By (Matthew Speakman)

Alabama women’s basketball, which has played three of its
last four games on the road, will return back home to face the Ole Miss Rebels
for the team’s fourth SEC home matchup this season on Thursday night. Alabama is currently 13-9, 2-7 SEC. Both of its conference wins occurred in
Foster Auditorium.

The Crimson Tide has lost four straight games, with three of those
losses occurring on the road. Alabama currently sits at 2-2 in SEC home
match-ups. The team is excited to get back in front of its home fans after the recent, multiple road trips.

“We expect a great crowd and great environment,” Alabama coach Kristy Curry said. “We really look forward to defending our home

As only a sophomore on the
team, Karyla Middlebook has been forced to step up for the young Crimson Tide. During the day in and day out grind that is the SEC, Alabama has looked for a
player to not only lead emotionally, but also, its play out on the court.

Middlebrook said she has had to step up into this role for
the Crimson Tide. She is looked at as someone who can lead the Crimson Tide on
the court by playing well every game, while also being someone the team can look
up to. Being a leader is something that Middlebrook believes is a combination of natural talent and hard work.

“It [being a leader] comes naturally to me, but I do have to
work at it,” Middlebrook said. “I am not as vocal as I need to be. As a
leader, you can’t just rely on your actions all of the time, but it is natural
to me and I thank God for that.”

Ole Miss currently sits at 10-11 overall, winning two of its six match-ups in conference play so far. In the series, Ole Miss has won 34 of 55 games played against Alabama, including a 77-63 victory at home last season against Alabama on Jan. 11.

Head coach of the Rebels, Matt Insell, took his team to the post season
last year after it finished with a 19-14 record overall.
Insell is entering his third season with the Rebels, a team that is, for the
most part, a young team with nine of its players being freshmen and sophomores.

Alabama, which has played up-tempo and fed off of its defense, will face yet another team that plays the usual SEC style of run-and-gun. The Rebels also feed off of the offensive glass, scoring multiple second-chance baskets. Junior Bretta Hart leads Ole Miss’ rebounding crew, averaging about 5.9 rebounds a game.

Sophomore Shandricka Sessom leads the Rebels the team in
scoring for the season, tallying up 16.4 points per game.

Curry said she believes Ole Miss is a similar team to what she has been seeing
throughout conference play thus far.

“We just faced pressure at Tennssee,” Curry said. “We know
what to expect. We just have to come out and execute. First and foremost, we
have to value the basketball.”

Alabama and Ole Miss will tip off at 6 p.m. CT in Foster Auditorium on SEC Network+.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports