Women's Basketball Hosts No. 5/6 Auburn Sunday

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Sophomore Varisia Raffington leads the Tide in scoring in SEC contests with 15.4 points per game
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Sophomore Varisia Raffington leads the Tide in scoring in SEC contests with 15.4 points per game
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

Feb. 7, 2009

Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

ALABAMA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL (12-11, 0-8 SEC) vs. NO. 5/6 AUBURN (22-1, 7-1 SEC)
Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tipoff: 2:00 p.m. (CST)
TV: WVUA (Tape Delayed)
Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network
Promotions: NCAA Pack the House Challenge

Alabama and Auburn:
The history between Alabama and Auburn dates all the way back to the Tide's first season. The first-ever matchup between the two programs was played at Auburn on Feb. 14, 1975 where the Tigers won 93-71. Alabama's first win against Auburn came just one season later when the Tide topped the Tigers on March 1, 1976 71-62. Since the beginning, there have been a total of 69 games played between Alabama and Auburn with the series edge slightly in favor of the Tigers 37-32. Auburn is currently on a six-game winning streak over Alabama. The Tide's last win against the Tigers was on Jan. 8, 2006 in Tuscaloosa, while Alabama's last win on the road at Auburn came on Feb. 10, 2002 by a score of 60-57. Below is a listing of the last ten matchups between the two institutions.

Jan. 22, 2009

L, 84-66

Auburn, Ala.

Feb. 14, 2008

L, 74-49

Auburn, Ala.

Jan. 27, 2008

L, 62-48

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Feb. 1, 2007

L, 93-61

Auburn, Ala.

Jan. 7, 2007

L, 63-58

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Jan. 26, 2006

L, 65-56

Auburn, Ala.

Jan. 8, 2006

W, 68-54

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Feb. 17, 2005

L, 74-63

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Jan. 23, 2005

L, 59-43

Auburn, Ala.

Feb. 26, 2004

L, 72-40

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Scouting Auburn:
Auburn enters today's game at 22-1 overall this season and 7-1 in conference play. The Tigers only loss came last week when it was defeated on the road at Georgia 67-58. Last time out, Auburn took care of business against Ole Miss beating the Rebels 72-65 at home.

The Tigers boast one of the best combinations in the SEC in seniors DeWanna Bonner and Whitney Boddie. Bonner leads the team in points per game averaging 21.1 while Boddie dishes out 8.1 assists per contest. Three-point specialist Alli Smalley has also been solid for Auburn hitting 46.3 percent of her shots from beyond the arc.

Alabama and the Southeastern Conference:
The Tide's all-time record against league foes is 120-187 (.391). Alabama's last winning record in the SEC came during the 1997-98 season when the Tide went 10-4. Below is a list of how Alabama has finished each of its conference seasons.

Year

Record

Conference Finish

2008-09

0-8

----

2007-08

1-13

12

2006-07

0-14

12

2005-06

3-11

11

2004-05

4-10

T9

2003-04

4-10

10

2002-03

3-11

10

2001-02

7-7

T7

2000-01

5-9

T8

1999-00

5-9

T8

1998-99

7-7

T5

1997-98

10-4

T2

1996-97

10-2

2

1995-96

7-4

T3

1994-95

7-4

T4

1993-94

7-4

T4

1992-93

6-5

T4

1991-92

7-4

3

1990-91

3-6

T8

1989-90

4-5

T6

1988-89

1-8

T9

1987-88

5-4

T4

1986-87

2-7

T8

1985-86

3-6

8

1984-85

3-5

4 (West)

1983-84

5-3

T2 (West)

1982-83

2-6

4 (West)

1981-82

4-3

NA

1980-81

4-3

NA

1979-80

3-5

NA

Who to Watch:
Sophomore Varisia Raffington has had a stellar conference season thus far averaging 15.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. She's shooting 52.0 percent from the floor in addition to 50.0 percent from three-point range. Raffington's best offensive contest came at Vanderbilt when she poured in a career-high 27 points. She was 7-of-8 from beyond the arc which clearly surpassed her previous high of just two three-pointers.

Last Time Out:
Alabama fell to Florida 92-71 Thursday night in Coleman Coliseum, despite four Tide players scoring in double-digits. Sophomore guard Varisia Raffington, coming off a career-high 27 point game at Vanderbilt, led Alabama scorers with 18 points. Sophomore forward Tierney Jenkins put up her sixth double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 boards. Junior forward Courtney Strauthers put up 12 points and pulled down 5 boards. Freshman guard Ericka Russell scored 11 as well as dishing out one assist and grabbing one steal, while junior guard Dedrea Magee dished out a game-high eight assists. Florida senior Sha Brooks led the Gators with 29 points. Alabama shot 52 percent from the field in the first half on its way to 39 percent for the game. The Tide connected on 6-21 from behind the arc for 29 percent. The Gators were 49 percent from the field and 65 from behind the three point line.

Alabama Captures 600th win:
Alabama won its 600th victory in program history on Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008 when it beat Ball State in the championship game of the Crimson Tide Holiday Classic 81-75 in Coleman Coliseum. The Tide's overall record currently stands at 602-422 for an overall winning percentage of 58.8.

Point-Production Improvement:
With an average of 65.1 points per game, Alabama is producing just over 10 more points per contest this season compared to last season. The Tide managed just 54.9 points per outing at the conclusion of the 2007-08 year.

The Tide is Turning:
After winning just eight games last season, the Tide has collected 12 victories in 23 attempts this season. With its 12 wins, Alabama is tied for 12th for best turnaround from last season to this season. Below are the top turnaround teams with four or more wins higher than last season thus far.

Institution

Increase in Wins

2007-08 Wins to 2008-09 Wins

1. Central Connecticut

8

4 to 12

T2. Hofstra

7

5 to 12

T2. Fordham

7

0 to 7

T4. Kent State

6

9 to 15

T4. Austin Peay

6

6 to 12

T4. Central Michigan

6

6 to 12

T4. Mercer

6

4 to 10

T8. Navy

5

7 to 12

T8. USC - Upstate

5

5 to 10

T8. Eastern Washington

5

4 to 9

T8. Sam Houston State

5

1 to 6

T12. Alabama

4

8 to 12

T12. Delaware

4

7 to 11

T12. Washington State

4

5 to 9

T12. Idaho

4

4 to 8

T12. Cal State Northridge

4

1 to 5

Keep the Ws Coming:
With its win against Southeastern Louisiana on Jan. 3, the Tide got off to its best start since the 2000-2001 season when it went 12-2. In addition, Alabama won its last six games in a row prior to the start of conference play. The last time the Tide won five games or more in a row was between Nov. 22, 2002 to Dec. 7, 2002 when Alabama captured six consecutive victories.

Rejected:
Alabama is averaging 4.0 blocks per game ranking it eighth in the SEC and 87th nationally. The Tide's season-high came against Austin Peay on Dec. 20 when Alabama recorded 10 rejections. All but one player on the team has tallied at least a single block with junior Courtney Strauthers leading the way with 18.

Butler and Russell from Downtown:
Freshman Ericka Russell leads Alabama in three-pointers this season with 40. She is 27.6 percent from beyond the arc thus far hitting 40 of 145 attempts. Right behind Russell is sophomore Alyson Butler with 36 threes. Butler has made 29.0 percent of her shots from three-point range having connected on 36 of 124 attempts. Both have taken the majority of their shots from three-point range with Russell shooting 65.0 percent of her shots from outside the line and Butler taking 75.2 percent of her attempts from beyond the arc.

Alabama from Beyond the Arc:
The Tide has hit a three-point shot in 48 consecutive games. In Alabama's game last Sunday at Vanderbilt, the Tide connected on 10 attempts from beyond the arc. That was the first time Alabama has hit 10 or more threes in a game since Dec. 4, 2006 when it hit 11 against McNeese State. The last time Alabama went an entire contest without making a three was Nov. 24, 2007 against Washington State. The Tide went 0-3 for the game.

Equal Opportunity Scorers:
In Alabama's 23 games, six different players have led the Tide in scoring. Sophomore Tierney Jenkins has been Alabama's leading scorer eight times, while freshman Ericka Russell has topped the Tide six times. Sophomore Varisia Raffington has led the way four times, while classmate Alyson Butler has twice. Junior Dedrea Magee, sophomore Katie Hancock and freshman Kayla Robinson have each led in point production once.

Strauthers Hitting Better than .500 for Career:
Junior Courtney Strauthers is currently averaging 52.1 percent from the floor for her career. She finished her freshman season at 51.3 percent followed by her sophomore year at 56.8 percent. She is 56-117 on the season thus far for a 47.9 clip.

Variety is the Spice of Life:
A total of 14 players have seen court time in Alabama's games this season. Ten of those 14 players are averaging 10 minutes or more. Junior Dedrea Magee leads the way with 25.4 minutes an outing.

`Bama on the Boards:
The Tide has been solid on the boards out-rebounding its opponents by an average of 2.7 per game while collecting a total of 42.7 per contest. Alabama pulled down 50 rebounds or more in eight games this season, including a high of 60 against Sam Houston State on Dec. 7.

I'll Take my Bench over your Bench:
Alabama's bench scoring has accounted for an average of 28.0 points per game this season and 645 points overall. That is nearly half of the Tide's total point output thus far. Below is a list of how many points the bench has produced in each game.

Nov. 14, 2008

vs. Centenary

28 points

Nov. 18, 2008

vs. Samford

24 points

Nov. 22, 2008

at Hampton

35 points

Nov. 25, 2008

vs. Alabama State

52 points

Nov. 28, 2008

vs. Louisville

43 points

Nov. 29, 2008

vs. Northern Iowa

38 points

Dec. 3, 2008

vs. UCF

36 points

Dec. 7, 2008

vs. Sam Houston State

46 points

Dec. 14, 2008

at MTSU

37 points

Dec. 17, 2008

vs. Florida A&M

33 points

Dec. 20, 2008

vs. Austin Peay

28 points

Dec. 22, 2008

vs. Alabama A&M

38 points

Dec. 29, 2008

vs. Belmont

28 points

Dec. 30, 2008

vs. Ball State

52 points

Jan. 3, 2009

at Southeastern Louisiana

29 points

Jan. 8, 2009

vs. Vanderbilt

23 points

Jan. 11, 2009

at LSU

3 points

Jan. 15, 2009

vs. Kentucky

15 points

Jan. 18, 2009

at Ole Miss

15 points

Jan. 22, 2009

at Auburn

12 points

Jan. 25, 2009

vs. Georgia

9 points

Feb. 1, 2009

at Vanderbilt

17 points

Feb. 5, 2009

vs. Florida

5 points

Alabama Places Two on Crimson Tide Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team:
Junior Dedrea Magee and sophomore Tierney Jenkins were both voted to the Crimson Tide Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team selected by participating coaches. Magee took home Tournament MVP honors after scoring 27 points and adding 12 rebounds and five assists over the two games. For the tournament, Jenkins notched 31 points, including a season-best 23 in the championship game, as well as 17 rebounds and seven steals.

Lucky Number 13:
Junior Courtney Strauthers collected a career-high 13 points in Alabama's win over UCF on Dec. 3. That same night, sophomore Daleisha Carn pulled down a career-best 13 rebounds. In the Tide's next game against Sam Houston State, Carn dished out a career-high 13 assists. Carn then collected a season-high 13 points at Middle Tennessee State on Dec. 14.

Ericka Russell Voted to the Nugget Classic All-Tournament Team:
Alabama freshman Ericka Russell was one of six players named to the Nugget Classic All-Tournament Team. The squad was voted on by the four participating coaches. She finished the two-game Classic with 24 points, eight rebounds, two steals and two assists.

Fresh Faces on the Sidelines:
Wendell Hudson returns to the sidelines after spending the last six years in administration to head up the Alabama women's basketball team. Hudson, who possesses 26 years of basketball coaching experience, is no stranger to Alabama as he was the first African-American scholarship athlete at the Capstone while playing under C.M. Newton. Joining him will be former Tide standouts Joni Crenshaw and Stacey Franklin along with Ty Evans, who enters his second season as a member of the Alabama staff.

Next up:
Alabama will play a pair of road matches next week beginning with Tennessee on Thursday, Feb. 12. The Tide will then travel to face South Carolina on Sunday, Feb. 15.