Behind the shooting precision of veteran guards Daisha Simmons and Shafontaye Myers, Alabama (8-8, 1-3) defeated the visiting Ole Miss Rebels (9-8, 0-3) with a score of 93-79 for the Crimson Tide’s first Southeastern Conference win.
“I think it’s just great to see it happen for the kids,” coach Kristy Curry said. “They worked extremely hard. I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s always good to get that first [conference win]. You can focus on that next one.”
Myers, who leads the team in points per game, knocked down four three-pointers, which accounted for all but three of the team’s baskets from downtown. Myers had 21 points by halftime, while Simmons also achieved double digits after 20 minutes of play.
“My team needs me, I need my team, so I gotta do what I gotta do, they do what they gotta do,” Myers said. “So we pull together to get a win.”
Myers led all players with 28 points. Simmons finished with 23 points, going a perfect 9-9 in free throws.
In the first game since former starter Karyla Middlebrook was ruled out for the season, every player on the Crimson Tide roster earned playing time, while nine players scored points for Alabama.
Four players finished in double digits for the Crimson Tide, including freshman Ashley Williams, who scored 14 and reserve Briana Hutchen, who chipped in 13 points.
“They work so hard, and to see that pay off for those kids, it means a lot,” Curry said of the overall scoring effort. “If one’s not on, the other one can be, so they have a lot of confidence in each other.”
In another Crimson Tide trademark, Alabama nabbed 10 steals from the Rebels, turning it into 23 points. Myers accounted for four of those steals, and Sharin Rivers and Simmons contributed two steals apiece. The Rebels committed 15 overall turnovers, while the Crimson Tide was responsible for 10.
The first 10 minutes of the first half remained close between the Crimson Tide and Rebels, as the lead changed three times and the game was tied the same number of occasions. Then Alabama took charge behind Myers’ sharpshooting, and Alabama pulled ahead for good.
The official attendance for Sunday’s game was 2,561, which is the largest total for a game at Foster Auditorium this season. The Crimson Tide is 6-2 at home this season.
“We want to make this the best home court advantage in the country,” Curry said. “The environment, the opportunity to play in this facility really makes it difficult. We have a great crowd, and our crowd was phenomenal today, and we hope everybody comes back on Thursday night because we need them.”
Tia Faleru scored 27 points to lead Ole Miss in that category. Gracie Frizzell was the only other Rebel to reach double-digit scoring.
Alabama next plays rival Auburn Thursday night at Foster Auditorium before embarking on trips to South Carolina and Kentucky.