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

Tide enters SEC tournament No. 7


As the No. 7 seed in the SEC women’s basketball tournament, the Alabama women’s basketball team will get a first-round bye and enjoy its highest seed since 1999, when it was No. 5.

That’s not the only advantage the Crimson Tide will have. Its first opponent, No. 10 seed LSU, is the same team Alabama soundly defeated 78-60 in its last regular-season game on March 2.

“It gives us a lot of confidence going in and getting a bye,” senior Shafontaye Myers said after the LSU win. “It’s probably the first time in a while since we didn’t have to play the first round, so that’s great.”

(See also “Myers leads women’s basketball team as only senior“)

With the seven conference wins coach Kristy Curry and her team have notched this season, the Crimson Tide (14-15, 7-9 SEC) has amassed more league wins than any other Alabama team since the 2001-02 team, which went 7-7 in conference play.

Myers did caution against going off the previous Tigers matchup in the upcoming tournament.

“It’ll be fun,” she said. “We can’t rely on last week’s game and it’s a new season like Coach said, so we have to prepare ourselves again and refocus.”

Should the Crimson Tide win against the Tigers in the second round, Alabama would face No. 2 seed Tennessee, which defeated the Tide in Foster Auditorium 64-54 on Feb. 2.

“It’s just one at a time,” Curry said. “You just focus on the next game. … The most important thing they have to understand is it’s very difficult to win four in a row, and realistically getting that bye was huge to try to win three in a row.”

(See also “Basketball team seeks to overcome Wildcats’ size“)

Despite the stiff competition that looms after the first two rounds, Curry believes her team stacks up against any other in the SEC.

“We feel like we can [compete],” Curry said after the first LSU game. “We feel like we competed pretty much – except for the South Carolina game – against everybody in this league. For whatever reason, that day we didn’t have enough, but we feel great about the opportunity this presents. It’s a brand new season, and you’re going to see that throughout March. That’s what March Madness is all about … anything can happen.”

Curry outlined some areas Alabama needs to improve upon before meeting with LSU again.

“I think free throw shooting, and secondly we’ve got to do a better job on the glass, rebounding the basketball,” Curry said.

The last time the Crimson Tide won more than seven conference games in one season was in 1998, when Alabama succumbed to eventual national champion Tennessee 67-63 in the SEC tournament championship game. That Lady Volunteers unit went 39-0 and is considered to be, arguably, the greatest team in NCAA women’s basketball history.

(See also “Women’s wheelchair basketball team welcomes new season, teammates“)

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