Alabama hits the road to take on MissouriBy Matthew Speakman and Matthew Wilson | 02/11/2016 5:09pm
CW | Katy Turner
By Matthew Speakman and Matthew Wilson | CW Staff
Traveling to Missouri, the Alabama women's basketball team will be playing away, but for Karyla Middlebrow and Hannah Cook, it's a homecoming. Both women grew up in Missouri before coming to Tuscaloosa. They will be playing in front of their family and the people they grew up with.
“When everybody plays the school from their home state, I think everybody has that extra incentive,” Middlebrook said. “You know, you try to approach every game the same, because every game is just as important as the next.”
The court is familiar to Middlebrook. She's played on it several times before. The court conjures memories of the times she competed in playoffs there for her high school. Both are excited to play in front of their families.
“There will be a lot of the them [family members] there,” Middlebrook said. “Me and Hannah [Cook] are fighting over tickets right now. It will be fun.”
But, they're also focused, intent to score the win for their team. For Kristy Curry, this game is another chance to get this team over the hump and establish themselves as a team that can compete and win in one of the toughest conferences in women’s basketball. Each week is a new opponent and test for this young team.
“Each and every day is nothing easy,” Curry said. “I always say that it is not a sprint, it is a marathon. There are high highs and low lows and few in betweens. You have to be resilient to both. I love the resiliency of our team.”
The opponent, Missouri, is another tough road obstacle for the Crimson Tide. The Tigers are 18-6 on the year, going 5-6 in conference games this year. Alabama enters this game with a 14-10 record and a 3-8 record in the SEC. Alabama is coming off of an up and down week for the team (as win against Ole Miss and a loss against Auburn), but Curry believes that is not affecting the teams morale.
“I love this team,” Curry said. “I love who they are trying to be every day and their hearts are in the right place. That is all you can ask.”
Alabama also has the chance to go into its bye week with a much-needed win. After this game, the team will get an entire week before facing yet another road game in Arkansas. The game tips off at 7 p.m. CT.