Former area hoopsters shining at collegiate level

Ashley Williams is enjoying a fine freshman season at Alabama, including an excellent recent stretch. The former Alcovy stand out had a team-high 16 points in the Crimson Tide’s loss to South Carolina, her third consecutive game in double figures.

Williams hit seven of her nine field goal attempts against the Gamecocks and in 18 games (11 starts) the 6-0 forward leads the team in field goal percentage (52 percent) and is averaging a third-best 11.4 points.

Alabama, which is 0-5 on the road, played at Associated Press No. 9 Kentucky Thursday in a game that ended too late for this edition.

Tucker getting starts for Tigers

Williams’ former high school teammate, Meagan Tucker recently became a starter for Auburn. Tucker, a freshman guard, handed out seven assists in Auburn’s 73-71 loss to Kentucky.

That was Tucker’s second consecutive start after coming off the bench in her first six games. She is averaging 2.3 assists and four points for Auburn, which played at No. 15 LSU Thursday.

Thompson shines for Eagles

Bernard Thompson scored 21 points in Florida Gulf Coast’s recent victory over East Tennessee State. Thompson, a junior from Rockdale, also had two steals in the team’s strong defensive effort as the Eagles held East Tennessee State to just 29 percent shooting (20-of-68), including a 6-for-37 performance in the first half.

Thompson, who is averaging a team-high 14.9 points and nearly 16 points in his last seven games, was back in his home state Thursday as Gulf Coast visited Mercer.

News and Notes

Mississippi State’s Breanna Richardson scored a total of 12 points in the last two games, but the freshman from Rockdale is still averaging 8.2 points, 6.2 rebounds (second on the team) and 2.2 steals for the Bulldogs…Richardson’s former Bulldogs’ teammate Portia McCray poured in a career-high 35 points at the beginning of the month and the Lander College junior forward is averaging 9.8 points and six rebounds in 17 games for the Division II school…Newton graduate Stephen Croone leads Furman and is 35th nationally averaging 19.5 points. Croone, a sophomore, is also the team-leader in assists (averaging 3.6) and is hitting 47 percent of his field goal attempts.