Nov. 13, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The women’s basketball team opens the 2014-15 season on Friday when it hosts Florida A&M in Coleman Coliseum. The game will be the frontend of a doubleheader with the men’s basketball team beginning at 5:30 p.m. CT.
All fans holding a men’s basketball ticket will receive free admission to the women’s basketball game. The team will also be available for postgame autographs on the east concourse of the building.
Friday’s game will be televised on SECN+ (WatchESPN.com), with Mick Gillispie (play-by-play) and former Crimson Tide head coach Rick Moody (analyst) on the call. The action can also be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network. There will be live updates throughout the game available on Twitter @AlabamaWBB.
Alabama and Florida A&M are meeting for the fourth time in the series on Friday. The Crimson Tide leads 2-1, however the Lady Rattlers won the last contest, 61-52, in Tallahassee on Dec. 16, 2009.
The Tide returns three of its five starters from a season ago including sophomore Ashley Williams, who averaged 12.4 points per game in 2013-14. Williams is joined by fellow returning starters in junior Nikki Hegstetter and senior Sharin Rivers. Karyla Middlebrook, who started seven of nine games before sitting out the remainder of the season with a hip injury, also returns, as well as senior Briana Hutchen, junior Khadijah Carter and sophomore Oceana Hamilton. Alabama welcomes five newcomers including sophomore transfer Breanna Hayden, who will be eligible December 14, and true freshmen Quanetria Bolton, Hannah Cook, Meoshonti Knight and Diamante Martinez.
SCOUTING FLORIDA A&M
The Lady Rattlers will look to fill the shoes of the 2014 MEAC Player of the Year in Jasmine Grice, who averaged a league-best 25.7 points per game and a team-high 6.2 rebounds. Key returnees for Florida A&M include guard Taneka Rubin (12.2 ppg) and forward Jamie Foreman (4.9 rpg).
Alabama head coach Kristy Curry has a history of success in her fifteen year career. Nine of her teams have made the NCAA tournament, including a trip to the 2001 championship game while coaching at Purdue. With the Boilermakers, she won two Big Ten regular season titles. She holds an overall coaching record of 323-165 and has led nine teams to 20-win seasons. Florida A&M is under the direction of seventh year head coach LeDawn Gibson, who owns a 97-84 overall record. Her 97 wins are the third most by a FAMU coach in the first six years at the helm.
LAST TIME OUT
Alabama outscored North Alabama 50-17 in the second half of the Crimson Tide’s lone exhibition contest to lift UA to an 80-48 victory in Foster Auditorium on Nov. 9. Sophomore Ashley Williams recorded a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds and was joined in double figures by senior Briana Hutchen (15), freshmen Meoshonti Knight (13) and Diamante Martinez (10). Senior Sharin Rivers led Alabama with six assists. For the game, the Tide shot 49.2 percent (29-59) while limiting the Lions to 29.5 percent (18-61) from the floor. Alabama outscored North Alabama 52-18 in the paint and capitalized on the 28 turnovers it forced as the Tide had 35 points off turnovers.
ALABAMA AT HOME IN SEASON OPENERS
The Crimson Tide is 16-2 when opening the season at home. The last time it opened the season in Coleman Coliseum was during the 2010-11 season when it beat Tennessee State, 82-55.
CRIMSON TIDE INKS TOP 25 CLASS
Alabama signed a top 25 recruiting class for next season that contains four talented playmakers in Taylor Doan, C’coriea Foy, Trista Magee and Shaquera Wade. The class, which is ranked 24th in the nation by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report and fourth in the Southeastern Conference has a mix of all positions and features players from Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri and North Carolina.