Women's Basketball Continues Road Swing at No. 9/8 Kentucky on Thursday



Jan. 22, 2014

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The women's basketball team (8-10, 1-4 SEC) will face No. 9/8 Kentucky (15-3, 3-2 SEC) for the second time this season on Thursday, Jan. 23. The game is slated to tip off at 6 p.m. CT in Memorial Coliseum.

Thursday's game can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network on 790 AM 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.

Sunday kicked 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 Wildcats are meeting for the 41st time in the series on Thursday. Kentucky is one of three teams Alabama will play twice this season, with Texas A&M and Auburn being the other two. The Wildcats lead 24-16 overall and have won nine of the last 10 meetings, including this year's SEC opener on Jan. 2. The Tide's lone win during that stretch came on Feb. 16, 2012, when Alabama stunned the seventh-ranked Wildcats, 77-75, thanks to a 70.0 percent (21-30) shooting effort in the first half.

Alabama went 0-2 last week with a loss at home to Auburn (61-39) and on the road at No. 8 South Carolina (77-51), leaving the Crimson Tide at 8-10 overall and 1-4 in the Southeastern Conference. Alabama struggled offensively, shooting 27.1 percent (32-118) over the course of the two games, including a 24.2 percent mark from three-point range. Freshman Ashley Williams was the Tide's most consistent performer, averaging 14.0 points per game and 5.0 rebounds per contest.

Kentucky traveled to Auburn for its only game of the week and grinded out a 73-71 win. The Wildcats shot 45 percent from the floor (27-of-60) and just 44.8 percent from the free-throw line (13-of-29). Junior Jennifer O'Neill finished with a team-high 16 points off the bench, hitting a season-high tying four three-pointers. Senior Samarie Walker grabbed her second straight double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while also dishing out a career-high four assists. Freshman Linnae Harper added 13 points and pulled down a career-high tying seven rebounds, including five offensive boards.

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 317-159.

The Wildcats are led by seventh-year head coach Matthew Mitchell, who has taken Kentucky to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments. His 2012-13 squad finished the season No. 7 in the nation, which was the highest final rank in Kentucky annals. The winningest coach in program history, Mitchell holds a 159-65 record as coach of the Wildcats and a 189-94 mark overall in nine seasons.

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