The secret to getting more road wins could be a more aggressive approach on defenseBy Matt Speakman | 01/26/2016 4:15pm
This season, Alabama’s women’s basketball has been the tale of two teams.
On one hand, the team defends its historic home court of Foster Auditorium better than most, but the team has struggled to find success on the road, particularly in the SEC.
At home, Alabama boasts an 11-1 record, with its lone loss coming against the Vanderbilt Commodores on Jan 10. When in front of its home fans, Alabama averages 76.4 points per game while holding its opponents to 51 points per game. Opponents shoot 31.9 percent when visiting Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama, who shoots 41.7 percent in home games.
Team defense has been the key to many of Alabama’s home wins. In Tuscaloosa, Alabama has forced 20 turnovers a game. When the team does not force turnovers, it tends to have trouble, an example being against Vanderbilt, where the Crimson Tide only forced 15 turnovers, five under its season-at-home average.
Alabama has also faced three conference opponents at home this season. In those three games, the team is 2-1, with both of the wins coming by more than 10 points. In the two wins, the team averaged 63 points, while falling short of that by 15 points in its lone home conference loss against Vanderbilt.
So, if Alabama is able to defend its home court so well, why does it struggle on the road? Well, one of the reasons is starting slow out of the gate. In six road games, Alabama has only lead at the end of the first quarter once (Auburn), and has led zero times going into halftime.
Alabama’s bread and butter of forcing turnovers and running the fast break has not worked very well on the road. In those six games, the Crimson Tide has averaged 17.8 turnovers, only forcing over 20 turnovers twice, as opposed to 10 times while at home.
The Crimson Tide's key to more road wins could be an aggressive defensive effort that can create turnovers by stealing the ball that will lead to fast break points.
Alabama’s next home game will come against Texas A&M on Jan. 27, while its next road game is against Tennessee on Jan. 31.