Feb. 26, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. –
The women’s basketball team (13-14, 6-8 SEC) will play its final road game of the season on Thursday when it heads to Auburn (15-12, 6-8 SEC) to take on the Tigers. The game will tip off at Auburn Arena at 6 p.m. CT.
Thursday’s game can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network and in Tuscaloosa on 99.1 The Tide with Roger Hoover 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 Tigers are meeting for the 80th time since the 1974-75 season. Auburn currently leads the series, 44-35, after winning the last meeting by a score of 61-39 in Tuscaloosa. Alabama’s last win in the series came on Jan. 24, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, 61-51.
Last week was a big week for Alabama, winning in overtime against Mississippi State, 72-64, on Thursday before picking up its first victory at Memorial Gym in program history against Vanderbilt on Sunday. Freshman Ashley Williams recorded her fourth double-double of the season in the win over the Bulldogs with 18 points and a career-high 15 rebounds in addition to a career-best three blocks. She backed that up with another 18-point performance in the win over the Commodores, which included five of the last seven points for the Tide. Junior Daisha Simmons recorded a team-best 21 points at Vanderbilt, shooting 50 percent from the floor for the game. Senior Shafontaye Myers continues to move up the list in career threes at Alabama and now stands at No. 5 with 203. She is now 10 away from passing Ericka Russell for fourth place (2008-12: 212) and is also 24 points away from reaching 1,000 for her career.
Auburn went 1-1 last week, falling 93-63 at No. 10 Tennessee before rebounding with a 67-59 victory over Georgia. Senior Tyrese Tanner and freshman Brandy Montgomery each had 21 points to fuel the Tiger offense in the win against the Lady Bulldogs. Tanner continues to pace Auburn on the season with 16.7 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, while Montgomery adds 11.2 points herself. As a team, the Tigers average 65.2 points per game and 38.6 rebounds per contest.
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 322-163.
The Tigers are under the direction of second-year head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy, who in her first season at Auburn, reached the quarterfinals of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. In her nine complete seasons as a head coach, Williams-Flournoy has guided her teams to the postseason five times, advancing to the NCAA Tournament in three of those years. Prior to taking over at Auburn, she was head coach at Georgetown from 2004-12. Assistant coaching stops for Williams-Flournoy include Southwest Missouri State (2002-04), Georgia (1996-2002) and Georgetown (1992-96).
WILLIAMS EARNS SECOND SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK NOD
Ashley Williams was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the second time this season on Monday, Feb. 24. Williams averaged a double-double of 18.0 points and 10.5 rebounds in Alabama's wins over Mississippi State and No. 25 Vanderbilt. She pulled down a career-high 15 rebounds in the overtime win against the Bulldogs, which was the most for a Tide player since 2011. Williams also recorded her fourth double-double of the season with 18 points to go along with her 15 rebounds in the victory over Mississippi State, in addition to swatting away a season-best three blocks. She then backed that up with another 18 point performance, playing a good portion of the second half with four fouls at Vanderbilt. Williams converted a pivotal three-point play at the 2:53 mark, and scored another basket with 50 seconds remaining to give Alabama a four-point lead over the Commodores, which eventually led to the Tide's first win in program history at Memorial Gym.
ONE MORE W GIVES TIDE MOST SEC WINS SINCE 2002
Alabama is looking for its seventh Southeastern Conference win when it takes on Auburn. Should the Tide come away with a victory, it would give Alabama seven 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 8-3 in games decided by 10 or less points this season and is 4-0 in games decided by four 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, Missouri in Columbia, 59-56, and most recently, Vanderbilt in Nashville, 66-62.
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