Women's Basketball Travels to No. 8/8 South Carolina

Jan. 18, 2014

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The women’s basketball team (8-9, 1-3 SEC) heads to South Carolina to take on the eighth-ranked Gamecocks (16-2, 4-1 SEC) on Sunday. The game will tip off in Colonial Life Arena at 2 p.m. CT.

Sunday’s game can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network on Tide 99.1 FM with Roger Hoover calling the action. Fans can also follow online via live video feed or live scoring on RollTide.com or on Twitter @AlabamaWBB.

Sunday kicks off “We Back Pat” Week in the Southeastern Conference. At every SEC women’s basketball game from Jan. 19-16 – 19 games in 13 cities – a variety of efforts including promotional public address announcements and video endorsements will help to increase awareness of the foundation and its mission to raise awareness fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Alabama players will be wearing purple shooting shirts, and the staff will also be wearing purple throughout the game.

The Crimson Tide and Gamecocks are meeting for the 34th time in the series that dates back to 1979. South Carolina has won the last eight straight, including a 77-35 victory at the SEC Tournament the last time the two teams met. Alabama’s last win in the series came on Jan. 10, 2008 by a score of 65-54.

Alabama enters Sunday’s game with an 8-9 overall record and a 1-3 mark against Southeastern Conference opponents. The Crimson Tide will look to improve on its offensive struggles last time out as it shot just 21 percent and had 21 turnovers in the loss to Auburn on Thursday night. Senior Shafontaye Myers continues to lead Alabama in scoring with an average of 15.6 points per game, while freshman Ashley Williams leads the Tide in rebounds at 5.9 boards per game. Junior Daisha Simmons dishes out a team-best 5.1 assists.

South Carolina is 16-2 overall and 4-1 in SEC play for just the second time in school history, matching the start of the 2001-02 team. The Gamecocks have the league’s most productive frontcourt as the only team with multiple non-guard entries on the list in junior forward Aleighsa Welch (13.9 ppg, 13th) and freshman center Alaina Coates (12.1 ppg, 23rd). Between her scoring and assists, sophomore guard Tiffany Mitchell has had a hand in 30.7 percent of the team’s scoring this season – 15.8 ppg scoring, 7.1 ppg scored on her assists. The Gamecocks also boast the only freshman to rank among the league’s top 20 rebounders and top 25 scorers in Alaina Coates. Coates is averaging 13.4 points and 10.0 rebounds in SEC play, ranking 18th and second, respectively.

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 317-158.

The Gamecocks are under the direction of sixth-year head coach Dawn Staley, who was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in the fall. In the last two seasons South Carolina has posted back-to-back 25-win seasons and reached the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the first time in a decade (2011-12). It was Staley's first Sweet 16 spot as a head coach after competing in three Final Fours as a player. Staley has led her teams to eight 20-win seasons and a total of 10 postseason appearances (two WNIT).

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