Alabama women’s basketball releases non-conference schedule

Ashlee Woods | @ashleemwoods, Sports Editor

The Alabama women’s basketball team released its non-conference schedule, and the slate of games includes 10 home games, two away games and one neutral-site game against Duke. 

Alabama head coach Kristy Curry is excited about this upcoming season, especially about what the team brings to the table. 

“What I love is their [student-athletes’] work ethic, their chemistry and their dedication to being great in all areas,” Curry said in an interview with Eli Gold on Tide 100.9. “We are bigger, we have depth and they’re very talented.” 

The team will host an Alabama-Huntsville exhibition just before the season opener, on Thursday, Nov. 4. 

All 10 of Alabama’s home games will be played in Coleman Coliseum. This is the sixth season the women’s team will play home games at the stadium. Alabama opens up its season on Nov. 9 with a three-game homestand.

Its first opponent is Charleston Southern. Tulane comes to visit on Nov. 14, and Southern Miss will close out the homestand on Nov. 17. 

The Crimson Tide then takes a trip to the Lone Star State for the Maggie Dixon Classic in Fort Worth. Alabama will play Duke on Nov. 21. 

The Maggie Dixon Classic is an event held annually in memory of its namesake, the former Army Black Knights women’s basketball coach. On April 6, 2006, Dixon unexpectedly passed away due to an undiagnosed heart condition. During her time with the Black Knights, the team made its first Patriot League Championship and its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance. 

Following the trip to Texas, the team returns to Coleman Coliseum for a five-game homestand. On the day before Thanksgiving, Alabama begins the homestand with a matchup against Mercer, which made the 2021 NCAA tournament.

The stretch picks up after Thanksgiving, as the team will host Western Carolina on Nov. 26. The homestand concludes with Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 28, Memphis on Nov. 30 and Houston on Dec. 3.

Alabama goes back on the road for a Dec. 5 matchup against Chattanooga in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and returns to the Coliseum on Dec. 13 to host Sam Houston. 

Alabama will finish the regular season with a road game against Little Rock on Dec. 16 and a home game against Winthrop on Dec. 20.

Alabama had one of its most successful seasons in more than two decades last season, putting together a 17-10 record in 2020-21. That is the team’s smallest number of losses since going 24-10 in 1997-98. Alabama also won eight league games for the second season in a row, something that has not been achieved since the 1996-97 and 1997-98 seasons.

 In SEC action, Alabama started off hot, winning five of its first seven SEC games for the first time since the 1997-98 season. This included a win over No. 14 Mississippi State on Jan. 14 (86-78).

The team finished the season ranked first in the league in free-throw percentage (75.4%) and second in the league in 3-pointers (224) and 3-pointers per game (8.3). Alabama also made its first NCAA women’s tournament appearance since 1999. 

On top of the success of the team, forward Jasmine Walker was selected as the seventh overall pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft by the Los Angeles Sparks. Walker became the first Alabama women’s basketball player to be drafted since 2005, while she was just the second to go in the first round, behind Tausha Mills.

Alabama’s 14-person roster includes eight returning starters. The team also has two seniors returning, Hannah Barber and Megan Abrams. The team adds six newcomers, including two freshmen and four transfers. 

The Crimson Tide’s 16-game conference lineup, along with tip times and television designations, will be announced at a later time.