Women's Basketball Heads to No. 15/18 Tennessee

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Junior Dedrea Magee leads the team with 4.1 assists per game
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Junior Dedrea Magee leads the team with 4.1 assists per game
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

Feb. 11, 2009

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ALABAMA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL (12-12, 0-9 SEC) at NO. 15/18 TENNESSEE (17-6, 6-3 SEC)
Thursday, February 12 (Thompson-Boling Arena)

Tipoff: 6:00 p.m. (CST)
TV: Fox Sports South
Radio: Crimson Tide Sports Network

Alabama and Tennessee:
The Alabama/Tennessee series dates back to the 1977 season with the Lady Vols winning 40 of the 42 meetings thus far. Tennessee is in the midst of a 33-game win streak over the Crimson Tide that began on March 23, 1984. Alabama last win over the Lady Vols came just 20 days prior on March 3, 1984 with the Tide winning 85-66. Below is a listing of the previous ten meetings between Alabama and Tennessee.

Feb. 21, 2008

L, 85-58

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Jan. 28, 2007

L, 80-51

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Jan. 3, 2007

L, 72-36

Knoxville, Tenn.

Feb. 19, 2006

L, 82-65

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Jan. 29, 2006

L, 89-54

Knoxville, Tenn.

Feb. 27, 2005

L, 94-81

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Jan. 18, 2004

L, 72-51

Knoxville, Tenn.

Jan. 16, 2003

L, 88-45

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Jan. 20, 2002

L, 82-57

Knoxville, Tenn.

March 2, 2001

L, 82-52

Memphis, Tenn.

Scouting Tennessee:
Tennessee returns just one starter from its 2008 National Championship team but has still managed to rack up 17 wins - the last of which was head coach Pat Summitt's 1,000th career victory. The Lady Vols starting lineup now features a three freshmen, one sophomore and one senior. Last time out, Tennessee dropped a 66-57 decision at Florida. The Lady Vols are now 17-6 overall this season. The last time Tennessee suffered six losses at this point in the season was in 1996-97 when the squad had collected 7 losses by Jan. 21.

Offensively, the Lady Vols are led by freshman Shekinna Stricklen who averages 13.6 points per game. Stricklen also leads the team in free-throw percentage (.765), steals (2.2), assists (3.0) and minutes (32.1) per contest. Classmate Glory Johnson is Tennessee leading rebounder with 7.6 boards per game.

Alabama and the Southeastern Conference:
The Tide's all-time record against league foes is 120-188 (.390). 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 15.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. She's shooting 50.0 percent from the floor in addition to 48.6 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 Auburn 81-54 Sunday afternoon in Coleman Coliseum. The Tide was led offensively by sophomore forward Tierney Jenkins and sophomore guard Varisia Raffington, both with 13 points. Freshman guard Ericka Russell also contributed 11 for Alabama. In addition, Jenkins led the Tide with seven rebounds and junior guard Dedrea Magee dished out five assists. For the game, Alabama shot 34 percent from the field and 28 percent from three-point range, while Auburn was 49 percent from the field and only 13 percent from behind the arc. The Tigers won the battle of the boards out-rebounding the Tide 51-29.

Not so Friendly February:
The Tide has yet to win a game in the month of February this season. In fact, the last time Alabama picked up a W in February was on Feb. 16, 2006 when it escaped 61-59 on the road at Mississippi State.

Raffington Coming Alive in SEC Play:
Varisia Raffington has stepped up to become the Tide's go-to player in conference action. The sophomore is currently tied for first for most three-pointers in a game (seven at Vanderbilt), third in field goal percentage (.500), fourth in scoring (15.1 ppg) and tied for seventh in three-pointers made per contest (1.7).

Jenkins Boasts a Rare Combination:
Sophomore Tierney Jenkins is one of only two players in the SEC conference to rank among the top 20 in scoring, top 10 in rebounding and top 10 in steals in league games. She is currently 16th in scoring with 12.0 points per game, fourth in rebounding with 8.3 boards per game and tied for ninth in steals with 1.7 thefts per contest.

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 602-423 for an overall winning percentage of 58.7.

Point-Production Improvement:
With an average of 64.7 points per game, Alabama is producing just under 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 thus far this season.

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.

Butler and Russell from Downtown:
Freshman Ericka Russell leads Alabama in three-pointers this season with 43. She is 27.9 percent from beyond the arc thus far hitting 43 of 154 attempts. Right behind Russell is sophomore Alyson Butler with 37 threes. Butler has made 28.9 percent of her shots from three-point range having connected on 37 of 128 attempts. Both have taken the majority of their shots from three-point range with Russell shooting 65.3 percent of her shots from outside the line and Butler taking 75.3 percent of her attempts from beyond the arc.

Alabama from Beyond the Arc:
The Tide has hit a three-point shot in 49 consecutive games. In Alabama's game at Vanderbilt on Feb. 1, 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 24 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. Jenkins and Raffington collected 13 points each to lead the Tide against Auburn on Feb. 8.

Strauthers Hitting Better than .500 for Career:
Junior Courtney Strauthers is currently averaging 51.9 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 57-120 on the season thus far for a 47.5 clip.

Variety is the Spice of Life:
A total of 14 players have seen court time in Alabama's games this season. Twelve of those 14 players are averaging nine minutes or more. Junior Dedrea Magee leads the way with 25.5 minutes an outing.

`Bama on the Boards:
The Tide has been solid on the boards collecting a total of 42.2 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.

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 travels to take on South Carolina Sunday, Feb. 15 in Columbia. Tipoff is slated for 2:00 p.m. (CST).