Basketball Games For Men, Women

The Alabama women's basketball team will open its home season Tuesday at 5 p.m. The Crimson Tide men's team will be attempting to get its first victory of the season, also in Coleman Coliseum, beginning 30 minutes after the women's game, expected to be about 7:30 p.m. Jackson State is providing the opposition in both contests.



Fans have an opportunity to see more basketball than they pay for. Admission for the women's basketball game is $5 for adults and $3 for 18 and under, but the ticket office will begin charging $12 and $8, respectively, at halftime due to the doubleheader with men's basketball. Those who present a ticket to the men's game will be let into the women's game free of charge.

First year Alabama Men's Coach Anthony Grant saw his team lose to Cornell in the opening game of the season. Jackson State, a loser to powerful Memphis in its only outing this season, is the favorite to win the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

Grant said, "They're an impressive group.They have a guy (Grant Maxey) who is the preseason conference Player of the Year and the returning Rookie of the Year (Rod Melvin) in the league. They're very well coached and were picked to win their league. I think it will be a very good test for our team. They're very athletic, have good size and we're looking forward to a good challenge."

Last season, Maxey averaged 16.4 points and 6.7 points per game to lead the Tigers to an 18-15 record and a second-place finish in both the SWAC regular season and tournament. In Friday's game, senior Garrison Johnson led the Tigers with 16 points and two blocks.

The Crimson Tide enter Tuesday's game after falling in its season opener, 71-67, to Cornell on Saturday. After allowing the Big Red to convert on 50 per cent of its shots and 56 percent from three-point range, defensive improvements will be a focus for the Tide.

"We've got to defend as a team," said Grant. "In our last game in the beginning of the second half and the end of the game we had a difficult time defending against Cornell. We've got get better overall defensively. Certainly with a team as athletic and talented as Jackson State that will be a challenge."

Sophomore JaMychal Green led Alabama in Saturday's game with 17 points and 10 rebounds for his eighth career double-double while Anthony Brock his three three-pointers and finished with 15 points in his second career start.

Following Tuesday's contest, the Tide will remain at home to home traditional Big East power Providence on Friday. The Tide and Friars are scheduled to tipoff at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for youths and may be purchased online at www.RollTide.com or by calling the Alabama Athletic Ticket Office at 205-348-BAMA.

The women's basketball team plays its first home game of the 2009-10 season Tuesday when it hosts Jackson State in Coleman Coliseum. Tipoff is slated for 5:00 p.m. (CST).

"We're excited to play our first game at home," said Coach Wendell Hudson. "We learned a lot about our team on the road this past weekend and got some good experience. Playing one neutral game followed by a road game gave us some good preparation early on. We're hoping to take all the things we've learned and transfer that here to our home court."

The Crimson Tide opened the season in Corpus Christi, Texas at the Holiday Inn Emerald Beach Tip-Off Tournament where it went 1-1. In Alabama's opening game, redshirt freshman Candace Sykes registered 16 points and junior Varisia Raffington scored four huge points down the stretch to help elevate the Tide over Tennessee Tech 73-68. Raffington would finish the game in double-figures with 13 points, while classmate Tierney Jenkins collected 13 points and 10 rebounds against the Golden Eagles. Sophomore Carmen McCoy was solid on the boards for Alabama pulling down a career-best 12 rebounds, nine of which came on the defensive end. In Saturday's championship matchup, the Tide fell 96-90 in overtime despite five players finishing in double figures. Junior LaToya King had a breakout game offensively with 23 points. Joining King was senior Tamara Williams with 14 points, Jenkins with 13, senior Dedrea Magee with 11 and sophomore Kayla Robinson with 10. Jenkins also collected a game-high, and career-best, 17 rebounds to finish with the 14th double-double of her career. Jenkins and King were named to the all-tournament team.

Jackson State enters Tuesday's contest with a 1-0 record having beaten Tennessee State 74-63. Five Lady Tigers scored in double figures led by senior Phenicia Taylor with 25 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Jackson State shot 43.9 percent from the floor, including 71.4 percent from three-point range. In addition, the Lady Tigers connected on 19-24 free throw attempts.

Alabama and Jackson State have met six times in program history with the Tide winning all of the previous meetings. The last time Alabama and Jackson State played each other was Dec. 6, 1996 in Tuscaloosa with a final score of 78-44. In its wins, the Tide has averaged nearly 80 points against the Lady Tigers with a high of 92 on Dec. 9, 1995.

Tuesday's games will also be the final ‘Beat Auburn Beat Hunger' food drive event for Alabama Athletics. Fans are encouraged to bring canned goods to donate before the games to benefit the West Alabama Food Bank and help Alabama defeat Auburn in the annual event for the third consecutive year.

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