Alabama hands Lady Vols historic 4th straight loss, 86-65
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Cierra Johnson scored eight of her 17 points in a dominating fourth quarter and Alabama sent No. 20 Tennessee to its fourth straight loss Thursday night, 86-65, the first time since 1970 the Lady Vols lost four consecutive games.
Alabama (10-8, 2-3 Southeastern Conference), which has won five straight in the series after losing 42 straight, led 60-55 entering the fourth quarter. Tennessee (12-5, 1-4) missed its first 12 shots of the fourth quarter and by the time Evina Westbrook broke the drought with 3:21 to play, the Crimson Tide had put together a 17-3 run and led 77-60.
Tennessee lost its first six games of 1970 but only have scores for four of those games and no results for the next four. The late Pat Summitt took over the program in 1974 and coached the Lady Vols to 1,098 wins before stepping down in 2012 because of illness. Holly Warlick has been the coach since.
The last three-game skid was in February 1986 and included back-to-back home losses for the first time since December 1996.
Never before had the Lady Vols program lost even three straight SEC games and or lost to Alabama by a margin this large.
Unlike the previous three, decided by a total of eight points, the fourth quarter turned this one into a rout. Tennessee finished 3 of 21, 1 of 9 from behind the arc. Alabama went 9 of 17 with two 3-pointers. The Lady Vols finished at 34 percent, Alabama at 50 percent.
Ariyah Copeland had 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting with nine boards and three blocks for the Tide. Shaquera Wade added 15 points, Jasmine Walker 14 and reserve Ashley Knight 11 for Alabama.
Westbrook had 19 points for the Lady Vols and freshman Zaay Green 14 with 11 rebounds for her first career double-double. Tennessee’s only leads were 10-9 in the first quarter and 32-31 in the second. It as 36-34 at halftime.