TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama women’s basketball team (4-7) continues its home stand against Hampton University (4-3) on Thursday, Dec. 20 at 6:00 p.m. from Coleman Coliseum. The Tide is coming off a 62-57 victory over instate rival Alabama A&M while the Lady Pirates defeated Ohio 70-64 19 days ago. Mick Gillispie will once again call the action on CTSN.
Tonight’s game marks the first meeting between the two programs...head coach Stephany Smith has faced a MEAC opponent three times in her career...at Middle Tennessee State, Smith and her Blue Raiders defeated Norfolk State 80-58 and then handled South Carolina State twice, by the scores of 70-57 and 76-54.
The youngest team in the Mid-Eastern Athlete Conference (MEAC) two seasons ago has made a complete 360. The Lady Pirates were able to walk away with a winning record of 15-13 last season, winning eight more games than the previous season...now entering his fourth season, Head Coach Walter Mebane hopes that the Lady Pirates will use the solid foundation that was set last season and expand upon that for the 2007-2008 season...helping him achieve that goal will be three returning starters from a year ago, including two of his top five scorers...on the season Rachel Butler and Ashlee Finley have paced the Lady Pirates thus far...the duo leads the team with 11.4 points per game while Finley is the top marksman from the floor, shooting at a 51 percent clip...as a team, Hampton scores 63 points per contest and grabs nearly 43 boards a night...HU shoots 36 percent from the floor and causes 24 turnovers a game.
Two trends have begun to surface for the Tide this season...in the four games that Alabama has eclipsed the 60-point mark, the Tide have earned the victory in three of them...in the lone loss, Alabama fell by one point to Louisiana Tech 62-61....also an Alabama player has recorded a double-double in four games this season...in all four of those games, the Tide have earned the victory.
After a tough start in Coleman Coliseum the Crimson Tide has gotten back on track by earning two-straight home victories...after a heartbreaking 62-61 loss to Louisiana Tech, the Tide ran past Saint Mary’s its next time out, 66-56 Sunday afternoon...Alabama was away from Coleman Coliseum for four straight games, earning two victories over that span...in its last contest, Alabama defeated Alabama A&M 62-57.
Alabama has had two players record four double-doubles this season...sophomore Talisha Chandler tallied the first of the season in an 11-point, 14-rebound performance against Washington State on Nov. 24...freshman Tierney Jenkins has recorded third double-double in two of the past three contests...the newcomer recorded her first against Tennessee Tech on Nov. 30 with an 11-point, 13-rebound game and then followed that with an even 10-point, 10-board day against Saint Mary’s...Jenkins set a career-best in rebounds with 15 and added 16 points in the win against Alabama A&M.
Newcomer Tierney Jenkins has paced the Tide all season long...in four of the 11 games played thus far Jenkins has led the team in scoring...the Mt. Juliet, Tenn. native is second among SEC freshman in scoring...Jenkins has the team-high on the season with 21 points in the win against Washington State...Jenkins leads UA with 11.4 points per game and is second on the squad with 7.6 rebounds per tilt...Jenkins grabbed a career-high 15 boards in the win against Alabama A&M...the 15 rebounds is the fourth highest single game total in the conference this season...also her six steals against Washington State is the second best single-game theft total in the SEC.
Alabama has been all over the glass this season...the Tide rank tied for first in the SEC in rebounding margin and rank No. 21 in the nation with a +11.1 mark...UA is also second in the SEC in rebounding defense, allowing only 33.6 boards per night...Bama ranks fourth in offensive rebounds (16.55) and third in defensive rebounds (28.18) per game...sophomore forward Talisha Chandler ranks fourth in the conference and No. 32 nationally, pulling down 9.8 rebounds per game...Chandler set a career-high in boards with 18 against Belmont on Nov. 28...the 18 rebounds is a single game high for the SEC this season...that came four days after tying her previous best with 14 boards in the win against WSU...Chandler has recorded double-digits in rebounds six times this season, including five of the last eight games.
Alabama has put on a defensive clinic thus far this season, ranking No. 32 nationally in scoring defense and No. 20 in blocked shots per game...in the win against Tennessee Tech, UA held TTU to only five field goals for 12 points in the first half...the Tide also held Washington State to only five field goals in the first half, both games were wins...Alabama ranks fourth in the SEC in scoring defense, holding opponents to 55.4 points per game...opponents are shooting 35 percent against the Tide which ranks fourth...Bama is ranked fifth in blocks, turning away 5.436 shots per contest...(as of 12/14)
Alabama will continue its six-game home stand with its second game in three days...the Tide will face Jacksonville State on Saturday, Dec. 22 at 2:00 p.m. from Coleman Coliseum...the game will close out the 2007 slate as the Tide won’t return to the court until Jan. 2 when it host East Tennessee State at 6:00 p.m...Alabama will then close out its non-conference schedule with a contest against Southeastern Louisiana on Jan. 5.