In the midst of the SEC season, each game is a chance for a team to prove themselves to the fans, to the league and to each other. The Crimson Tide’s women’s basketball team is preparing for their game on Thursday against the undefeated Mississippi State Bulldogs. For Alabama, this game is about more than the final score.
The game will be played in partnership with Alabama’s “We Back Pat” game, which is a part of the SEC’s annual week-long initiative. The goal is to bring awareness to the Pat Summitt Foundation and the East Tennessee Foundation combatting Alzheimer’s disease.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to play an amazing team like Mississippi State,” said Alabama head coach Kristy Curry. “I’m very, very excited for the special initiative of the ‘We Back Pat’ week in the SEC, and to participate in that, and to continue to help raise awareness for Alzheimer’s and to continue to support the Pat Summitt Foundation.”
Mississippi State is undefeated this season at 19-0 – the best start in program history. Curry expressed concern about maintaining equal efforts on offense and defense. The coach made it clear that in any game played, it is not about one position more than the other, but the key to a good game is for all aspects to coexist on the court.
“The margin for error is extremely narrow. We know that it’s going to have to be a near-perfect game,” Curry said. “It’s not about offense or defense. There has to be both for all four periods.”
The future is the main focus for the Crimson Tide. Curry says she sees no benefit in dwelling on past records or past performances. To her, it is all about the future, moving forward and maintaining positivity.
“We need to focus on who we are and what our strengths are and who we need to be every day,” Curry said. “At times you get so caught up in what they’re doing, and we need to focus more on what we’re doing. I don’t think a record or what a team is ranked is what matters. It’s about the next game for us.”
A positive attitude from players and especially coaches is the key to learning and growing as a team. Forward Ashley Williams said watching film from Arkansas was not an opportunity to be critiqued, but an opportunity to focus and learn.
“Yesterday, we focused a lot on us and watching film from the Arkansas game, and seeing what mistakes we did make, and then going to practice and facing those, and we’re going to keep doing that today and get ready for the game tomorrow,” Williams said.
Williams is 73 points away from becoming Alabama’s 25th 1,000-point scorer in program history. The achievement would make her only the 13th Crimson Tide student athlete to do so in just three years.
Sophomore guard Shaquera Wade has been improving in all aspects of her game this season, having nearly doubled her statistics in every category since last season. Wade is averaging 12.0 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.6 assists per game.
Freshman forward Ashley Knight has 46 blocks this year, which ranks her at No. 1 in the Southeastern Conference and 13th in the nation.
The Tide will face Mississippi State’s leader, junior Victoria Vivians, who averages a team-high 17.3 points per game along with fellow junior Morgan William who follows at 11.1 points per game.
Alabama will face off against the Bulldogs on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Source:: The Crimson White Sports