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Alabama beats Ole Miss to give Curry first SEC victory

 

From Special Reports

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Shafontaye Myers and Daisha Simmons combined to score 51 points Sunday to lead the Alabama women's basketball team to a 93-79 victory against Ole Miss at Foster Auditorium. 

 

Myers had a game-high 28 points, while Simmons added 23 to help Alabama (8-8, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) give coach Kristy Curry her first league victory. 

 

"Today is all about great energy and great effort," Curry. "Energy never fails and our kids have worked so hard. To get this first win in SEC play, I'm so incredibly proud of them because they've done everything we have asked for them to do, and I know I say that over and over, but this week has been incredible." 

 

Four Alabama players turned in double-digit scoring performances, as the Tide set a season-high for points in a regulation game and the most points against an SEC opponent since Feb. 21, 1999, when Alabama had 102 against Vanderbilt. Freshman Ashley Williams scored 14 points, while junior Briana Hutchen added 13. 

 

Simmons, who was 9 of 9 from the free throw line, added eight rebounds and seven assists. Myers was 10 of 19 from the field, including 4 of 7 on 3-pointers, and had four steals. 

 

Leading 48-34 at halftime, Alabama shot better than 53 percent from the field in the second half and led by as much as 25 points late in the game. 

 

Despite Tia Faleru's SEC leading ninth double-double of the year, Ole Miss slipped to 9-8 and 0-3. Ole Miss rebounded from a 33.3 percent (11-of-33) shooting first half to a shoot 46.2 percent (18 of 39) in the second half. 

 

"We have to guard," said Ole Miss coach Matt Insell, whose team slipped to 9-8 and 0-3. "We are not guarding when you give up 93 points to a team that is averaging 65 points per game. A lot of that was us. They did nothing that we weren't prepared for. We have to start taking game plans and putting it in action in the floor and that come to coaching too. I have to start playing the players that have bought in and are committed." 

 

Faleru led the Rebels with 27 points and 10 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the year. 

 

"She's getting better and better. She came out and battled today," Insell said. "We probably didn't get her the ball as much as we should have, but she did have 21 attempts. Very happy with her and the energy and passion she plays with. She came out here and she wanted to win this game. We were down and she went out there and worked just as hard as she could work. She's a veteran and played with some toughness out there."  

 

Gracie Frizzell added 14 points, including 12 from long range. Tianah Alvarado also provided a boost off the bench with six points and four rebounds in 14 minutes. 

 

Ole Miss will play host to Vanderbilt, while Alabama will play host to Auburn on Thursday.

 

 

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