Jan. 29, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. –
The women’s basketball team (10-10, 3-4 SEC) hits the road yet again, traveling to Gainesville, Fla., to take on the Florida Gators on Thursday, Jan. 30. The game is slated to tip at 6 p.m. CT and will air live on FS Florida.
Thursday’s game can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network on 99.1 The Tide 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 Gators are meeting for the 54th time overall in the series that Alabama holds a 29-24 advantage in. Florida has won the last three meetings, two in Gainesville and one in Tuscaloosa. The Tide’s last victory against the Gators came on Feb. 13, 2011, when Alabama reopened Foster Auditorium, winning 64-59. The Tide’s last win in Gainesville came on Feb. 28, 2010, by a score of 66-61.
Alabama won back-to-back Southeastern Conference games in January for the first time since 2006, beating No. 9/8 Kentucky, 57-55, in Lexington and Georgia, 69-66, in Tuscaloosa last week. The victory over the Wildcats was the first in Lexington since 2002 and the first win on the road against a top-10 team for the Crimson Tide since it beat eighth-ranked Old Dominion, 79-68, on Dec. 5, 1998. Junior Daisha Summons made several key second-half shots, but none more important than the last, hitting a layup with three second left on the clock to seal the victory at Kentucky. She finished with a game-high 21 points, while sophomore Nikki Hegstetter had a game-best nine rebounds. Sunday’s victory over the Lady Bulldogs snapped a 23-game losing skid to Georgia, which dated back to the 1997-98 season. In Sunday’s win, Alabama was led offensively by senior Shafontaye Myers, junior Sharin Rivers and freshman Ashley Williams, who each added 16 points. Williams also had a team-high nine rebounds, while Myers contributed a team-best four assists and two steals. The Tide out-rebounded both Georgia and Kentucky and had their best game from the free throw line in the win over the Lady Bulldogs, hitting 16 of 19 attempts.
The Gators halted their season-long three-game slide with a solid win against Auburn on Sunday when six players scored in double-figures in a balanced offensive effort. During the win, senior Jaterra Bonds became the 13th Gator to top the 1,400-point plateau and moved past Gator All-American and two-time Olympic gold medalist DeLisha Milton into second place in UF history for made free throws in a career, as Bonds’ fifth make from the line was the 368th of her career. Bonds leads all SEC players this year in made free throws (148, 6.1 pg) and free throw attempts (148, 7.4 pg).
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 319-159.
The Gators are led by Amanda Butler, who is in her sixth year at Florida. In each of her seasons in Gainesville, the Gators have advanced to postseason play, making two NCAA tournaments and four WNIT appearances, including the WNIT semifinals a season ago. Prior to coaching Florida, Butler was head coach at Charlotte for two seasons (2005-07). She holds an overall record of 174-110 in her eight seasons and a 134-88 mark as head coach of the Gators.
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