Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Women’s basketball team to face Auburn

After the Iron Bowl rivalry climbed into the stratosphere with the latest installment at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium Nov. 30, the Crimson Tide women’s basketball team has the honor of being the first Alabama team to play the Tigers again Thursday night in Foster Auditorium.

While many players have experienced the heated rivalry firsthand, it is one of many firsts for coach Kristy Curry.

“Well, growing up in Louisiana … I understand Auburn-Alabama,” Curry said. “Obviously, not being an Alabama girl, but I think from afar, growing up in SEC country, I have a pretty good feel for those things.”

However, Curry, who led the Crimson Tide to its first conference win Sunday against Ole Miss, said she wants to avoid getting caught up in the rivalry’s emotions – the recent poor record against Auburn notwithstanding.

“I don’t mean this in a bad way, but I didn’t know that and don’t really care about that,” she said. “It’s about winning the next game, and Auburn’s a part of that. Certainly we always want to, but if we go 10-0 against Auburn and we aren’t successful against anybody else, it’s really not going to matter in the big picture.

Junior guard Daisha Simmons, a New Jersey native, expressed similar thoughts on the rivalry playing out on the court.

“It’s just another game of we want to take it a day at a time, a game at a time, and we want to just continue to build on our wins and our confidence and just keep on from there,” Simmons said.

The Tigers are led by coach Terri Williams-Flourney, who guided her team to the NIT quarterfinals last year. The Tigers’ lone conference win came against Mississippi State Jan. 5, followed by losses to Vanderbilt and No. 8 South Carolina.

“You look at how long and rangy and athletic they are,” Curry said. “They’re going to press us for 40 minutes. They’re going to get in that zone. Little things are going to be a big difference – transition defense, defending the offensive glass – and you look at their team; they’re just very talented.”

Guard Tyrese Tanner and forward Tra ‘Cee Tanner are first and fourth in points-per-game for Auburn with 16.5 and 9.7, respectively. Guard Hasina Muhammad is second in scoring with 12.8 per game, while freshman Brandy Montgomery leads the Tigers in three-pointers made.

Regardless of the turnout Thursday, a tough road trip to face the No. 8 South Carolina Gamecocks looms after the embers of the Iron Bowl rivalry cool later in the week.

But Curry just wants to take it one game at a time.

“I think the most important thing is, again, all year long has been about the next game,” Curry said. “You have to have short-term memory in this league with the type of schedule that we have. You have to learn to turn the page and rebound very quickly, whether it was a positive or negative experience.”

Simmons is hoping for something sweeter, as she celebrated her birthday Jan. 13.

“Well, I like to say I celebrate my birthday all month, the whole month of January, so if we continue to get wins, it would be the best birthday month of my life,” she said.

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