Jan. 4, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. –
The women’s basketball team will play its first Southeastern Conference road game of the season on Sunday when it takes on Texas A&M at Reed Arena in College Station. The game is slated to tip off at 2 p.m. CT.
Sunday’s game can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network on Tide 99.1 FM with Mick Gillispie calling the action. Fans can also follow online via live video feed or live scoring on RollTide.com or on Twitter @AlabamaWBB.
The Crimson Tide and Aggies are meeting for only the second time in series history. The inaugural matchup was played in College Station last season in the Southeastern Conference season opener, where Texas A&M came away with a 92-51 victory.
Alabama is coming off an 85-63 loss to No. 6/6 Kentucky, which put the Crimson Tide at 7-7 overall and 0-1 to start league play. The Tide’s Shafontaye Myers led all players with 20 points, as the senior guard was 8-for-18 from the field, including 4-of-9 from 3-point land. For Myers it was her 11th double-digit performance and the fourth time she’s scored 20-plus points in a game this season. Myers was joined in double figures by Daisha Simmons’ 12 points and Ashley Williams’ 11. Myers continues to pace Alabama’s offense with her 15.1 point-per-game average. She is followed by Simmons (13.9 ppg) and Williams (11.3 ppg), who each also have a team-best 5.9 rebound-per-game average. As a team, the Tide has shot 41.0 percent from the floor, including 32.4 percent from three-point range and averages 67.9 points per game in addition to 40.0 rebounds per contest.
SCOUTING TEXAS A&M
For the second-straight season, Texas A&M (10-4) will place its first Southeastern Conference game of the season against Alabama. The Aggies most recently wrapped up their non-conference slate with a 74-58 victory over UTEP for their third-consecutive victory. In the win, Karla Gilbert had a career-high eight blocks in that game, the second-most blocks in a single game in A&M history. The Aggies currently have three players averaging double-figure points including Courtney Walker (13.1 ppg), Courtney Williams (12.1 ppg) and Gilbert (10.5 ppg). Gilbert also averages a team-best 7.8 rebounds, while Jordan Jones leads Texas A&M in assists (6.1 apg) and steals (2.3 spg).
Kristy Curry is in her first season as head coach on the Alabama sidelines after spending seven seasons in the same position at Texas Tech (2006-13). Prior to her stint in Lubbock, she spent seven years as head coach of the Purdue Boilermakers (1999-2006). Curry’s teams have made nine NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the championship game in 2001, in addition to winning two Big Ten regular season titles and compiling nine 20-win seasons. She holds an overall coaching record of 316-156.
The Aggies are led by 11th year head coach Gary Blair, who guided Texas A&M to the NCAA National Championship in 2011. In the 19 NCAA tournament appearances, Blair’s teams have advanced to the NCAA Final Four twice, the Elite Eight three times and the Sweet 16 on nine occasions. He has coached 22 20-win teams and has 30 NCAA postseason victories. Prior to arriving in College Station, Blair was the head coach at Arkansas (1993-2003). He also spent time as head coach at Stephen F. Austin (1985-93) and was an assistant at Louisiana Tech from 1980-85. Blair is 655-267 in his 28-year head coaching career and 247-104 in 11 seasons as Texas A&M.
CURRY – A&M CONNECTION
Alabama head coach Kristy Curry spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Texas A&M during the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons prior to heading back to her home state to be an assistant under Hall of Famer Leon Barmore at Louisiana Tech. Assistant coach Kelly Curry is also a 1990 graduate of Texas A&M University.
MYERS ONE OF ALABAMA’S BEST THREE-POINT SHOOTERS OF ALL-TIME
Senior guard Shafontaye Myers ranks second in the Southeastern Conference and is 23rd in the nation in three-point field goals made per game, averaging 3.1 threes a contest. For her career, Myers is seventh in the Alabama career record books with 171.
WILLIAMS MAKING A NAME FOR HERSELF
Freshman forward Ashley Williams, who made the first start of her career on against UT Martin on Dec. 4, led the Crimson Tide with a then career-high tying 18 points. The Covington, Ga. native has scored in double figures nine times in 14 appearances thus far and has recorded two double-doubles in the last three games. After averaging 8.8 points and 4.8 rebounds in the first five games of the season, Williams is now averaging 16.8 points and 8.4 rebounds over the last five games for the Tide. She leads the team in shooting percentage, hitting 52.2 percent of her attempts, is third on the team in scoring, averaging 11.3 points per game, and is tied for the team lead in rebounds with 5.9 boards per outing.
SIMMONS DOES IT ALL
Junior point guard Daisha Simmons leads Alabama in nearly every statistical category including assists (4.9 apg), steals (2.2 spg), minutes (33.9 mpg) and tied for first in rebounds (5.9 rpg). She is also second in scoring for the Tide with 13.9 points per game.
NOT JUST ABOUT THE GAME
In addition to games, practice and conditioning, the Tide has been extremely active in the Tuscaloosa community this season, participating in a variety of ways. Some of the groups and events the team has gotten involved in include building houses with Habitat for Humanity, playing games and serving dessert to the residents of Capstone Village Retirement Community, assisting with the MDA Lock-Up event, lunch and making gingerbread houses with the students of the CrossingPoints transition program (students ages 18-21 with disabilities), donated and distributed gifts as part of Project Angel Tree and played games and helped with trick-or-treating at the athletic department’s annual Halloween Extravaganza. In addition, the team went out in groups every week leading up to the start of the season to city and county 5th grade classes as part of its 5th grade Fastbreak program, that culminated with a trip for all schools involved to the game on Dec. 17.
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