Jan. 11, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. –
The women’s basketball team (7-8, 0-2 SEC) returns to action on Sunday hosting Ole Miss (9-7, 0-2 SEC) at Foster Auditorium. The game is slated to tip off at 2 p.m. CT.
TIDE WELCOMES BACK ALUMNI; CELEBRATES 20th ANNIVERSARY OF 1994 NCAA FINAL FOUR TEAM
The women's basketball team welcomes back former players, coaches, support staff and managers Jan. 11-12 for Alumni Weekend. All alumni in attendance will be recognized during Sunday's game against Ole Miss, which will tip off at 2 p.m. CT. Additionally, the 1994 Final Four team will be honored at halftime in recognition of the 20th anniversary of its tournament run.
Fans will receive a commemorative team photo of the 1994 NCAA Final Four Team. In addition, the first 100 children 12 and under will get a free hot dog and drink. There will also be free admission for all Big Al’s Kids Club members.
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 Rebels are meeting for the 54th time in the series on Sunday and first in Tuscaloosa since the 2011-12 season. Alabama has won the last two meetings, but trails 33-20 overall. In last year’s game in Oxford, the Tide came away with an 83-75 victory. For the game, the Tide shot 44.8 percent (30-67) while the Rebels were 38.5 percent (25-65) from the floor. Alabama had 22 assists in the game and had one of its best outings from the free throw line, shooting 81.8 percent (18-22).
Alabama heads into its matchup with Ole Miss with a record a 7-8 overall and 0-2 in Southeastern Conference games. Last time out, the Crimson Tide dropped a 73-58 decision at Texas A&M despite a second-half run that cut the Aggie lead down to three. Alabama has three players averaging double-digits including senior Shafontaye Myers (14.9 ppg), junior Daisha Simmons (14.3 ppg) and freshman Ashley Williams (10.9 ppg). Simmons also leads the Tide in assists (5.1 apg) and steals (2.3 spg), while Williams has pulled down a team-best 5.9 rebounds per game. As a team, Alabama ranks fifth in the SEC in three-point field goals made per game, averaging 5.7 threes.
SCOUTING OLE MISS
Ole Miss enters Sunday’s game with a 9-7 overall record and an 0-2 mark in Southeastern Conference play. After starting the season 1-4, the Rebels won their next seven straight before being edged out at then-No. 9/9 Baylor, 87-80. Ole Miss won its final non-conference game after against Austin Peay and has since lost conference matchups vs. Missouri and at No. 5/5 Tennessee. The Rebels are led offensively by senior Valencia McFarland and junior Tia Faleru, who each average 15.5 points per game. Faleru is also the team and SEC leader in rebounds, averaging 9.9 boards per contest, while McFarland has dished out a team-best 6.3 assists per game. As a squad, the Rebels rank third in the league in rebounding offense (45.2 rpg) and are fourth in three-point field goal percentage defense, allowing 25.8 percent per game.
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 316-157.
The Rebels are led by first-year head coach Matt Insell. Prior to taking over in Oxford, Insell spent five seasons as an assistant at Kentucky where he helped lead the Wildcats to four 20-win seasons and four trips to the NCAA Tournament. In each of his last four seasons in Lexington, Kentucky finished ranked in the top-25.
After recording just one block over the first nine games this season, sophomore forward Khadijah Carter has had 12 in the last six games. As a team, the Crimson Tide averages nearly four blocked shots per game.
MYERS ONE OF ALABAMA’S BEST THREE-POINT SHOOTERS OF ALL-TIME
Senior guard Shafontaye Myers ranks second in the Southeastern Conference and is 18th in the nation in three-point field goals made per game, averaging 3.0 threes a contest. For her career, Myers is seventh in the Alabama career record books with 172.
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 15 appearances thus far and has recorded a pair of double-doubles. After averaging 8.8 points and 4.8 rebounds in the first five games of the season, Williams is now averaging 15.0 points and 7.8 rebounds over the last five games for the Tide. She leads the team in shooting percentage, hitting 53.0 percent of her attempts and rebounds with 5.9 boards per game and is third on the team in scoring, averaging 10.9 points per game.
MIDDLEBROOK SIDELINED FOR SEASON DUE TO INJURY
Freshman guard Karyla Middlebrook has been redshirted and will miss the remainder of the season due to a lingering hip injury. Middlebrook started for Alabama in its first seven games, where she averaged 6.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 23.0 minutes per outing. She then missed the next six games before returning to limited action against Kentucky on Jan. 2.
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