Feb. 22, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. –
The women’s basketball team (12-14, 5-8 SEC) will begin its final road stretch of the regular season when it heads to Nashville to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores (18-8, 7-6 SEC) on Sunday at 3 p.m. CT. The game will air live from Memorial Gymnasium on CSS.
Sunday’s game can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network and 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 Vanderbilt are meeting for the 41st time in the series on Sunday. The Commodores lead 29-11 and have won 11 straight against the Crimson Tide. Alabama’s last victory in the series came on Feb. 8, 2004, by a score of 81-68 in Tuscaloosa. Alabama has never won in Nashville.
Alabama is coming off a 72-64 overtime victory over Mississippi State on Thursday. The Crimson Tide trailed for much of the game before coming back in the second half. In the bonus period, it was all Alabama as the Tide outscored the Bulldogs 13-5 in the final 5:00. Senior Shafontaye Myers had a game-high 19 points, while freshman Ashley Williams recorded her fourth double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds to go along with three blocks. Junior Daisha Simmons contributed 11 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals, and junior Sharin Rivers chipped in a season-high tying 18 points. Myers continues to lead the Tide on the season with her 14.2 point-per-game average, while Williams is pulling down a team-best 6.4 rebounds.
Vanderbilt snapped its three-game losing streak with a 56-50 victory at Arkansas on Thursday. The Commodores dominated the Razorbacks in the paint, outscoring Arkansas, 40-18 down low. Sophomore Morgan Batey led Vanderbilt with 18 points, six rebounds and four assists. As a team, the Commodores are fifth in the league in scoring, averaging 73.9 points per game and second in free throw percentage at 75.4 percent. Senior Christina Foggie leads her team, as well as the SEC, in scoring with an average of 18.7 points per game.
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 321-163.
The Commodores are led by Melanie Balcomb, who is in her 12th season at Vanderbilt. She has led the Commodores to the NCAA Tournament for 11 straight years and made five NCAA Regional semifinal appearances. Balcomb helped Vanderbilt to three SEC Tournament championships and has had 11 20-plus win seasons. She owns a 440-218 overall record in her 19th season, while sporting a 277-114 mark as head coach of the Commodores.
WILLIAMS HAS BIG NIGHT ON THE BOARDS
Freshman Ashley Williams pulled down a season-high 15 rebounds in Alabama’s 72-64 overtime victory over Mississippi State on Feb. 20, several of which were key defensive rebounds shutting out second-chance opportunities for the Bulldogs. Her 15 boards were the most for a Crimson Tide player since Erin Hogue had 18 against Louisiana Tech on Nov. 26, 2011.
Alabama has played in two overtime games this season, first against Troy on Dec. 20 and most recently against Mississippi State on Feb. 20. The Crimson Tide came away with the victory in both of those contests, outscoring the Trojans and Bulldogs 34-18 combined in the bonus period.
ONE MORE W GIVES TIDE MOST SEC WINS SINCE 2002
Alabama is looking for its sixth Southeastern Conference win when it takes on Vanderbilt. Should the Tide come away with a victory, it would give Alabama six SEC wins this season, marking the most for the Tide since it went 7-7 under Rick Moody during the 2001-02 season.
TIDE IN TIGHT GAMES
Alabama is 7-3 in games decided by 10 or less points this season and is 3-0 in games decided by three points or less, all of which have come in SEC play. The Crimson Tide beat Kentucky in Lexington, 57-55, Georgia by a score of 69-66 in Tuscaloosa, and Missouri in Columbia, 59-56.
70 OR MORE A GOOD SIGN
Alabama is 6-2 this season when scoring 70 or more points. Two of those 70-plus performances have come in league play, including a 93-point outing by the Tide against Ole Miss on Jan. 12.
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