Wright's 35 points carry Virginia past Lady Vols

Summitt 'disappointed' with performance

Tennessee convened enough scorers for a women’s basketball victory Monday night.

Six Lady Vols in double figures usually turns the trick.

But this wasn’t your usual night.

Not with Virginia’s Monica Wright doing the work of three players. Not with Tennessee coming up about 2½ minutes short of finishing the job.

Tennessee’s points didn’t equate to enough poise and the result was an 83-82 loss to the Cavaliers before a stunned crowd of 11,627 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Wright, a junior guard, scored 35 points for No. 16 Virginia (2-0). Her impressive work allowed for teammate Britnee Millner’s decisive free throw with 6.4 seconds left.

“She just willed us to win,’’ Virginia coach Debbie Ryan said of Wright. “She put us on her back and carried us.”

No. 5 Tennessee (1-1) was led by Glory Johnson, the SEC freshman of the week, and classmate Briana Bass. They each scored 13 points.

Shekinna Stricklen and Sydney Smallbone added 12 points apiece. Cait McMahan had 11 and Kelley Cain 10.

But the math that mattered the most was two untimely fouls and two crucial turnovers down the stretch.

“I thought we played a team that was mentally and physically a lot tougher than us,’’ UT coach Pat Summitt said. “That’s disappointing.”

Virginia started out sloppier than Tennessee, committing 17 first-half turnovers. The mistakes were precious fuel for 27 UT points. They also contributed to a 21-3 scoring run as the Lady Vols led by as many as 13 points (41-28) before halftime.

The Cavaliers got their act together during the break and committed just six turnovers thereafter.

“That was the difference in the game,’’ Ryan said. “I knew once we settled down and didn’t give them 27 points in turnovers, we’d have a chance.”

Tennessee’s act, meanwhile, began to unravel. The Lady Vols had no answer for Wright, despite trying different defenders and different alignments, including a zone for several possessions.

“We knew coming in what (Wright) could do,’’ McMahan said. “We didn’t execute. That’s our fault. We have to take the blame for that.”

Wright received some vital help from center Aisha Mohammed, who scored 14 of her 19 points in the second half and freshman reserve guard Whitny Edwards, who scored 11 of her 13 points after the break.

UT’s only hope was to outscore the Cavaliers and keep its misfortune to a minimum.

Johnson was whistled for a biggie when she interrupted her trip to the foul line by being called for a technical after tangling with Edwards with 3:38 left.

Summitt said the official’s explanation was “he thought she threw an elbow.”

“That shouldn’t have happened,’’ Summitt said, “and it better not happen again.”

As for Johnson’s take: “I think that was a tough call on my part . . . We just got tied up. I got the call.”

While that exchange turned out to be a scoring wash, UT forged a 78-73 advantage after a clutch 3-pointer by Bass with 2:46 remaining.

But two Tennessee turnovers led to four free Virginia points. A steal and driving layup by Edwards pulled the Cavaliers even at 80 with 1:12 left.

“The turnovers, they broke us,’’ Smallbone said.

Not quite. Two Alex Fuller free throws gave UT an 82-80 lead with 48.1 seconds left. Wright answered with a jumper over Bass nine seconds later.

UT’s final shot at victory was a driving miss by Stricklen, who shot 3-for-14 from the floor. She fouled Millner after a rebound scramble to set up the winning free throw.

“We were looking to get the ball inside either off the pass or penetration,” Summitt said.

Millner missed her second free throw, giving UT a final opportunity. But Fuller hesitated in calling time out and then the Lady Vols didn’t heave the ball up the court on a final inbounds play.

The loss was just Tennessee’s 19th in the arena.

“We definitely feel like we were part of history,’’ Wright said. “And it was well-earned.”

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Comments » 37

utvolz#637682 writes:

Enjoy beating up on our freshmen UVA. We'll still be standing when the dust settles. Will you?

utvolz#637682 writes:

in response to ButchIsBack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's a Monday night game. I bowl on Monday, live in Manchester, or I would have been there (playing a ranked team.)

Either your post was tongue in cheek or you're a moron! Your choice.....

(a) tongue in cheek

(b) moron

Please refrain from leaving any dangling chads!

Frank (broadcasting live from Manchester, TN!)

oldvolsfan writes:

he is both a & b on top of that a idot

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

in response to utvolz#637682:

Enjoy beating up on our freshmen UVA. We'll still be standing when the dust settles. Will you?

Really, Va. was lucky to win this one. We almost beat them anyway. Personally I enjoyed watching the game, it went right down to the wire, and was very exciting. What else could you want?

Reflections writes:

in response to ButchIsBack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Every time you think, you weaken the nation.

ladivolfan writes:

I wonder just how many times Pat will use the word "defense" in today's practice?

volfanincarolina writes:

in response to ButchIsBack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey Butch, go fly a kite. I believe you must put your stupid thoughts in just to get some replies cause no one can be as stupid as what you said about Coach Summit. I do not care if 2000 fans came to watch I will still read what is on this site. The only thing I have to say about the game is for Tenn. get rid of them ugly shoes and put the orange back on.

burpee_von_rotweiler_IV writes:

in response to ButchIsBack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Technical foul called. Clap, clap. Dadgum it! I just know Pat is going to look at the film and work like heck to get things where they need to be. The Lady Vols are just two points away from an unbeaten season.

ButchIsBack--your post is funny and I think it was intended to be. But Pat and Phil are two different coaches. Phil would never had said the other team was better physically and mentally prepared. Nor would he would have said about an errant elbow: "it better not happen again (you will have to imagine the intense facial expression when she said that yourself.)

The day after, Phil would have shrugged the loss off with multiple excuses, insulting the fans, etc. I predict practice today for the Lady Vols is not going to be pretty.

blitzshoot writes:

in response to hiresanders:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Is the taste of VMI out of your mouth yet? Worry about your K-Y. How many site names doyou go by anyway?

drwfocus#660070 writes:

Most of these girls have high school experience at most. The rest, with one exception, have one year of backup PT. They are apparently very talented but need D1 experience and development which they will get. They will probably lose 10 to 12 games this year. In the end they will make it to the NCAA tournament and go as far as the elite 8. If not for Pat and staff they would have lost by 10 or more points last night. Everyone needs to chill and enjoy watching this group develop over the next couple of years.

Biggie writes:

UT played well but it's inexperience showed in the last few minutes. VA's Wright was a backbreaker. VA couldn't beat UT again in ten tries. Wright was unconcious, and won't have another game like that all year.

silvertr6 writes:

What an exciting game, and the loss will be a positive because all will learn from it. Oh well, it is still very early in the season. It will be fun to watch this very young team mature under coachs leadership, guidance and strong will to win.

FLAVOLS writes:

in response to volball09:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

knoxtenor writes:

Although it would have been great to beat UVA, I would rather see our youngsters drop one to a ranked team this early in the season and learn from it than to charge ahead and falter later on. Getting "veterans" Baugh and Bjorkland back will help things in that respect. Pat easily has the raw material to dominate--I say again, DO-MI-NATE!--the NCAA for the next four years. If the girls will listen to her, learn from their mistakes, and not fall into the "we're only a bunch of underclassmen-, er...-women" mindset, there will be 64 teams praying that they don't get bracketed with the Lady Vols in March. (OK, you're right. Teams ALWAYS pray they won't be bracketed with the Lady Vols in March, anyway.)

knoxtenor writes:

Oh, and by the way, how many players, even among the scrubs, has Pat EVER had declared academically ineligible?

PureOrange writes:

In observing the lack of passion and effort in this game, I will not be at all surprised to see some of these girls leaving UT by the end of the year. In only the second game, it is definitely not burnout. And it is easy to brush it off as young players, but the single biggest blunder of the night was Fuller standing there holding the ball as she allowed the clock to run down. She could have passed the ball; dribbled to the basket; or called timeout immediately, but she did neither. She stood there in a trance as if she had never been on a court.

Pat has a real job ahead of her.

ggriggs939#223122 writes:

Based on the commentators' prattle, I thought this was a virginia home game. The officiating was typical in holding the Lady Vols to a different standard.

rockytopron writes:

Truth is, this team will be a final four team by season's end. This loss is one of those rare "good losses" in that it will give Pat plenty to coach this week.

The Lady Vols played hard, just lack the necessary experience to finish but that will come.

I liked what I saw in our freshmen, they look like world beaters during parts of the game.

Putting things into perspective: The Lady Vols lost by 1 point to the #15 team in the country with six freshman playing significant time, 2 redshirt sophmores and our best two players sitting on the bench due to injuries.

Yes, this will be a special team to watch over the next 4 years.

Go Lady Vols!

rockytopron writes:

in response to ButchIsBack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You watch a lot of boys middle school basketball, do you?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to hiresanders:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Who is this "us" of whom you speak? You have never had anything good to say about UT yet; but now you are one of "us"? A team of almost all freshmen and a couple of fringe players back from one of the greatest Lady Vol teams ever losing in their second game to a ranked team with more experience and coached by their own Hall-of-Famer by ONE POINT hardly qualifies as a "slap-down", moron! Football, yeah, this year we suck. We will be better in the future but you will always be a clueless 'Cat fan! Oh yeah, how did your "we-didn't-need-Bobby-Maze-Hopson-is-no-good-anyway" Mildcats do against UNRANKED VMI last Saturday? Talk about slap-downs! ROFLMAO!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

These games are going to happen to a young team. Tough to lose a 13 point lead, but, unlike others, Pat will coach them up.

They aren't even picked to win the SEC. Pat will play a lot of players this year, I would surmise.

johnlg00 writes:

I have never seen three dumber posts on such a short thread than those by jh43, ButchIsBack, and hiresanders. I don't even know where to begin commenting on most of what they said, though I did at least make a stab with hiresanders. All I will say now is that anyone who doesn't like the Lady Vols had better get their yucks now because they won't likely lose more than one or two like this until maybe the Elite Eight and will be among the top teams in the country, where they belong, for the next three years at least.

ps11824 writes:

Thank you, Johnlg, for smacking that 'thing' away. There must be some rat holes in this forum; I notice some vermin have crawled in here under the guise of being capable of making a sensible comment. I have vowed to ignore them. They surely lack the sense to know how ignorant and pathetic they really are.

The one calling itself butch would not recognize decency if it crawled up its tiny leg and bit it in the knee, therefore to acknowledge its rancorous castigation in any way would require one to capitulate to its officious malfeasance.

ladivolfan writes:

in response to rockytopron:

You watch a lot of boys middle school basketball, do you?

ROTFLMBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RTB writes:

Can't recall seeing comments such as those three have posted here. Certainly not at the second game of the year.

vol2008 writes:

in response to ButchIsBack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wow you obviously don't know anything about anything, do you? Pat needs to go. That's funny, because Pat is the only one going out and winning us championships. I think you are the one that needs to go. Your so ignorant it's pathetic.

vol2008 writes:

in response to ButchIsBack:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ok, so what I'm getting from you is that:

1) You are ignorant.
2) You like to watch little boys play basketball.

I think I'm actually lost for words.

POLOinDC writes:

Hey Butch are you a top or bottom? LOL

johnlg00 writes:

in response to ps11824:

Thank you, Johnlg, for smacking that 'thing' away. There must be some rat holes in this forum; I notice some vermin have crawled in here under the guise of being capable of making a sensible comment. I have vowed to ignore them. They surely lack the sense to know how ignorant and pathetic they really are.

The one calling itself butch would not recognize decency if it crawled up its tiny leg and bit it in the knee, therefore to acknowledge its rancorous castigation in any way would require one to capitulate to its officious malfeasance.

You're right, 98reax, I should have ignored them too, but I just lost my head there for a moment. I'll try harder to follow your worthy example in the future(;-D)!

ps11824 writes:

[With Monday's loss to Virginia, Tennessee coach Pat Summitt surrendered the title of winningest active coach to her rival, Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma.

Highest Winning Percentage
Active D-I Women's Coaches
W L Win Pct
Geno Auriemma, Connecticut 658 122 .844
Pat Summitt, Tennessee 984 183 .843]

ESPN was quick to proudly post that little jewel. How gracious of them to think of that. I'm sure they will be jumping at the chance to make hay of our every loss. Let 'em crow!

The Lady Vols played almost dead even with UVA as far as the stat line goes. The Cavs outrebounded us by 1. They grabbed 1 more steal than the Orange-clad hoopsters, and Debbie Ryan's team had 3 more assists. Both teams were even in the turnover category. We shot 41.3% overall while Virginia shot 50%. Wright's outstanding outing and our inability to make a play in the final seconds gave UVA the road victory. Big deal. It's November.

It could easily have been a squeaker win for the young Lady Vols which would have been nice but not earth-shattering, so don't be too bumbed about the loss Lady Vol fans. As for Geno, he can enjoy his numbers while they last. He will never measure up to Pat Summitt. Never.

ps11824 writes:

'Bumbed' is not a word, is it? Perhaps it should be. It's much easier to feel than 'disappointed.'

cainclifton23 writes:

At least now we wont have to hear the stupid argument about how the women could beat the mean at basketball.. lol

bmaples writes:

in response to utvolz#637682:

It's a Monday night game. I bowl on Monday, live in Manchester, or I would have been there (playing a ranked team.)

Either your post was tongue in cheek or you're a moron! Your choice.....

(a) tongue in cheek

(b) moron

Please refrain from leaving any dangling chads!

Frank (broadcasting live from Manchester, TN!)

Or a Moran.

Heh.

PureOrange writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I have never seen three dumber posts on such a short thread than those by jh43, ButchIsBack, and hiresanders. I don't even know where to begin commenting on most of what they said, though I did at least make a stab with hiresanders. All I will say now is that anyone who doesn't like the Lady Vols had better get their yucks now because they won't likely lose more than one or two like this until maybe the Elite Eight and will be among the top teams in the country, where they belong, for the next three years at least.

I must have missed the post by this genius, johnlg00. I think I would have been impressed by someone who thinks he knows so much.

Of course, some people think they have all the answers when they do not even know the question. Johnlg00 surely fits that discription.

After all, this is supposed to be a forum for people to express their opinions, and I would venture to guess I have been keeping up with the Lady Vols longer than most of the people on this list.

MillisaAnn writes:

I have faith in Pat Summitt and the Lady Vols they will bounce back and be better.

ladivolfan writes:

Check out this future Lady Vol Point Guard

http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/blog/ball...

ridor9th writes:

Whoa! Whoa! I finally figured out a way to get on this damned thread -- I'm a fan of Virginia Cavaliers.

I was extremely happy that Virginia Cavaliers gets to be one of fewest teams to beat Tennessee in Knoxville at Thompson-Boling Arena. In fact, Virginia DESERVED to win this particular game after one too many losses to UTK in Knoxville.

I'm amused that UT fans had the audacity to use their youth as one of these reasons that the team lost to UVA. Yes, LVs are young! So is Virginia! Virginia's freshmen combined for 20 points in that game. Never mind the fact that Virginia also lost 4 experienced players to various reasons ... and Virginia still comes up and beat you guys!

Accept that.

And no, the next time around -- when Tennessee visits the Cavaliers in John Paul Jones Arena, the team and the fans still has NOT forgotten the devastating home loss in '96 NCAA Elite Eight in Charlottesville.

Mark my words -- Virginia probably will improve to 3-11 lifetime against the Lady Vols by the time the Lady Vols makes a return visit to Charlottesville!

Cheers,

R-

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