Alabama seeks revenge against Tennessee-MartinBy Elliott Propes | 12/04/2014 2:26am
The women's basketball team will look to avenge last year's loss to the University of Tennessee at Martin when the teams play tonight. CW | Layton Dudley
One year ago, the University of Tennesee at Martin came to Tuscaloosa and beat the Alabama women’s basketball team by 18 points in a 75-57 win. This year, UT-Martin will be coming to face a much-improved 6-3 Crimson Tide under second-year coach Kristy Curry. Alabama will fight for revenge Thursday at 6 p.m. in Foster Auditorium.
“I definitely think that our kids – which aren’t many – that are returning remember a year ago, and as a competitor that’s important,” Curry said. “I think our kids have the utmost respect for the way they change their defenses, and the way they play.”
Last year. UT-Martin finished with a 24-8 record. The Skyhawks made the NCAA tournament and were three points away from pulling an upset over the No. 4 seed North Carolina Tarheels in the first round. This year is different. The team already has five losses and has only been able to pick up two wins. The Skyhawks lost its two leading scorers after last year. Jasmine Newsome scored 19.0 points per game while Heather Butler scored 23.6.
Either way, Alabama will have to play better than last year for a chance at a victory. After Alabama’s last win against USC-Upstate, Curry said if Alabama scores 70 points or more, it has a good shot at winning. Under Curry the team is 11-2 when the team scores 70 or more points.
“We will have to rebound better, and we will definitely have to take care of the basketball at different levels,” Curry said. “I think that Thursday night will be a really good experience for us, and we need to handle it the right way to put us in a position to be successful.”
Tuesday, senior Brianna Hutchen led the team in scoring and has been an important player in the rotation recently. Her offensive output and large number of rebounds have helped spark the team to score more on offense. She has brought energy to the players as well as leadership to the younger ones who have not played through a tough college schedule before.
“That’s just who I am,” Hutchen said. “We could play every day and I would be very, very psyched to play. I was just telling one of my teammates the other day. We are just like in the NBA. We practice, play, practice, play, practice, play, but that is what we came here to do. You have to be able to mature and handle playing three times a week, like we are doing. I think we will be able to handle this and it will prepare us for the SEC.”