Tough Task For Tide Women's Basketball

The Alabama women's basketball team (8-18, 1-10 SEC) will return home for its last home stand of the season. Alabama will host the No. 3 ranked Tennessee Lady Volunteers at 6 p.m. CST tonight (Thursday) in Coleman Coliseum. The Tide will then host the Ole Miss Rebels on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Tennessee game will be broadcast on CSS with play-by-play by Chris Stewart and color by Robin Muller.

The Lady Vols come to Tuscaloosa with a 39-2 all-time series advantage. Tennessee sports a win streak of 34 games. The last Alabama victory over the Lady Vols was in 1984 by the score of 85-66 in SEC Tournament in Athens, Ga. The Tide is 0-13 at home and 0-18 in Knoxville. Both Tide victories against Tennessee came on neutral floors. The last meeting was an 80-51 Orange victory on January 27, 2007. Alabama Coach Stephany Smith is 0-4 in her career against the Lady Vols.

This is the Lady Vols' 34th season under Head Coach Pat Summitt. She has compiled a staggering 969-182 overall record. Is just 31 wins away from a remarkable 1,000 career victories. Summitt achieved her 950th win with a 92-67 decision over #22/21-ranked Texas on Nov. 18, 2007. She collected her 900th coaching win with an 80-68 decision over #19-ranked Vanderbilt on Jan. 19, 2006. She passed Dean Smith (879 wins) for most NCAA collegiate basketball wins of all-time with a 75-54 victory over Purdue on Mar. 22, 2005. Her 2006-07 squad was crowned as the NCAA Champions producing the program's seventh title. UT finished with a 34-3 overall record and were also the SEC Champions.

This season, UT returned seven letterwinners and welcomed a talented quartet of rookies. The Lady Vols enter Tuscaloosa with a 23-2 overall record and a 9-1 SEC mark. UT is led by junior Candace Parker and her 20.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Alexis Hornbuckle and Angie Bjorklund follow with 10.5 and 10.3 points per game, respectively. As a team UT records 78.9 points per game and shoots at a 46 percent clip. They average 40.4 rebounds and force 21.4 turnovers per game.

Tierney Jenkins is the UA leading scorer as a true freshman. She has scored in double-digits 17 times and tallied five double-doubles. Jenkins is second on the team in rebounds and first in steals. She ranks second among all freshmen in the SEC in all games with 11.8 points per game. Jenkins ranks first among freshman in rebounding in all games. The Mt. Juliet, Tenn. native is third among freshman in scoring during SEC contests and second in rebounding.

Smitlh sports one of the youngest squads in the nation. Alabama has 10 underclassmen (freshmen and sophomores) on its roster, including five freshmen. Gardner-Webb started the season with 13 while Jacksonville State and Coastal Carolina each have 12. High Point checks in with 11. The 10 underclassmen have combined for 105 starts this season.

Alabama has gotten a significant contribution from its freshman class. Newcomer Tierney Jenkins has led the way all season long with 11.8 points per game. She ranks second on the team in rebounds with 7.0. Fellow freshman Daleisha Carn averaged 9.8 points per game but sustained a season-ending injury after 11 games. Katie Hancock came back from ACL surgery to chip in 5.3 points per clip to rank seventh on the squad.

Alabama will play its final home contest of the season on Sunday against Ole Miss with tip-off slated for 2 p.m. in Coleman Coliseum. Alabama will then put a wrap on its regular season with a road contest at Vanderbilt. The Tide will play the Commodores on March 2 in Nashville at 2 p.m.

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