Tide set for Matchup with Auburn on Thursday

Meghan Perkins

Jan. 23, 2013

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The women's basketball team (11-7, 1-4 SEC) will host the Auburn Tigers (13-6, 2-4 SEC) in the first of two meetings scheduled for this season between the in-state rivals on Thursday. The game is slated to tip at 8 p.m. CT at Foster Auditorium and will air live on CSS.

Alabama and Auburn will be meeting for the 76th time in program history on Thursday. The Tigers own a 42-33 advantage in the series and have won the last two against the Crimson Tide, including an 81-40 decision in Auburn, and a 65-55 win in Tuscaloosa, last season. Alabama's last win over Auburn came on Feb. 17, 2011, by a score of 59-51, in Auburn.

The Tide has played four of its last five games against top-25 opponents including at No. 24 Texas A&M, home against No. 6 Kentucky and No. 13 Georgia and away at No. 9 Tennessee. Last time out, Alabama dropped a 96-69 decision to the Lady Vols in Knoxville. Sophomore Daisha Simmons led the game in scoring with 19 points, 12 of which were collected in the first seven minutes of the contest. She was followed by redshirt sophomore Kaneisha Horn (14) and junior Shafontaye Myers (12). Horn also added a game-high 10 rebounds for the fourth double-double of her career.

For the season, Simmons continues to pace the Tide offense with an average of 12.4 points per game. In addition, she contributes a team-best 4.3 assists and 2.7 steals per contest while Horn averages a team-high 5.5 rebounds per game. Alabama ranks No. 2 in the nation in turnover margin, forcing 8.7 more turnovers per game than it commits. This is a drastic improvement over last season's team that averaged 1.8 fewer turnovers than its competition.

Auburn enters Thursday's game having lost its last three contests, however those losses came to ranked opponents in No. 20 Texas A&M, No. 9 Tennessee and No. 5 Kentucky. In the loss to the Wildcats on Sunday, Kentucky took 25 more shot attempts from the floor and was 12-28 from three-point range. The Wildcats also collected 18 steals in the game compared to the Tigers' five thefts.

As a team, Auburn is shooting 44.6 percent from the floor and 31.2 percent from three-point range. Sophomore Hasina Muhammad leads the team in scoring on the season with an average of 16.7 points per game. She is followed by junior Tyrese Tanner (12.8 ppg) and senior Blanche Alverson (12.1 ppg). Senior Najat Ouardad leads the Tigers and the SEC in assists, averaging 6.9 per game while Alverson and Muhammad both pull down a team-best 5.6 rebounds per contest.

In addition to the game being televised, it can be listened to on the Crimson Tide Sports Network on the radio and online at RollTide.com. Fans can also follow along on the team's official Twitter page @AlabamaWBB.