Women's basketball faces Valley State

Alabama women’s basketball will face off against the Mississippi Valley State Devils today in Foster Auditorium. Alabama enters the game 2-0 with their average margin of victory being 43 points in their first two games.

“It is not so much about who we are playing at this time of year, but are improving each day,” said head coach Kristy Curry. “It is more about us constantly improving.”

Alabama has scored 90 points in each of their first two regular season games, with sophomore Meoshonti Knight leading the team in scoring averaging 15.0 points per game. Alabama has distributed their scoring fairly evenly with many players tallying double figures to start the game.

“I feel like we have been able to improve our pace,” Curry said. “Our spacing is better, we are taking good shots and I love the way our team has come together as far as balance on the scoring end.”

Senior Nikki Hegstetter is coming off of a career-high 17 points in her last game. She is one of two seniors on the team and the only upperclassman in Alabama’s starting lineup. Her vocal leadership off the court as well as her production on it has given Alabama inspiration to start the season.

“I think playing my role as a vocal leader needs to be transferred intos scoring,” Hegstetter said. “I think those points and being in double figures will help the team be successful.”

In their previous two wins, Alabama has played lockdown defense, forcing both teams to shoot under 30 percent from the field. Alabama has also been able to cause over 15 turnovers in their first two games. Sophomore Diamante Martinez has has already collected 11 blocks in the first two games. Currently, Alabama ranks first in the country in blocked shots per game, averaging 11.5 each game. They have rejected 23 blocks in their two games thus far.

This is the Tide’s fourth meeting with Mississippi Valley State, with Alabama winning all three previous match ups. In their meeting last season, Alabama cruised to a 31-point victory, winning 71-40.

“Everyone is still focused,” Hegstetter said. “We understand that these games are about us getting better and I think everyone is really open to learn, which is another thing that I have seen that is growing as your team grows.”

Right now, Alabama ranks eight in scoring, averaging 94.5 points per game. Their 43.0 scoring margin is the ninth best in the entire country. Alabama, so far, has shot 43.2 percent from the field. Alabama has seen their freshman and sophomores score 138 of their 189 points in two games.

Alabama will face off against the Devils in the third game of the season in Tuscaloosa at 2 p.m. CT.

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