Tide Basketball In Final Stretch

Three games remain on The University of Alabama's regular season basketball schedule, and two out of those last three games find Bama on the road. The first of those back-to-back trips sends the Crimson Tide, 15-13 overall and 4-9 in the Southeastern Conference, to Oxford, Miss., where it will play the Ole Miss Rebels, 18-9, 4-9, on Saturday at 1 p.m. CST in Tad Smith Coliseum.

It's the 161st meeting between the two schools and the second of two regular season meetings in 2008 for these SEC Western Division teams. Alabama won the first one 76-67 in Tuscaloosa on February 13, paced by 22 points from senior guard Mykal Riley.

Tide Coach Mark Gottfried said, "We've got our hands full, obviously. They've played awfully well at home. And with (Dwayne) Curtis and (Chris) Warren, they're playing awfully well. We've got to go on the road and we haven't had a lot of success on the road this year in the league, so we've got to do a lot better job than we've done in the past."

Saturday's game will be televised on the Raycom Sports Network with Dave Baker calling the play-by-play and former Vanderbilt star Barry Booker providing the analysis.

Alabama All-SEC forward Richard Hendrix said, "They are a good team. They're very good down low. They have experienced players all across the board. Their point guard is a very good player. We'll have to be prepared and execute."

Hendrix scored 10 points in the first game with Ole Miss.

Alabama comes into the game fresh from a 59-56 home win against Arkansas on Wednesday night. The Rebels have lost their last two, both on the road, at LSU and at Kentucky.

"I thought it was a good effort," said Hendrix of Alabama's play against Arkansas. "We got a lot of balanced scoring. I think that's just the way the game should be played. Sometimes it makes me happy where I don't have to put a lot of pressure on myself or someone else on the team thinking that you have to go out and score huge numbers just to get a win. So when you get a win like that it's better."

Hendrix and Ole Miss 6-foot-8 center Dwayne Curtis are tied for the lead in the league with 14 double-doubles in points and rebounding this season. Hendrix collected his 34th career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds against Arkansas on Wednesday.

Alabama's probable starting lineup Saturday should included Hendrix (18.3/10.1) and 6-foot-7 sophomore Demetrius Jemison (5.0/4.9) at forwards; freshman Rico Pickett (5.8/3.3 assists) at the point guard position; and guards Riley (14.1/5.3) and junior Alonzo Gee (15.1/7.1). Ole Miss is expected to go with 6-foot-8 senior Kenny Williams (7.8/6.7) at forward, Curtis (14.0/9.4) at center, and at guards 5-foot-10 freshman Chris Warren (15.6/4.5 assists), 6-foot-5 sophomore Eniel Polynice (11.3/5.5) and 6-foot-5 sophomore David Huertas (9.1/3.4).

The Tide will follow the Ole Miss game with a trip to Baton Rouge, La., to play LSU on Wednesday at 7 p.m. CT then completes the regular season with the home finale' on Saturday, March 8 at 1 p.m. when it hosts Vanderbilt.

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