- Associated Press - Sunday, February 2, 2014

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Alabama was on a roll at the end of January with two milestone wins against Kentucky and Georgia.

But with a loss Thursday to Florida and another one to Tennessee on Sunday, this Crimson Tide team still has a long way to go under first-year head coach Kristy Curry.

“We control two areas as a staff: we either coach it or we allow it, and we’ll continue to coach every day and win tomorrow,” Curry said. “.We’ll continue to get better.

“I don’t think there’s anybody that walked out of here today that can say Alabama isn’t a whole lot better, and every night if we can continue to do that, do it for longer periods of time, we’ll give ourselves our chance regardless of who we play.”

Alabama (10-12, 3-6 Southeastern Conference) came out strong in the first half and led Tennessee by as many as 15 points before letting the Lady Volunteers back into the game on scoring droughts. With a final of 64-54, it was the difference of shots falling in the first half and not the second.

“We started the second half, I thought we had great shots,” Curry said. “You’ve just got to make shots. Tennessee made shots, and we missed shots.”

Alabama shot 41 percent from the field in the first half, including 36 percent from the 3-point line, and then fell to 27 percent from the field in the second. Tennessee, on the other hand, went from shooting 28 percent from the field in the first half to 54 percent in the second half.

Curry also noted that the Tennessee post players were a big factor in the outcome.

“I thought their skill and size hurt us on the offensive glass,” she said. “They weren’t hitting an open look from 3, and they were getting the put-back and getting to the foul line.”

Daisha Simmons led the Tide with 18 points, and Shafontaye Myers added 11.

Cierra Burdick led Tennessee (18-4, 7-2) with a career-high 21 points and added 11 rebounds for her third double-double of the season.

“She was very settling for us,” Tennessee coach Holly Warlick said of Burdick. “We went in a stretch where we weren’t making shots, we were missing layups, and we weren’t getting stops, and she held our team together. That’s stuff you don’t see in the stat sheet.

“She hit big shots for us, she got big rebounds, she had one turnover, she’s just been solid, and today she was huge for us.”

Also stepping up for the Lady Vols were Meighan Simmons, who had 11 points, and center Isabelle Harrison, who had 11 points, 11 rebounds and a game-high six assists.

“Our post did an excellent job of passing the ball tonight,” Burdick said. “. Alabama did a great job of doubling, tripling our post, and our post (players) were able to find our open guards.”

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