Advertisement

Alabama women's basketball falls to Baylor in NCAA Tournament despite Brittany Davis' 33 points

Alabama women’s basketball jumped out to a double-digit lead but faltered during the next three quarters in a 78-74 loss to Baylor in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Storrs, Connecticut, on Saturday.

Alabama, a No. 10 seed, jumped out to an early lead thanks to 10 fast points by Brittany Davis and led by 18 points after the first quarter. Alabama led by 11 at the half, but Baylor went on a 16-4 run to take the lead in the third quarter. The score was tied at 71 with 1:30 left, and Alabama took the lead on a layup by Jada Rice with less than a minute to go but No. 7-seeded Baylor (20-12) got to the foul line enough to escape with a win.

The Crimson Tide (20-11) ends the season on a five-game losing streak.

Career game for Brittany Davis

Many times this season Alabama has gone as Davis has gone, and Saturday was the same way but for another reason. Davis put on a show on the biggest stage this season, scoring 15 of the Crimson Tide's first 22 points. She ended the first half with 22 points of 6-of-8 shooting, including 4-or-5 on 3-point attempts.

She slowed down in the second half but finished tied for her career high of 33 points, which tied the Alabama NCAA tournament record.

LOYAL MCQUEEN:Why Loyal McQueen turned down South Carolina offer, landed with Alabama women's basketball

SCOUTING:Alabama women's basketball vs. Baylor in NCAA Tournament 2023: March Madness prediction

Fabulous first quarter

The Crimson Tide held Baylor to its lowing scoring output in any quarter this season, allowing only four points in the first quarter. The defense held Baylor scoreless for the first 4:48 and the final 4:43 of the 10-minute quarter. Even more impressive Alabama scored 22 points, 15 from Davis. The offense did struggle later in the quarter, going scoreless over the last 2:43.

Crimson Tide survives Baylor's first run, but not second

After trailing by 18 after the first quarter, the Bears slowly closed in on Alabama, finally taking their first lead with 5:35 left in the third quarter. Baylor scored 50 points in the second and third quarters, shooting a combined 17-for- 29 from the field, including an 11-for-13 shooting stretch from 3-point distance.

Baylor went on a 12-2 run in the fourth quarter to retake the lead, as Alabama went scoreless for over four minutes. Baylor was able to control the last six minutes of the game.

"I thought in the third and fourth, we had too many mental mistakes. We gave up 24 and 24. We put them at the free-throw line. They were in a situation late where they didn't have a foul the last minute and a half of the fourth. We just made too many mistakes," Alabama coach Kristy Curry said. "I thought we quit being aggressive, and you can't quit being aggressive this time of year. And we weren't able to get to the free-throw line. I think we had 13 second half turnovers. Those things really catch up with you down the stretch, and they caught up with us."

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Alabama women's basketball falls to Baylor in NCAA Tournament