Tide faces Houston for 1st time since 2004

The University of Alabama women’s basketball team will have its first road test of the season Tuesday as it heads to Houston, Texas to take on the Houston University Cougars.

The Tide is coming off of an 80-43 season-opening victory against Jacksonville State University at Foster Auditorium. Junior Shafontaye Myers scored a career-high 19 points in the win that saw each of the 15 Alabama players touch the court.

Senior Meghan Perkins had 14 points, five rebounds and four steals, while senior Alicia Mitcham recorded nine rebounds and six points. Now the team is focused on defeating Houston.

“What is important right now is to improve as a team and keep getting better and doing the things we practiced,” head coach Wendell Hudson said. “I think if we continue to do this, we will have the opportunities to win, such as we did tonight. One of the things that we need to do is play at a different level, defensively.”

This will be the first game between Alabama and Houston since 2004. Houston leads the series 3-1, but it is also coming off of a 3-26 record from last season and welcoming seven new players to its roster.

“We mostly focus on us and how we’re going to improve as a basketball team,” Perkins said. “We really don’t focus on the other team; we focus on us and what we need to do to become the basketball team that we want to be.”

Houston opened up the season with a 72-66 loss to Mississippi State in Starkville. Senior guard Porsche Landry led Houston scorers with 16 points. Landry also had three rebounds and four assists.

Junior forward Marissa Ashton had 12 points and six rebounds, while freshman guard Jessieka Palmer chipped in 10 points.

Alabama will have to be strong on the boards and play tough defense against Houston. The Cougars shot well from the floor against Mississippi State, but the Bulldogs dominated them on the glass.

Perkins said the team has to be consistent on both sides of the court in order to come away with a victory in Houston.

“There is always room for improvement on the offensive end and the defensive end,” she said. “We just have to work on staying aggressive, and once we have our opponent down we have to keep our intensity level up.”

The team must now focus on its intensity heading into a challenging matchup.

“I think the biggest improvement that this team has got to make is we’ve got to understand that we’ve got to have the same intensity the entire game,” Hudson said.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m., and the games will be broadcast on The Crimson Tide Sports Network.

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