Dec. 16, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – After an eight-day break from competition, the Alabama women’s basketball team (4-5) returns to the court on Tuesday, Dec. 17, when it hosts Jacksonville (3-4) in Foster Auditorium. The game is slated to tip off at 11 a.m. CT as it will serve as the Crimson Tide’s annual 5th Grade Fastbreak game, welcoming thousands of Tuscaloosa city and county 5th graders.
THE BROADCASTTuesday’s game can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network on Tide 99.1 FM 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 Jacksonville are meeting for the first time in program history on Tuesday.
Alabama moved to 4-5 after a win over Houston last time out on Dec. 8. In the victory over the Cougars, it was the upperclassmen that carried the Crimson Tide offensively as senior Shafontaye Myers and juniors Bri Hutchen and Daisha Simmons combined for 39 of the Tide’s 51 points. Hutchen contributed a career-high 12 points, while sophomore Nikki Hegstetter pulled down a career-best 13 rebounds. Myers continues to lead Alabama in scoring average for the year at 12.3 points per game, while Simmons leads nearly every other category including rebounds (5.9), assists (4.6), steals (2.8) and minutes (33.4), in addition to 11.6 points and 1.0 blocks per game.
Jacksonville will play its third-straight road game on Tuesday and sixth overall in the 2013-14 season thus far. The Dolphins enter the game with a 3-4 record after dropping their last two, most recently a 57-49 decision at Bethune-Cookman on Sunday. Jacksonville is led by freshman Sherranda Reddick and sophomore Queen Alford, who average 12.7 points and 11.9 points per game, respectively. Alford also leads the Dolphins in rebounds with 6.3 boards per contest. As a team, Jacksonville is averaging 63.9 points, 43.6 rebounds, and 12.3 steals per game, however the Dolphins have also recorded an average of 24.4 turnovers per outing.
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 313-154.
Jacksonville is under the direction of first-year head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin. A nine-year coaching veteran, McPhee-McCuin took over the Dolphins following a three-year stint at Clemson. Prior to her time with the Tigers, she was on staff at Pitt for two years where she helped guide the program to a pair of post season appearances highlighted by a No. 14 national ranking and a Sweet 16 appearance in 2009. McPhee-McCuin also had stops at Portland, Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Frank Phillips College. She is also coach of the Bahamian women’s national team.
MYERS ONE OF ALABAMA’S BEST THREE-POINT SHOOTERS OF ALL-TIME
Senior guard Shafontaye Myers is second in the Southeastern Conference and tied for 32nd in the nation in three-point field goals made per game, averaging 2.9 threes a contest. For her career, Myers is tied for eighth in the Alabama career record books with 153 made and is six away from passing Nicole Carruth (1996-2001: 158) for seventh place.
WILLIAMS MAKING A NAME FOR HERSELF
Freshman Ashley Williams, who made the first start of her career on against UT Martin on Dec. 4, led the Crimson Tide with a career-high tying 18 points. It was the fourth double-figure point performance for the Covington, Ga., native in nine appearances thus far. Williams is third on the team in scoring, averaging 8.2 points per game, and is third in rebounds with 4.6 boards per outing.
SIMMONS DOES IT ALL
Junior point guard Daisha Simmons is the only player to be ranked in the Southeastern Conference in scoring (No. 27 - 11.6 ppg), assists (No. 7 - 4.6 apg), blocks (No. 14 - 1.0 bpg) and steals (No. 2 - 2.8 spg). She is also second in minutes per game, averaging 33.4 per game.
SIMMONS EARNS UNDERGRADUATE DEGREE IN DECEMBER
Junior point guard Daisha Simmons was one of 30 student-athletes to receive their degree during winter commencement at Alabama on Dec. 14. Simmons, who earned her degree in management, is planning to begin work on her master’s degree in marketing, in the summer. She will be the second Crimson Tide women’s basketball player in the last two years to finish her undergraduate degree and start a master’s at UA, joining Ericka Russell.
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.
HEGSTETTER BECOMING MORE PRODUCTIVE FOR ALABAMA INSIDE
Sophomore forward Nikki Hegstetter continues to improve inside for Alabama, which is evident in her production. After averaging only 2.6 points and 2.6 rebounds per game last season, Hegstetter is now the Tide's fourth-leading scorer at 7.8 points per game and has 5.2 boards per contest. She also leads Alabama in blocks with 1.3 per game and is third in assists with 1.4 per outing.
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. Myers, who typically comes off the bench for the Crimson Tide, is also Alabama's leader in points on the season, averaging 12.3 points per game and ranks No. 2 in the Southeastern Conference in three-point field goals made per game with an average of 2.9.
Alabama will play its final game before breaking for the holidays on Friday, Dec. 20, when it hosts Troy at 7 p.m. CT in Foster Auditorium. The game is also the last non-conference contest of the season at home for the Crimson Tide as it will welcome the Kentucky Wildcats to open SEC play on Jan. 2.