2014 Season Review

June 27, 2014

TIDE MOVES UP 88 SPOTS IN THE RPI FROM A YEAR AGO
Under first-year head coach Kristy Curry, the 2013-14 squad finished the season at No. 79 in the RPI, which is 88 spots higher than the Crimson Tide stood at a year ago (No. 167).

TIDE EARNS HIGHEST SEED AT SEC TOURNAMENT SINCE 1999
After its win against LSU in the regular-season finale, Alabama was tabbed the No. 7 seed in the 2014 Southeastern Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament, marking the highest seed for the Crimson Tide since it was No. 5 at the 1999 tournament. Since that year, Alabama has been the 10-13 seed in 10 of 14 seasons. The Tide was No. 13 in the 2013 tournament, indicating a six-seed jump from last season to this season, which is tied for the third-best improvement from one year to the next in seeding in conference tournament history.

ALABAMA HAS MOST SEC WINS SINCE 2002
Alabama earned its seventh Southeastern Conference win of 2014 in the regular-season finale, marking the most for the Tide since it went 7-7 under Rick Moody during the 2001-02 season.

TIDE ENDS DROUGHT IN LEXINGTON
Alabama went into Lexington on Jan. 23, and beat the No. 9/8 Wildcats, 57-55, on a last-second shot from junior Daisha Simmons. The victory over the Wildcats was the first in Lexington since 2002 and the first win on the road against a top-10 team for the Crimson Tide since it beat eighth-ranked Old Dominion, 79-68, on Dec. 5, 1998.

23-GAME LOSING SKID AGAINST GEORGIA SNAPPED
The Crimson Tide overcame a late second-half deficit to beat Georgia, 69-66, on Jan. 26, in Tuscaloosa. The win snapped a 23-game losing skid to the Lady Bulldogs, which dated back to the 1997-98 season.

ALABAMA WINS FIRST GAME IN PROGRAM HISTORY AT VANDERBILT
With a 66-62 victory over No. 25 Vanderbilt on Feb. 23, Alabama earned its first win in program history in Memorial Gym and snapped a 12-game losing streak to the Commodores that dated back to the 2004 season.

RECORD-BREAKING ATTENDANCE
Foster Auditorium drew a crowd of 2,678 for its win over Georgia on Jan. 26, setting a new record attendance for women’s basketball in the historic building. Fans then answered the call to top that number the next week against Tennessee, and would set another record as 3,002 packed into Foster to watch the Tide and Lady Vols. Alabama’s average attendance continued to grow this season and averaged 847 more fans per game than it did a season ago (1,992 in 2013-14; 1,145 in 2012-13).

MAKING PROGRESS
Alabama won back-to-back Southeastern Conference games in January for the first time since 2006, beating No. 9/8 Kentucky, 57-55, in Lexington and Georgia, 69-66, in Tuscaloosa. It was also the first three-win month of January for the Crimson Tide since 2005, adding a win against Ole Miss earlier in the month.

WILLIAMS EARNS SEC ALL-FRESHMAN HONORS
Ashley Williams was named to the 2014 Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team, becoming the first for the Crimson Tider on the list since 2011. Williams, a native of Covington, Ga., had a solid freshman campaign for Alabama, recording double-figure points in 21 games and double-figure rebounds five times. She was the only freshman in the SEC to rank in the top 20 in scoring and top 15 in rebounding against league opponents and had five double-doubles this season. A two-time SEC Freshman of the Week, Williams led Alabama with 15.4 points and 9.4 rebounds per game in the last five games, which lifted her season averages to 12.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per outing. She scored a career-high 22 points twice and pulled down a career-best 15 rebounds against Mississippi State, which was the most for a Tide player in three years. Williams also earned Cavalier Classic All-Tournament Team honors after posting averages of 18.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in the two games in Charlottesville, Va.

WILLIAMS ONLY FRESHMAN IN TOP 20 IN POINTS AND TOP 15 IN REBOUNDS VS. SEC FOES
Ashley Williams was the only freshman in the Southeastern Conference to rank in the top 20 in scoring and top 15 in rebounding against league opponents. The Covington, Ga., native finished at No. 17 in scoring, averaging 13.8 points in SEC contests, and No. 14 in rebounding with 6.9 boards per contest.

TIDE PUTS UP MOST POINTS AGAINST A LEAGUE OPPONENT SINCE 1999
With its 93 points scored against Ole Miss on Jan. 12, Alabama recorded its most points in a single game against a Southeastern Conference opponent since it had 102 versus Vanderbilt on Feb. 21, 1999.

MYERS SCORES HER 1,000th POINT ON SENIOR DAY
It was a storybook ending to Shafontaye Myers’ final regular-season contest in Foster Auditorium as she scored her 1,000th point on Senior Day in the win over LSU. Myers hit the milestone with 11:43 to go in the second half on her first made free throw of that trip to the line. She finished the game with 15 points. Myers is the 24th member of Alabama’s 1,000-point club and the first to reach it since Ericka Russell did so in 2012.

WILLIAMS EARNS SECOND SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK NOD
Ashley Williams was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the second time 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.

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.

OVERTIME SUCCESS
Alabama played in three overtime games during the 2013-14 season, first against Troy on Dec. 20, then against Mississippi State on Feb. 20 and finally against Auburn on Feb. 27. The Crimson Tide came away with the victory in two of those three contests, outscoring the Trojans and Bulldogs 34-18 combined in the bonus period.

TIDE IN TIGHT GAMES
Alabama was 8-4 in games decided by 10 or less points and was 4-0 in games decided by four points or less, all of which came 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 finally, Vanderbilt in Nashville, 66-62.

70 OR MORE A GOOD SIGN
Alabama was 7-2 when scoring 70 or more points. Three of those 70-plus performances came in league play, including a 93-point outing by the Tide against Ole Miss on Jan. 12.

Kristy Curry RECEIVES KAY YOW HEART OF A COACH AWARD FROM FCA
Kristy Curry was named the 2014 recipient of the Kay Yow Heart of a Coach Award, presented by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The award was established in 2008 to honor the late Kay Yow, former women’s basketball coach at North Carolina State University. It recognizes a women’s basketball coach who, over the course of his or her career, has coached according to Biblical principles, and to the heart, body and mind of the athlete.

WILLIAMS NAMED SEC FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Ashley Williams was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week on Jan. 27, marking the first honor for Williams and first SEC Freshman of the Week award for the Crimson Tide since 2011. She was a key contributor in the post for the Crimson Tide, helping Alabama to wins against No. 9/8 Kentucky and Georgia where she averaged 11.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. She scored a team-high tying 16 points in the victory over the Lady Bulldogs, going 7-for-8 from the floor, in addition to a team-high nine rebounds.

BLOCK PARTY
After recording just one block over the first nine games this season, sophomore forward Khadijah Carter had 18 rejections in the last 20 games.

WILLIAMS NAMED TO CAVALIER CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Freshman Ashley Williams was named to the Cavalier Classic All-Tournament Team after averaging 18.0 points and 8.0 rebounds in the two games. She had a game-high 21 points against Princeton, one point shy of her career best and recorded her second double-double in the last three games with 15 points and a game-high 10 rebounds in the win over Coppin State. Williams played a season-high 35 minutes against the Tigers and another 34 versus the Eagles.

SIMMONS NAMED SEC PLAYER OF THE WEEK AFTER TRIPLE-DOUBLE PERFORMANCE 
Junior point guard Daisha Simmons earned Southeastern Conference Player of the Week honors on Dec. 23, after having the top statistical performance for an Alabama player since 1998 with a triple-double of 37 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. It was also the first triple-double in the SEC since 2010 and the first in the nation this season. Her point, rebound and assist totals against the Trojans were all career highs, while the 37 points were the most scored by a junior in program history and the second-highest point total in a single game in the UA record books, one point shy of the record set by Amy Lannom in 1992. Simmons’ 14 made free throws also tied for the second-most in a single game in the Tide records. Simmons finished the week averaging 25.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.5 assists in two games.

MYERS ONE OF ALABAMA’S BEST THREE-POINT SHOOTERS OF ALL-TIME
Senior guard Shafontaye Myers ranked second in the Southeastern Conference and 23rd in the nation in three-point field goals made per game, with an average of 2.9 threes a contest. For her career, Myers is fifth in the Alabama career record books with 211.

NOT JUST ABOUT THE GAME
In addition to games, practice and conditioning, the team was extremely involved in the community this season, taking part in several different activities. Some of the groups and events the team has gotten involved in include Hoops for Heart at Huntington Place Elementary School, Habitat for Humanity, Upward Basketball, playing games and serving dessert to the residents of Capstone Village Retirement Community, assisting with the MDA Lock-Up event, lunch and making gingerbread houses with the students of the CrossingPoints transition program (students ages 18-21 with disabilities) and volunteering at Brewer-Porch Children’s Center.

The Tide also took part in the athletic department events such as Project Angel Tree and the Halloween Extravaganza. In addition, the team went out in groups every week leading up to the start of the season to city and county 5th grade classes as part of its 5th grade Fastbreak program, that culminated with a trip for all schools involved to the game on Dec. 17.

HEGSTETTER NAMED NOMINEE FOR ALLSTATE WBCA GOOD WORKS TEAM
Sophomore forward Nikki Hegstetter was named a nominee for the 2014 Allstate Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Good Works Team. The award recognizes a select group of college basketball student-athletes who have made significant contributions to the greater good of their communities through volunteerism and civic service. Hegstetter is one of 84 nominees from across the nation, spanning NCAA Divisions I, II, III and the NAIA. She has, and continues to be involved in several aspects of the community, including Habitat for Humanity, Alabama women’s basketball’s 5th Grade Fastbreak program and the Summer Food & Fun program at the McDonald Hughes Center. Hegstetter has also spent time volunteering at local high school basketball camps, elementary schools, the DCH Manderson Cancer Center and Capstone Village Retirement Community.

THREE-POINTERS GALORE
Alabama knocked down 11 three-point field goals on Nov. 29, at Saint Mary’s, marking the first time the Crimson Tide had over 10 since Feb. 1, 2009, when it had 11 at Vanderbilt. Shafontaye Myers led the way with five of the 11, while Emily Davis and Daisha Simmons added two apiece. Khadijah Carter and Sharin Rivers chipped in one each.

MYERS EARNS ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM HONORS
Senior guard Shafontaye Myers was named to the Saint Mary’s College Hilton Concord All-Tournament Team after leading Alabama in scoring in both games of the tournament with 20 points against the Gaels and 15 points versus Cal State Fullerton.

TOUGH STRETCH
Alabama opened the season with three consecutive road games, including two against top-15 opponents. The Crimson Tide opened the season at Chattanooga and followed that up with trips to No. 15/12 Nebraska and No. 2/2 Duke. All three of those teams advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season and are all picked to win their respective conference championships this season. Add in Alabama’s recent trip to Saint Mary’s, and the Tide has played five of its first seven games of the season on the road or at a neutral site. The last time Alabama opened the season with that many games away from Tuscaloosa was during the 2001-02 season.