Alabama women's basketball to host Mercer in WNIT

The Alabama women's basketball team will host Mercer in opening-round action in the 2017 Women's National Invitation Tournament Thursday at 7 p.m. when in Coleman Coliseum.
Tickets are on sale for $5.
THE BROADCAST
Thursday's game will be streamed on RollTide.com and also can be heard on the Crimson Tide Sports Network with Roger Hoover and Tyler Williams calling the action.
OPENING TIP
Alabama heads into the 2017 WNIT with a 19-13 record after advancing to the Southeastern Conference Tournament quarterfinals for the first time since 2005.
Alabama is making its second straight appearance in the WNIT and sixth overall. The Tide also competed in the tournament in 2011 and in three consecutive seasons from 2000-02. Alabama is 5-5 in WNIT games.
Alabama and Mercer will be meeting for the fourth time in series history. The Tide owns a 2-1 advantage; however, the Bears won the last time the two teams met on Dec. 14, 2014.
Freshman Ashley Knight set the Alabama single-season block record March 1 in the Tide's victory against Vanderbilt in the SEC tournament. Knight has 78, tied for 10th most in a career. She's ranked 19th nationally and first in the SEC in blocks and 24th nationally and second in the league in blocks per game at 2.4.
Junior Hannah Cook and Ashley Williams scored their 1,000th career point at the SEC tournament. Cook recorded her’s in Thursday's game against Tennessee, while Williams followed up the next day in Friday's contest versus Kentucky.
Central Catholic High School alum Meoshonti Knight is second on the team in scoring behind Cook with a scoring average of 11.3 points per game. Knight averages 4.6 rebounds per contest, too.
ABOUT MERCER
Mercer heads into the WNIT with a 25-6 record after advancing to the Southern Conference championship game where the Bears fell to Chattanooga by two. All three of Mercer's losses after starting league play were to the Mocs.
Junior Kahlia Lawrence earned her second straight Southern Conference Player of the Year award in 2017, while fellow junior Sydni Means was tabbed a first-team all-conference selection.
The Bears have three averaging double figures, led by Lawrence's 18 points per game. She is followed by sophomore KeKe Calloway (12.4 ppg) and Means (10.8 ppg).
Sophomore Amanda Thompson leads the team in rebounds with 6.9 per game, while Means dishes out a team-best 6.8 assists per contest.
Mercer is led by seventh-year Head Coach Susie Gardner. She has led Mercer to four 20-win campaigns in five seasons and back-to-back Southern Conference regular-season titles. Gardner holds an overall record of 290-253 in 18 seasons, which includes a 114-106 mark in seven seasons in Macon.

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