spiral continues in loss to Alabama”]

After dropping out of the AP Top 25 for the first time in three decades, the Tennessee Lady Vols dropped their 12th game of the season to the Alabama Crimson Tide, 54-46, on Thursday night in Tuscaloosa.

Neither team could pull ahead early. The largest lead the Lady Vols held in the entire contest was a three-point lead late in the first quarter. However, Tennessee went the final three and a half minutes of the opening frame scoreless, giving Alabama the opportunity to gain a 15-14 first-quarter edge.

The second quarter was a complete disaster for Tennessee offensively. The Lady Vols missed all twelve of their field goal attempts and did not put points on the board until a pair of Bashaara Graves free throws with just over four minutes left in the quarter. Graves led all scorers with 15 points, but was not helped by a Tennessee bench that scored two points collectively.

Turnovers have been Tennessee’s kryptonite all season long. Against the Crimson Tide, the offense kept ball movement relatively mistake free, turning the ball over only 13 times compared to Alabama’s 19.

What the Lady Vols could not do was make shots consistently. This team has struggled from the floor for the majority of the season, but Thursday evening might have been a new low. Tennessee shot an abysmal 26 percent from the field and did not make a single three-pointer on 11 attempts.

The game picked up steam in the final quarter. Trailing 45-34 with under six minutes left in the contest, the Lady Vols began picking up momentum offensively. Mercedes Russell capped off an 8-0 run with a layup that cut the Crimson Tide lead to three with a little over two minutes remaining.

But Tennessee’s comeback bid was halted by a couple of late-game turnovers. Alabama did what the Lady Vols could not do to LSU by putting the game away at the free throw line.

Tennessee (16-12, 7-8) is in danger of finishing below .500 in conference play for the first time in the program’s illustrious history. The team plays their final regular season game at home against Georgia this Sunday. Tipoff is at 1 p.m. ET.

Featured image by Wade Rackley

Edited by Cody McClure

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