Women's Basketball Hosts Ole Miss
"Little, or nothing, is more important than assisting those in life or death situations," Alabama Coach Wendell Hudson said. "What the University of Alabama Athletic Department has been able to do with its Power of Pink initiative is tremendous. To be able to raise awareness and support research in the fight against breast cancer is something we take great pride in, and it shows how we are part of more than just the game."
Alabama enters Sunday's contest fresh off a 59-51 win at Auburn on Thursday. The victory was the Tide's first at Auburn since Feb. 10, 2002, and marked the first time Alabama has won back-to-back conference wins since 2006. Senior Varisia Raffington led the game in points with 18, 17 of which were scored in the second half. She was joined in double figures by senior Tierney Jenkins and junior Ericka Russell, who added 12 points apiece. Jenkins also collected 13 rebounds for her 17th double-double of the season.
For the second consecutive game, Alabama came back from a double-digit deficit to earn the win. The Tide bounced back from a 15.6 percent shooting half in the first to connect on 58.3 percent on its attempts in the second. Alabama outscored Auburn 41-24 in the second half.
Jenkins continues to lead the Tide in several categories including points, rebounds, steals and blocks. She is also the SEC's leading rebounder with 10.7 boards per game and is second in the league in points (16.3 ppg) and steals (3.0 spg). In addition, Jenkins is tied for No. 2 in the nation in double-doubles.
Mississippi has dropped its last four contests, with its most recent setback coming by a score of 56-53 to Arkansas. During that stretch, the Rebels have been without leading scorer Kayla Melson, who was averaging 15.6 points per game. In the loss to the Razorbacks, junior Nikki Byrd scored a game-best 18 points, while freshman Valencia McFarland chipped in another 16.
Following Melson in scoring on the season is McFarland, who averages 13.2 points per contest. She is also Mississippi's top ball distributor handing out 4.6 assists per outing. Fellow freshman Pa'Sonna Hope leads the Rebels in boards with 6.6 rebounds per game.
Sunday's meeting will be the 50th in the series between Alabama and Mississippi where the Rebels currently hold a 32-17 advantage. In last year's game, Mississippi came out on top 70-56 in Oxford.
Tickets for the game can be purchased at the Alabama Ticket Office by phone at 1-877-TIDETIX or online by visiting RollTide.com. The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for youth. For those unable to attend, follow along on the radio by catching the game on one of 15 station affiliates of the Crimson Tide Sports Network.
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