Feb. 19, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. –
The women’s basketball team (11-14, 4-8 SEC) will play its final home game in the month of February on Thursday when it hosts Mississippi State (17-9, 4-8 SEC) at Foster Auditorium. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT.
Thursday’s game is Faculty/Staff Night, which allows all UA faculty and staff to buy one ticket and get another free, and Greek Night, awarding one panhellenic point for sororities in attendance. There will also be a Chick-fil-A sandwich giveaway, and the first 100 students in attendance will receive a Built by Bama wristband.
Thursday’s game can be heard in Tuscaloosa 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.
Alabama and Mississippi State are meeting for the 52nd time in the series on Thursday. The Crimson Tide leads 35-16, however the Bulldogs have won eight of the last 10 games, including the lone regular-season meeting in 2013 by a score of 75-51 in Starkville. Alabama came back and handed Mississippi State a 63-36 loss a few weeks later in the first round of the 2013 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament in Duluth, Ga.
Alabama dropped both of its games last week, first a 75-55 loss at Arkansas followed by a 71-46 loss to No. 14 Texas A&M in Tuscaloosa. In the loss to the Razorbacks, senior Shafontaye Myers moved into sixth place in career threes in the Alabama record books with 195. She also added one three-pointer in Sunday’s loss to the Aggies, giving her 196 for her career and putting her at six three-pointers away from overtaking Brittney Ezell for fifth in the Tide record books. In both losses, Alabama struggled to find anything offensively, shooting 34.0 percent against Arkansas and 28.6 percent versus Texas A&M. Freshman Ashley Williams was the Tide’s top performer for the week, averaging 15.0 points and 6.5 rebounds.
SCOUTING MISSISSIPPI STATE
Mississippi State had its biggest win of the season last time out, defeating No. 16 Vanderbilt, 64-62. The Bulldogs halted a six-game losing streak to the Commodores, claiming their first win in the series since the 2010 SEC campaign. Junior Martha Alwal matched her SEC high with 23 points in the win, scoring 14 of the team’s final 21 points, including the game-winner with 3.3 seconds left in the contest. State forced its most turnovers in SEC play as the Commodores committed an SEC-high 26. It was the 19th game State has forced 20-plus turnovers. MSU also knocked down the free throws, hitting 16-of-20 for 80 percent, including 10-of-11 in the second half. Freshman Breanna Richardson raised her SEC average to 11.1 ppg with a 16-point effort. Richardson went 3-for-3 at the stripe and shot 75 percent from the floor (6-of-8) as she scored 12 second-half points.
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 320-163.
The Bulldogs are led by second-year head coach Vic Schaefer, who in his first year at Mississippi State had a record of 13-17. Prior to arriving in Starkville, he was associate head coach under Gary Blair at Texas A&M for nine seasons (2003-2012) and six years prior to that at Arkansas (1997-2003). Schaefer, known for his defense, helped the two programs to 11 NCAA Tournament appearances and a national championship for the Aggies in 2011. He owns an overall record of 110-136 and a 30-26 mark thus far at Mississippi State.
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