Lady Vols tie school record with 13 3-pointers, 85-56

Tennessee's Kamiko Williams gets pressure from Auburn's Blanche Alverson.

Photo by Saul Young

Tennessee's Kamiko Williams gets pressure from Auburn's Blanche Alverson.

Glory Johnson was thinking horse shoes or hand grenades, not hoops.

Just get it close.

“I just saw the ball rolling at my feet and I was like there’s no way I’m going to get this shot off in time,’’ Johnson said. “So I just kind of hooked it, trying to hit the rim and it went in.”

Just like that, desperation became inspiration for the Tennessee forward.

“It was crazy,’’ she said.

She was on the mark with her critique, too.

Johnson’s first career 3-pointer was one of a season-high 13 for Tennessee in an 85-56 SEC women’s basketball victory over Auburn before a crowd of 12,353 at Thompson-Boling. The baker’s dozen also tied a school record. The others were conventional in nature, but no less enjoyable for a backcourt that hadn’t hit much of anything lately.

Guard Angie Bjorklund, who was 13 for 39 from the field the last four games (33.3 percent), nailed 6 of 12 3-point attempts and scored a team-high 20 points.

Fellow guard Shekinna Stricklen, who was 4 for 19 the past two games, was 3 for 5 on treys and 7 for 13 overall for 17 points.

No. 5 Tennessee (18-2, 6-1 SEC) overwhelmed Auburn (11-10, 2-6) by shooting 56.5 percent from long range.

“It felt so good,’’ Stricklen said. “I don’t even know what to say. We’d hit a shot and we’d all smile. It felt like the guards hadn’t had a game like this in a long time.”

The same could be said for all the Lady Vols, whose performance offered a welcome respite from four consecutive grind-it-out affairs. The victory, coupled with Ole Miss’ 64-50 loss at South Carolina, moved UT into sole possession of first place in the SEC. The Lady Vols play at South Carolina on Sunday.

Aside from Johnson’s circus shot, UT coach Pat Summitt attributed the shooting upgrade to the players doing extra-credit work.

“There’s a reason Pratt Pavilion is there and open,’’ she said, referring to the practice facility. “I think they’re committed to getting in shots.”

Bjorklund gave credit to ball movement and teamwork, which also contributed to 19 assists and a relatively low 12 turnovers.

“It really has to do with how well we were working the ball around and setting screens for each other,’’ she said. “We’ve been working on our offense. We’ve been working on it all week. So I don’t think it was necessarily about hitting shots. It was about getting open. Of course, hitting shots always helps.’’

Auburn deserved some credit, too. Tigers guard Alli Smalley, who scored a game-high 21 points, got Tennessee’s attention by hitting the game’s first two treys. The Tigers had 12 points before the first media timeout.

“We knew who their 3-point shooters were,” Summitt said. “It took us that first four-minute segment to realize it.”

Auburn wasn’t so fortunate in covering UT’s sharpshooters. The Tigers favored a fast pace, which worked to the Lady Vols advantage.

“We did a poor job of getting matched up in transition defense, which gave them a lot of really good looks from 3 and they knocked them down,’’ Auburn coach Nell Fortner said. “It was a tough game to recover from when you give up that many 3s.”

Johnson’s hook-shot trey sparked a scoring flurry that gave UT a 43-25 halftime lead.

She spent the rest of her night working on the low block and putting together a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. There was a degree of difficulty to this work as well, considering the 6-foot-3 Johnson often was going against Auburn’s 6-7 KeKe Carrier.

“She’s big, so it was hard to drive in the paint without her getting a piece of it,’’ Johnson said. “We just had to get around her and be quick with it. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t.”

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Comments » 34

USNVOL writes:

Nice win Lady Vols

VOLinAthensGA writes:

GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Great GAME LADY VOLS!!!

huntined#565710 writes:

Will have to play like this every game from here on out.. Will be a Tough game at MISS. If they shoot the ball like they did tonight and play some D they will be tough.

PINK_CHAMPAGNE writes:

Good win Tennessee! I like the intensity they played with tonight. Offense was a whole lot better. Keep improving! Angie is back! Shekinna is back! Williams impressed me with a few moves and passes. The team altogether played great. Smallbone, keep up the goodwork! This is what it takes to compete! The lady vols are back on top in the SEC, lets stay there!

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

THOSE LADIES PLAYED SOME BALL TONIGHT!!!!! Great D and the offense is BACK!!! It was great to see most of the bench get some quality playing time and the bench played GREAT, just like the team did. Way to go girls, we KNEW you had the talent and you proved it tonight!!! All of that hard work is showing up! Great effort!
LV.....TCB.....KOKO.....GBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LdyVolFaninKS writes:

A 29 point win at home against a team that isn't very good. Did we find our killer instinct and that's why we won by such a large margin, or did we coast and should have won by 50? I didn't see or hear the game, so I would love some insight!! I missed it because I was at my daughter's game and we are now 9-0!!

Cldvols1 writes:

Way to go ladies, makes me proud to display my UT decals here in Auburn!:)

tonyvick#213307 writes:

Good win, however, Stricklen must gain her confidence back. Remember you can be the best player on the floor every night if you want to be. Brewer and Williams you both really played tonight. Angie just shoot the ball and then shoot some more. Spani lately I'm just baffled at your play maybe your toe is affecting your game but you don't seem as confident as you once were. You ladies still have quite a few tough games left but if you value every possession I have no doubts you will win them.

ladyvolfaithful62 writes:

Congrats Ladies on the win. Angie B, glad to see you were once again the points leader. Glory, Manning and Brewer, great hustle. Keep it up!

gladiator06 writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

kamiko played really, really well. penetrating, creating off the dribble, setting up her teammates. she could be really special. i believe she had 5 assists. definitely dropped some dimes tonight. i hope she gives CPS what she's looking for from her so that we can see more of her.

nadio1987 writes:

Coach Summit said tonight, the only problem she had with Kamiko is, Kamiko cudnt remember the plays correctly, but yesterday, they did one on one drills and Kamiko knew every play, so maybe this will get her morrreee minutes, and hopefully the start.

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

Where are all the Lady Vol fans tonight??????? Did you watch the game??? Are you not proud they way they played tonight???? Come on, show your support. They have been working realy hard!!!!!
LV......TCB......KOKO......GBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PINK_CHAMPAGNE writes:

Ladyknowsports it seems they only want to come around when they have a bad game. I myself like to offer critcisim on bad games and compliments on good games and my criticism is to be taken constructively. If you ever notice when the lady vols lose or have a bad game, the article is flooded with comments. But ladyknowsports, they played very well today. Everybody talks about Auburn not being good, well they did upset LSU on their homecourt, so they cant be half bad! Go lady vols! Keep the confidence!

SummittsCourt writes:

Impressive win Lady Vols. Lots of hustle plays by many. Great team win as all contributed something.

ladivolfan writes:

I had more fun watching this game than any game so far. Well Glory!

CRFVols writes:

We need our girls to go teach the guys how to shoot!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

1st in SEC!

Has a nice ring to it.

Maybe this is catching.

xvolx writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Williams once on a double team, dribbled the ball between her legs to avoid the double team and scored. Her assist passes showed who the pt. guard is on this team.

johnlg00 writes:

Didn't see the game, but it seems a good time was had by all! I surely hope they have some of their offensive problems solved, though it helps when the ball is going into the basket instead of out of bounds or into opponents' hands. It would have been nice to see this year's LVs against LAST year's Auburn team. That would probably be a better gauge of where this team is. Still, this has to be good for the team's confidence, and I surely hope they can keep it up!

ps11824 writes:

I work way to much. Once again I only saw glimpses of the game, but immediately I saw a scrapping, will-to-win attitude out there. When GJ saved that OOB and threw it toward the goal, the athleticism in that kid is unbelievable. I saw Tamika Catchings in that athlete, just as many other moves she makes amazes me how athletic she can be. IF she continues to develop as she is appearing to be, she just may be an All-American.

I'm not going to be nit-picky here because I am so pleased with a win, a decent scoring percentage and the move back into 1st place in the SEC...BUT the few hurried, unforced turnovers that I did see and the lack of assists will be the points of interests when coaches look at film today.

According to Nell Fortner this Auburn team is just as capable as last year's squad which kicked our tails 2 times of being a league contender. To look at their standings one would say, "What?" It's just that not unlike our Lady Vols, they are still growing and those growing pains are what Pat Summitt have to deal with game in, game out. Last night they acted like a maturing team who wanted revenge, who was not willing to split contests with the tigers. That will-to-win, that killer instinct has to be there to win out; to secure that top spot with a consistent toughness, while Pat and her staff figure out a cohesive rotation.

ps11824 writes:

I read on another thread a comment or two (kazoo and johnlg00) regarding the history on how the Lady Vols have fared in the SEC. Here's what I found in my search.

Thursday night's game:

Gives the Lady Vols a 33-10 all-time record against Auburn
Gives the Lady Vols a 16-2 mark against the Tigers in Knoxville
Gives the Lady Vols a 414-66 record all-time against teams from the SEC
Gives the Lady Vols a 280-40 mark in SEC Conference games
Gives the Lady Vols an 16-2 record in TV games this season
Gives the Lady Vols a 185-13 mark in SEC home games under Summitt
Gives the Lady Vols a 10-0 record at home this season
Extends UTís home winning streak to 12 games
Head Coach Pat Summittís career record now stands at 1,023-195 (.840) all time

richvol writes:

A good win but Auburn is not very good this year and neither is LSU. I did see a lot of things I liked such as Angie shooting open shots and hitting them,Brewer getting tough under the boards and scoring tough baskets. Komiko is the absolute best option at the point and that would allow Strick to rebound and make plays around the basket.

I really like Mannings game...she is coming into her own. I could see her upside last year but she is now getting the minutes and confidence to play to her capabilities. Brewer is improving and giving more effort and her stat line shows it.

When this team passes the ball and is patient enough to work for the good shot they can play very well...not yet good enough to beat UCONN but good enough to win the conference.

marvinVol writes:

I have said before, get the ball down low to Glory and watch her work! She can fight hard when you get the ball to her and with her athleticism she can go up for rebounds with the best of them. Get it to her!

Go Big Orange Ladies!!!!!

ps11824 writes:

richvol stated: "...not yet good enough to beat UCONN"]]

Yep, my prob, but I'm sick of seeing this comment. It is irrelevant. We haven't scheduled ugno as far as I'm concerned. If we meet them somewhere down the line, we will deal with them as best we can. Leave it alone. It's only a negative right now. We don't need that, do we?

It almost negates an otherwise great comment to preface or conclude with such negative thoughts.

utfan00 writes:

in response to ps11824:

richvol stated: "...not yet good enough to beat UCONN"]]

Yep, my prob, but I'm sick of seeing this comment. It is irrelevant. We haven't scheduled ugno as far as I'm concerned. If we meet them somewhere down the line, we will deal with them as best we can. Leave it alone. It's only a negative right now. We don't need that, do we?

It almost negates an otherwise great comment to preface or conclude with such negative thoughts.

I strongly agree with you. Who cares about UCONN?????? The Huskies could have a bad day just like any other team.

ps11824 writes:

That's right utfan00, it happens even to the best of teams. Because we have not seen it yet with ugno, makes it even more likely, the pressure simply builds. Ask Tara, ask the Cardinal how it feels to reap the benefit of another team's off-night. I do not gloat, but I enjoyed that even more than the other Candice.

It happened to the Kansas men. It happened to the wildkats, it brought Texas down. No team is unbeatable.

Volfantm writes:

Great game! One thing I really liked was the LV's pouring it on when Carrier was out of the game. Keep up the hard work!

RLL59 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Didn't see the game, but it seems a good time was had by all! I surely hope they have some of their offensive problems solved, though it helps when the ball is going into the basket instead of out of bounds or into opponents' hands. It would have been nice to see this year's LVs against LAST year's Auburn team. That would probably be a better gauge of where this team is. Still, this has to be good for the team's confidence, and I surely hope they can keep it up!

The Lady Vols passed the ball, quickly and often without dribbles, around the perimeter in order to open up outside shooting...and they didn't appear afraid that Coach Summitt would yank them for missing. With Carrier in the game, getting the ball into the middle was not easy, so having good outside shooting and passing was essential. Auburn is not a good team, but the Lady Vols have squeaked by some inferior opponents this year. So, playing well and not letting up was a definite improvement. Good game plan; good execution and intensity.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to RLL59:

The Lady Vols passed the ball, quickly and often without dribbles, around the perimeter in order to open up outside shooting...and they didn't appear afraid that Coach Summitt would yank them for missing. With Carrier in the game, getting the ball into the middle was not easy, so having good outside shooting and passing was essential. Auburn is not a good team, but the Lady Vols have squeaked by some inferior opponents this year. So, playing well and not letting up was a definite improvement. Good game plan; good execution and intensity.

Glad to hear it! Let's hope this represents the beginning of a favorable trend that will carry them through the rest of the season.

OldVols68 writes:

The game was great -- gets some revenge for last year's two defeats at the hands of Auburn.

I know this is going to a painful change of subject, but it is our luck that UConn is going through a period like no other in the history of women's college basketball -- that team is totally dominating to the point where I fear Geno is going to catch Pat in the next two years. Even I am impressed -- I mean NO ONE is even close to that team. I hate that it has to be them, but I grudgingly concede they may be the best ever. But just maybe Pat can come up with a miracle: but it will depend a lot on two people: Cain being able to remain reasonably healthy; plus Brewer playing at a consistently high level. I thought she did great against Auburn. The other thing is ALL the girls need to stay focused the whole game, especially against the likes of UConn and Stanford.

Go Lady Vols!!!!!

PINK_CHAMPAGNE writes:

I don't agree! Next year the championship will be between Tennessee and Baylor and Stanford. Although Uconn will have Moore, she will not be able to carry that team herself. Tina will be gone and so will Kalana, and those guards along with Maya will not be enough. They will be weak in the post next year, to weak to contend for a championship. They will win games and probably have a good record, but I don't think they will be good enough for a championship next year. Go Lady vols!

ps11824 writes:

mmynatt12 writes: I know this is going to a painful change of subject, but it is our luck that UConn is going through a period like no other in the history of women's college basketball -- that team is totally dominating to the point where I fear Geno is going to catch Pat in the next two years. Even I am impressed ]]]

bla-bla-bla-bla, you need not speak it, nor own it, UNLESS you want to.

The National Champion '98 Lady Vols had that same kind of season. They blew everyone out of the gym. ugno's team went into the NCAA tourney with a 31-2 record. The Lady Vols had beaten them 84-69 earlier in the season when they were ranked #3. For that game at TBA we were 3 fans shy of 24,500 strong. ugno has never drawn that kind of crowd. By the time post season rolled around the Lady Vols had beaten their opponents by an average of 'huge.'

The Lady Vols trounced #13 Vandy 106-45. We also hosted #3 ODU that same season before a crowd of 24,373. No way will ugno catch up to Pat in wins. Not in class nor anything close to it. Heck, they didn't even make it to the Final 4 that season. They lost to NC in the East Region final. You know the story...we defeated Nicky Teasley and the tarheels by taking over the game down 12 points with 7 minutes remaining on the clock between us and Kansas City. Three Meeks, Tree Geter and KJ scored 21 points to punch the ticket to the Final Four where they won the third NC in a row!

Need I elaborate on how ugno was predicted to win it all in '08 just because they had all these great players who could run circles around any opponent? OK. so they went undefeated and won it all last year; that is NO GUARANTEE they will repeat.

Bottom line — ugno is just another coach who is in no way unbeatable.

r2d2 writes:

in response to PINK_CHAMPAGNE:

I don't agree! Next year the championship will be between Tennessee and Baylor and Stanford. Although Uconn will have Moore, she will not be able to carry that team herself. Tina will be gone and so will Kalana, and those guards along with Maya will not be enough. They will be weak in the post next year, to weak to contend for a championship. They will win games and probably have a good record, but I don't think they will be good enough for a championship next year. Go Lady vols!

Accurate comments about UCONN in 2010-2011. However, LVOLS need to prepare for next season and start Kamiko Williams at point guard with Brianna Bass as her backup. LVOLS have a great defense but the offense is pathetic when LVOLS play good defensive teams due to lack of a true point guard. Kamiko and Brianna can remedy this problem.

PINK_CHAMPAGNE writes:

in response to r2d2:

Accurate comments about UCONN in 2010-2011. However, LVOLS need to prepare for next season and start Kamiko Williams at point guard with Brianna Bass as her backup. LVOLS have a great defense but the offense is pathetic when LVOLS play good defensive teams due to lack of a true point guard. Kamiko and Brianna can remedy this problem.

I have to agree! When the lady vols play a tougher defense from a better team, they sometimes struggle. But if you ever notice, at those times it is because they are not playing together. The point is usually left to handle the ball and the pressure alone and that can't happen. Even the best guards need help sometimes breaking presses, or screening defenders to make their job easier. What I have noticed during those times when the lady vol points struggle, the rest of the team has ran down the court and left them to fend for themselves. I think this will change, they already show signs of helping each other more so, I look at it like this, it is a problem that can be fixed. And I still agree with putting kamiko at point, or at least starting along with Stricklen to give her help handling the ball and she is the best passer we got. I like Kamiko's game! If allowed, I think she can contribute at least ten points per game.

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