Lady Vols surge in second half to beat Texas, 73-57

Tennessee's Shekinna Stricklen smiles into the crowd after scoring 3-points against Texas. The Tennessee Lady Vols defeat the Texas Longhorns , 73-57 at Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday, December 4, 2011.
 
(SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Saul Young, Saul Young

Tennessee's Shekinna Stricklen smiles into the crowd after scoring 3-points against Texas. The Tennessee Lady Vols defeat the Texas Longhorns , 73-57 at Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday, December 4, 2011. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Vicki Baugh already had filled a tall order Sunday afternoon, reaching double figures for points and rebounds.

Then Tennessee’s senior center found herself squared up with Texas guard Chassidy Fussell. A defensive switch with under seven minutes remaining left the 6-foot-4 Baugh responsible for handling the Longhorns’ leading scorer with the Lady Vols guarding an eight-point lead.

Mission impossible? Tennessee associate head coach Holly Warlick acknowledged a degree of improbability by saying, “You don’t think of Vicki Baugh being able to get out and play on the perimeter.’’

Baugh thought otherwise. She locked down the 5-foot-10 Fussell, which led to a shot-clock violation. It was the first of two Texas turnovers caused by Baugh on consecutive possessions. In between, teammate Shekinna Stricklen nailed an NBA-length 3-pointer. The sequence added up to the knockdown blow Tennessee needed for a 73-57 women’s basketball victory before a crowd of 13,465 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The pivotal plays by Stricklen and Baugh highlighted their overall production. Stricklen scored a team-high 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds for No. 8 Tennessee (4-2), which buttressed its shaky 36.8 percent field goal shooting (25 for 68) with 11-for-21 accuracy on 3-pointers. Stricklen hit five treys.

Baugh recorded her second double-double of the season and fifth of her career with 17 points and 11 rebounds. She shot 8 for 10 from the floor, reaching a career single-game high for field goals. She led Tennessee’s 49-38 rebounding advantage, which yielded 17 second-chance points.

Baugh and Stricklen were two of Tennessee’s five double-figure scorers. Glory Johnson had 11 points, as well as 10 rebounds. Meighan Simmons and Ariel Massengale each scored 10 points. Simmons shook off her 2-for-26 shooting slump for a half at least, hitting all three of her 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes.

Tennessee’s group plan eclipsed the singular effort of Ashleigh Fontenette for No. 21 Texas (5-2). The senior guard reached the 1,000-point career milestone with points to spare, scoring a game-high 22.

No Stricklen 3-pointer was bigger than the intercontinental missile that touched down with 6:13 left. The basket punctuated a wayward possession that was saved by Simmons leaping to snag a comet-like cross-court pass from Johnson. Simmons passed to Stricklen and her basket pushed Tennessee’s lead into double figures for good at 64-53.

“Further back,’’ said Baugh and Simmons of Stricklen’s sweet spot, “that’s her range.”

Texas coach Gail Goestenkors described the impact of Stricklen’s shot to be as far-reaching as its length.

“I think that took some wind out of our sails and I think that was a great energy play for them because they came out of that with so much more energy,” she said. “I think we were a little fatigued and that’s a bad combination.”

Along with her scoring, Stricklen drew the lead defensive assignment against Fussell, who was averaging nearly 18 points per game. Stricklen was primarily responsible for Fussell getting off to a 7-point start in the first half. She finished with 14 but was 1 for 6 on 3-pointers.

“It’s something I really want to improve and the last couple of games I have,’’ said Stricklen, referring to her part in MTSU’s Kortni Jones shooting 6 for 25 last Tuesday, “and the coaches are really happy about it.”

Warlick, for one, was pleased with Baugh’s turn at guarding Fussell. In the next breath after noting the improbability factor, Warlick added, “That’s what Vicki can do.”

Baugh said that she wasn’t caught off guard by the moment.

“It really helps in practice that a lot of times the posts are guarding guards,” she said. “So it paid off at the right time.”

Baugh, who played 35 minutes, followed up by stealing an entry pass on the Longhorns’ next possession. Another made-to-order play.

“If she plays the way she played (today),” Warlick said, “we will win a lot more ballgames.”

Dan Fleser may be reached at 865-342-6288. Follow him at http://twitter.com/FleserKNS and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/fleser

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Comments » 44

jt45 writes:

Good game girls, its good to see Strickland playing well and finally see Simmons come out of her shooting slump.

SummittsCourt writes:

Great game Lady Vols! Keep on rolling!

kazoo writes:

Nice win for the Vols. Nice to see only 9 turnovers, and Baugh played well. Free throw shooting remains BAD--this team will not go far in the tourney shooting 12 for 20 from the line. I would hardly call Simmons' 3-11 shooting as coming out of a slump. That's under 30 percent shooting--better than the O-fers she's had lately, true, but her game is still in rough shape.

jt45 writes:

in response to kazoo:

Nice win for the Vols. Nice to see only 9 turnovers, and Baugh played well. Free throw shooting remains BAD--this team will not go far in the tourney shooting 12 for 20 from the line. I would hardly call Simmons' 3-11 shooting as coming out of a slump. That's under 30 percent shooting--better than the O-fers she's had lately, true, but her game is still in rough shape.

Simmons was 3 for 7 from 3 point range 42% is better than her past games for sure.

ps11824 writes:

Nice win, Lady Vols. Better job, Vickie. Meigan will get back to her scoring self. Texas is a solid team. Relieved to see us get this W in the books. We still have miles to go before we are honed. Keep sharpening those skills. Nice job keeping those turnovers down. I would like to see single digit TOs for every game. Please, stop hurrying. Play quick-don't hurry.

la_Madrina writes:

Really nice game lady vols! I would love for turnovers to stay in single digits as well. Proud of the team for that! Ariel is getting better as the season goes on. Her confidence level is really good for a freshman point guard! She has not disappointed me!

Nice to see Simmons smile again! Better game for her! Stricklen continues to surprise me with her new-found energy! I have been waiting on this Stricklen for a while, she is finally here!

Good to see Vicki have a good game! She is capable of that every game. I want that from her every game. All she needs to do is slow down on some plays, but other than that, she is played well today.

On to the next one! Go lady vols!

DroopyDrawers writes:

in response to kazoo:

Nice win for the Vols. Nice to see only 9 turnovers, and Baugh played well. Free throw shooting remains BAD--this team will not go far in the tourney shooting 12 for 20 from the line. I would hardly call Simmons' 3-11 shooting as coming out of a slump. That's under 30 percent shooting--better than the O-fers she's had lately, true, but her game is still in rough shape.

Some people are never happy. Get a life.

tonyvick#213307 writes:

To Harrison and Burdick slow down and you will contribute. To Manning and Spani where did your confidence go? Your team mates still need you guys.

houvol#438636 writes:

Keep it up Lady Vols!

SoddyVol writes:

Vickie Baugh's play was SUPER against Texas. Stricklen or Johnson were close seconds with their overall play. One thing bothers me. I have trouble understanding why the team, inside the 3 point line, made so few shots -- 14 for 47 as a team, even with Baugh's 8 of 10 shooting.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

Just wondering: Is there really such a thing as a "Lady Longhorn?"

butch31 writes:

Good Job Lady Vols...The Bench needs to step up. GO TO BED AT NIGHT! So u have energy for ur basketball game. It is NOT fair to ur teammates to take a day off.
I am not sure if the Seniors are getting payback from their freshmen year LOL...
Good Job Vicki & Glory, thank you showing life in the post. I have no clue why the coaching staff can't get this team to stop shooting so many three's...LOL! I also want to thank the young ladies for NOT turning the ball over. This was a good grind it out type of game. Glad to beat a Big-12 team, we should've defeated Baylor.

nhaaga writes:

who is this young lady who has taken over shekinna stricklen's body?? :)

strick is playing out of her mind currently. the thing that impresses me most is the noticeable improvement on/commitment to defense.

great game, quality win. this texas team is as loaded as i've seen texas in a while. cokie reed will be a monster when she gets in game shape. the tandem of reed and gayle inside, when both are healthy and in shape, will be scary. i like this texas team... they have size, athleticism, and talent.

back to our girls. holly's reasoning for not playing manning more is ridiculous. i still don't understand. her decision making, her consistent effort.... i think we could have used these things at certain times tonight.

hopefully simmons will continue to shoot her way out of her slump. liked the little article about pat getting on the court and working with her, encouraging her to regain her confidence. glory, vicki, strick, ariel, great great games tonight!

good win ladies. very proud.

hcjournals#206623 writes:

Way to go Lady Vols! We need some excellence right now....

Vols68 writes:

Great win against a team that should be ranked much higher against #22! I love how this lady vols team is NOT getting anything EASY this season.. Vicki Baugh playing GREAT, Meighan Simmons hit some shoots, that can really boost her confidence, Stricklen is playing like an A-A! If we hit our freethrows, and those easy layups we will be tough to beat.. We are going to watch this TN team get TOUGHER AND TOUGHER! As the season progresses,I can't wait to see Ariel Massengale grow up right in front of our eyes this season.. Once she learns the players, and they start to jell..LOOK OUT IS ALL I HAVE TO SAY!!

g-man writes:

in response to nhaaga:

who is this young lady who has taken over shekinna stricklen's body?? :)

strick is playing out of her mind currently. the thing that impresses me most is the noticeable improvement on/commitment to defense.

great game, quality win. this texas team is as loaded as i've seen texas in a while. cokie reed will be a monster when she gets in game shape. the tandem of reed and gayle inside, when both are healthy and in shape, will be scary. i like this texas team... they have size, athleticism, and talent.

back to our girls. holly's reasoning for not playing manning more is ridiculous. i still don't understand. her decision making, her consistent effort.... i think we could have used these things at certain times tonight.

hopefully simmons will continue to shoot her way out of her slump. liked the little article about pat getting on the court and working with her, encouraging her to regain her confidence. glory, vicki, strick, ariel, great great games tonight!

good win ladies. very proud.

holy warlick is not the answer, manning and simmons minutes are being cut, because of the dedication to taber spani, who does nothing to warrant huge minutes she gets in games, spani should be the one warming that pine, all she does is stand at the 3 point line and wait, she cant create, no defense, no rebounding, no toughness, no athleticism, she is the reason they get off to such slow atarts, but she gets her minutes every game regardless of how she's playing, manning can't shoot as well, but does everything else better-everything, but no minutes,and simmon's shes your best player last year. gets rewarded by being benched, for spani, i knew this was coming though, same thing happen last year with kamiko, don't have her to kick around this year though, so manning & simmons your turn, good luck getting your confidence back like this, team is worser than last year's team, only difference true(freshman)point guard, miss kelly cain, kamiko williams , lyssi brewer, and lauren avant, what this team could have accomplished, would have been special - bench spani if you want to win a championship, if you don't like it sorry, don't win just blame strickland and simmons and baugh, glory, like i've already heard a little bit of this year, don't hear to many complaints about spani though strange

camvols writes:

Spani hasnt had the best performances the past two days but then again she has a knee problem and has been on crutches all week. But to say she has no defense, rebounding, and athleticism is a joke right? She rebounds and boxes out better than anyone, she might not have the height to get up and grab the rebound but she is moving bodies out of the way and that is what is getting her more playing time than a meghan simmons who hasn't performed this year, nor in preseason in which taber stole her starting spot. Spani isnt scared either and she is scrappy and will be the first person to dive on the floor for loose balls and be the first person to drive it at brittani griner and use her strength and body to go right into her instead of try to shoot it over the top or fade away. Taber Spani deserves every bit of that starting spot as far as I am concerned.

xvolx writes:

Best game I've seen them play yet. Two frosh. played like frosh., but they'll be ok. Don't think they should play Burdick and Harrison at the same time. Simmons played good defense, keep shooting Meghan. I like the run and gun they were playing. Loyota marymount.

g-man writes:

in response to camvols:

Spani hasnt had the best performances the past two days but then again she has a knee problem and has been on crutches all week. But to say she has no defense, rebounding, and athleticism is a joke right? She rebounds and boxes out better than anyone, she might not have the height to get up and grab the rebound but she is moving bodies out of the way and that is what is getting her more playing time than a meghan simmons who hasn't performed this year, nor in preseason in which taber stole her starting spot. Spani isnt scared either and she is scrappy and will be the first person to dive on the floor for loose balls and be the first person to drive it at brittani griner and use her strength and body to go right into her instead of try to shoot it over the top or fade away. Taber Spani deserves every bit of that starting spot as far as I am concerned.

keep dreaming you must be blind

g-man writes:

in response to camvols:

Spani hasnt had the best performances the past two days but then again she has a knee problem and has been on crutches all week. But to say she has no defense, rebounding, and athleticism is a joke right? She rebounds and boxes out better than anyone, she might not have the height to get up and grab the rebound but she is moving bodies out of the way and that is what is getting her more playing time than a meghan simmons who hasn't performed this year, nor in preseason in which taber stole her starting spot. Spani isnt scared either and she is scrappy and will be the first person to dive on the floor for loose balls and be the first person to drive it at brittani griner and use her strength and body to go right into her instead of try to shoot it over the top or fade away. Taber Spani deserves every bit of that starting spot as far as I am concerned.

keep making excuses though, it'll be the shoulder next

g-man writes:

in response to g-man:

keep dreaming you must be blind

spani don't do nothing but stand out on the 3 point line, she don't crash no board, only getting garbage rebounds

g-man writes:

in response to camvols:

Spani hasnt had the best performances the past two days but then again she has a knee problem and has been on crutches all week. But to say she has no defense, rebounding, and athleticism is a joke right? She rebounds and boxes out better than anyone, she might not have the height to get up and grab the rebound but she is moving bodies out of the way and that is what is getting her more playing time than a meghan simmons who hasn't performed this year, nor in preseason in which taber stole her starting spot. Spani isnt scared either and she is scrappy and will be the first person to dive on the floor for loose balls and be the first person to drive it at brittani griner and use her strength and body to go right into her instead of try to shoot it over the top or fade away. Taber Spani deserves every bit of that starting spot as far as I am concerned.

funny u didn't compare her to manning

frblalack writes:

Completely don't understand the thinking behind Warlick...won't use Manning when she has so much to offer. And when she's finally given a chance to play the pressure is unreal...she has to produce immediately or back to the bench. A genuine team player with real defensive skills...what's not to like about her talent?

I don't think Holly Warlick (if this is her mindset) should in any way be considered to replace Coach. She is consistently putting down an extraordinary player. Now if this is Micki or Dean's decision, then I stand corrected. But I just can't believe Coach would want a complete team player like Manning riding the pine.

UT women's basketball was built upon players like Kara and Michelle & Sydney and Brigitte and fellow blue collar workers! Are we so "star struck" that we can't see the forest for the trees?

Give Alicia a "genuine opportunity" to succeed & we will be champions again. Not 2-3 minutes on the floor knowing one miscue means getting pulled; give her a legitimate shot!

We have some players who will take a shot without regard to passing to a wide open teammate!!!

I welcome anyone's opinion that might differ from mine. Max effort and team cohesiveness = championships!!! For heaven's sake let's use our upperclassmen to our full advantage!

la_Madrina writes:

Here we go again! Everybody wants their favorite player to log the minutes! Sorry! It won't happen! If it bother's you that much, don't watch the game!

Someone stated Manning is a complete player, no she isn't! She is a good player, a pretty good defender, but is a liability on offense. She is not that good of a scorer, she is streaky with it! But she does a lot of other things well, but she is not complete. Let's face it, in some games, she will not play unless foul trouble, or to give someone a breather. It just depends! Why would the coaches sit Spani for Manning, when Spani gives you so much more. Spani and Simmons, it's a toss up, depending on who is playing well at the time. This game, Simmons was playing better, so I would have went with Simmons. But that is not to say that it will be that way game to game. The attacks on Spani need to stop! Spani and Simmons both bring things to the team on both ends of the floor. Be happy with that!

Manning needs to get into the gym and work on her offense, her outside shot, and maybe she will get more time on the court. The players in front of her are producing on both ends, whereas she can only produce on one! Defense! Sorry! But at this day and age, you need both! The days of role players are becoming extinct! Don't get me wrong, I like Manning, but it is what it is!

richvol writes:

Manning is really a brilliant player...she rebounds,passes,plays defense and can score yet she sits the bench. She certainly deserves more time than Meigan or Spani today and Burdick and Harrison. Now Spani can shoot lights out when she gets hot but it sure wasn't today and she needs to come off of screens. Manning is a glue player like Dane Bradshaw was but she is more of an offensive threat than he was. I don't get why she is not considered to be of more value by the coaches. It's foolish not to play her in my opinion.

ps11824 writes:

Lighten up on the coaching bashing. THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING. We can't all be coaches. If we were the comments would read more harshly than these. We will roll with the punches and let the players earn their stripes OR their splinters in practice.

Manning is graduating this month. For all we know she may need this 'observation time' to relieve the pressure she is under in the classroom right now. Look at the bright side, we don't have to handle the stress of making the big decisions. We need only observe & enjoy. We win, it's great. We lose, we still get paid. Life goes on.

Go Lady Vols...beat Rutgers & Stanford!!!!!!!

kazoo writes:

in response to g-man:

holy warlick is not the answer, manning and simmons minutes are being cut, because of the dedication to taber spani, who does nothing to warrant huge minutes she gets in games, spani should be the one warming that pine, all she does is stand at the 3 point line and wait, she cant create, no defense, no rebounding, no toughness, no athleticism, she is the reason they get off to such slow atarts, but she gets her minutes every game regardless of how she's playing, manning can't shoot as well, but does everything else better-everything, but no minutes,and simmon's shes your best player last year. gets rewarded by being benched, for spani, i knew this was coming though, same thing happen last year with kamiko, don't have her to kick around this year though, so manning & simmons your turn, good luck getting your confidence back like this, team is worser than last year's team, only difference true(freshman)point guard, miss kelly cain, kamiko williams , lyssi brewer, and lauren avant, what this team could have accomplished, would have been special - bench spani if you want to win a championship, if you don't like it sorry, don't win just blame strickland and simmons and baugh, glory, like i've already heard a little bit of this year, don't hear to many complaints about spani though strange

Your comments about Spani are bizarre. Until the last couple of games, she was the team's leading scorer! You don't sit your best shooter and leading scorer, dude, given that the object of the game is to put the ball in the basket. Granted, Spani is not terribly athletic, which reduces her overall effectiveness. She is not great defensively. But who do you think is going to score while she sits, besides Stricklin? Baugh wasn't playing much until the last couple of games? Simmons was missing EVERYTHING. Johnson is not a scorer except for layups on the break and offensive put-backs. This team, every team, needs outside scoring--and that's what Spani provides. If Simmons starts shooting better, she'll certainly play more. She is not a good half-court player, and that's an issue. Simmons gives you quickness that Spani doesn't have, especially in the open court, but you gotta score--and you gotta be able to score in the half court when space is tight and the game is more physical.

As for Cain, Brewer and Avant: Cain was very slow and always hurt--she played a lot when healthy. Brewer had the same issues. Avant had about 5 health issues before her freshman season was three months old.

arkyvol writes:

in response to nhaaga:

who is this young lady who has taken over shekinna stricklen's body?? :)

strick is playing out of her mind currently. the thing that impresses me most is the noticeable improvement on/commitment to defense.

great game, quality win. this texas team is as loaded as i've seen texas in a while. cokie reed will be a monster when she gets in game shape. the tandem of reed and gayle inside, when both are healthy and in shape, will be scary. i like this texas team... they have size, athleticism, and talent.

back to our girls. holly's reasoning for not playing manning more is ridiculous. i still don't understand. her decision making, her consistent effort.... i think we could have used these things at certain times tonight.

hopefully simmons will continue to shoot her way out of her slump. liked the little article about pat getting on the court and working with her, encouraging her to regain her confidence. glory, vicki, strick, ariel, great great games tonight!

good win ladies. very proud.

i've been saying it for three years and i'm saying it again. strickland will go down in history as pat's most underappreciated superstar.

SoddyVol writes:

in response to arkyvol:
["i've been saying it for three years and i'm saying it again. Strickland will go down in history as pat's most underappreciated superstar."]

She was great in the Texas game but surely you agree she has seldom put in the effort like she did for those 37 minutes against Texas. Continue that and no doubt her honors will come. She played like a POY in that game.

nhaaga writes:

i like taber spani. i like her game, and i like her effort. i don't think she's as athletic as glory. but you'd be hard pressed to find many that are as athletic as glory. so don't agree that she has no athleticism or drive.

also, i agree that alicia manning isn't always a consistent scorer, but i wouldn't go so far as to call her an offensive liability. my point isn't that we need her in games to be among the leading scorers. that would be nice. but, not my point. i am saying we need her in the game because of her leadership, her scrappiness, her resolve, her effort on the defensive end. i have noticed in several games, we use a lineup with burdick, massengale, and harrison on the floor at the same time. in these instances, i think we would be better served to maybe use manning more. (not suggesting these are the ony times she should play, just one example) in these instances, we often are out of sync, make bad decisions which lead to turnovers. even defensively, we seem out of sync (at these times). so, i am simply saying, why not adjust and use the senior to help with decision making and leading the defensive charge. i don't consider her a liability. and i love her game. just my opinion.

as far as lobbying for our favorite player.... she isn't my favorite player. in fact, on this particular team, she isn't even in my top four favorite players. so, it definitely isn't that. i am speaking purely from concern about how we might improve our rotations.

nhaaga writes:

oh, one other thing. warlick may not be the coach making the substitution errors. however, she is the coach that always takes the questions behind the substitution patterns, and offers the thought process behind them. so, that is why i directed my intial comment to warlick. in the post game, she was asked about mannings lack of minutes in particular. and she basically said other players were contributing more on the court.

look at the minutes. everyone is in double digit minutes except bass and manning. no comment on bass. but, manning. that is ridiculous. and it is not true that everyone was contributing or producing so well that manning shouldn't have been on the floor. that is all i am saying. if that is truly what warlick gathers from that game (or many other games this season in which we had the same substitution problem), then i stand by my comment that i am not impressed by her judgement or bench management.

if we lose or struggle because another team is "better", okay. as long as we give our greatest effort. but, struggling because our game planning is poor or our players minutes/rotations aren't managed properly = unacceptable. i just sincerely want these girls to be able to reach their potential. as i'm sure many of you do as well.

Jephry writes:

Great win against a very good Texas team with (gasp!) very good guards. That in itself is a victory. I was pleased with our defensive intensity, and I think the offense will follow. Keep up the good work, ladies, and we will all be happy with the results.

Go Lady Vols!!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to g-man:

spani don't do nothing but stand out on the 3 point line, she don't crash no board, only getting garbage rebounds

Garbage rebounds count, too, as do garbage steals, garbage screens, doubling down on the post, and diving for garbage on the floor, all of which Spani does as well as anyone on the team. Just ask the men's team how many garbage rebounds they have given up all year and how many 50-50 balls they have surrendered. You don't have to be a sky-walker to be an effective rebounder. Not sure why you're down on Spani so bad, but as you can see, you are in the minority on this one.

The way I see it, Manning's and Simmons' minutes are being taken by the freshmen Burdick and Harrison. My guess is that the idea is to give them as much experience as possible early so they will be comfortable in key situations in the late going. If that is the plan, I hope the coaches have explained it to Manning and Simmons. Otherwise, Manning may come to feel the staff doesn't value her hustle and smarts as much as most of us fans do. As long as the team pulls together, they will be fine this season.

g-man writes:

in response to kazoo:

Your comments about Spani are bizarre. Until the last couple of games, she was the team's leading scorer! You don't sit your best shooter and leading scorer, dude, given that the object of the game is to put the ball in the basket. Granted, Spani is not terribly athletic, which reduces her overall effectiveness. She is not great defensively. But who do you think is going to score while she sits, besides Stricklin? Baugh wasn't playing much until the last couple of games? Simmons was missing EVERYTHING. Johnson is not a scorer except for layups on the break and offensive put-backs. This team, every team, needs outside scoring--and that's what Spani provides. If Simmons starts shooting better, she'll certainly play more. She is not a good half-court player, and that's an issue. Simmons gives you quickness that Spani doesn't have, especially in the open court, but you gotta score--and you gotta be able to score in the half court when space is tight and the game is more physical.

As for Cain, Brewer and Avant: Cain was very slow and always hurt--she played a lot when healthy. Brewer had the same issues. Avant had about 5 health issues before her freshman season was three months old.

spani scored 4 points dude, if shes not scoring youre getting nothing from her

g-man writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Garbage rebounds count, too, as do garbage steals, garbage screens, doubling down on the post, and diving for garbage on the floor, all of which Spani does as well as anyone on the team. Just ask the men's team how many garbage rebounds they have given up all year and how many 50-50 balls they have surrendered. You don't have to be a sky-walker to be an effective rebounder. Not sure why you're down on Spani so bad, but as you can see, you are in the minority on this one.

The way I see it, Manning's and Simmons' minutes are being taken by the freshmen Burdick and Harrison. My guess is that the idea is to give them as much experience as possible early so they will be comfortable in key situations in the late going. If that is the plan, I hope the coaches have explained it to Manning and Simmons. Otherwise, Manning may come to feel the staff doesn't value her hustle and smarts as much as most of us fans do. As long as the team pulls together, they will be fine this season.

you can defend spani all u want, but 3 or 4 good games in 3yrs doesnt warrant superstar minutes, looks more like favoritism to me

g-man writes:

in response to la_Madrina:

Here we go again! Everybody wants their favorite player to log the minutes! Sorry! It won't happen! If it bother's you that much, don't watch the game!

Someone stated Manning is a complete player, no she isn't! She is a good player, a pretty good defender, but is a liability on offense. She is not that good of a scorer, she is streaky with it! But she does a lot of other things well, but she is not complete. Let's face it, in some games, she will not play unless foul trouble, or to give someone a breather. It just depends! Why would the coaches sit Spani for Manning, when Spani gives you so much more. Spani and Simmons, it's a toss up, depending on who is playing well at the time. This game, Simmons was playing better, so I would have went with Simmons. But that is not to say that it will be that way game to game. The attacks on Spani need to stop! Spani and Simmons both bring things to the team on both ends of the floor. Be happy with that!

Manning needs to get into the gym and work on her offense, her outside shot, and maybe she will get more time on the court. The players in front of her are producing on both ends, whereas she can only produce on one! Defense! Sorry! But at this day and age, you need both! The days of role players are becoming extinct! Don't get me wrong, I like Manning, but it is what it is!

somebody's in lala land, spani don't get you so much more, spani can hit a wide open jumper all day long, put some athletism on her like texas guards you get nothing, you get 4pts, she can't create if you stay with her, and when she tries, out of control, not crashing offensive board standing on 3pt line, watch her in the game, she just stands there, but no matter how she plays, she gets the minutes, mystery to me

la_Madrina writes:

in response to g-man:

somebody's in lala land, spani don't get you so much more, spani can hit a wide open jumper all day long, put some athletism on her like texas guards you get nothing, you get 4pts, she can't create if you stay with her, and when she tries, out of control, not crashing offensive board standing on 3pt line, watch her in the game, she just stands there, but no matter how she plays, she gets the minutes, mystery to me

You're out of touch with reality! I don't pit players against players. I will let you continue to do that. I don't see the need to tear down one player, to pump up another one. It is pointless, just like your comments. You can rant all day, and all night, Spani will continue to start as long as the coaching staff wants her to. Aside from that, I like Manning, and I hope that in time she can get it together so that she can receive some quality playing time.

MOVING ON!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to g-man:

you can defend spani all u want, but 3 or 4 good games in 3yrs doesnt warrant superstar minutes, looks more like favoritism to me

Whatever, dude.

g-man writes:

in response to la_Madrina:

You're out of touch with reality! I don't pit players against players. I will let you continue to do that. I don't see the need to tear down one player, to pump up another one. It is pointless, just like your comments. You can rant all day, and all night, Spani will continue to start as long as the coaching staff wants her to. Aside from that, I like Manning, and I hope that in time she can get it together so that she can receive some quality playing time.

MOVING ON!

dude u was dogging manning one minute, next minute youre all for the players ....please, youre the one out of touch with everything, youre just pointlessly defending spani, if simmons or anybody else has a bad game they are criticized to death, but spani can't be touched, i can care less if spani start, to me she's not deserving, never has for 3yrs

la_Madrina writes:

in response to g-man:

dude u was dogging manning one minute, next minute youre all for the players ....please, youre the one out of touch with everything, youre just pointlessly defending spani, if simmons or anybody else has a bad game they are criticized to death, but spani can't be touched, i can care less if spani start, to me she's not deserving, never has for 3yrs

I didn't dog Manning! I just simply pointed out her shortcomings on the court. I'm sure she will tell you the same thing. I have no need to dog Manning! Yes, I defend Spani because you obviously have something against her. Your bashing of her, which is all false I might add, is ridiculous! Your existence her is pointless! All you do is criticize certain players that you seem to think are cutting into the playing time of the one's you want to play.

At any rate, you are irrelevant, just like your comments! I need you to cancel your account immediately with Govols Xtra! You are not a Tennessee fan, you're a troll! All of your comments are to stir up trouble! Bow out gracefully! You are beginning to look pathetic!

g-man writes:

in response to la_Madrina:

I didn't dog Manning! I just simply pointed out her shortcomings on the court. I'm sure she will tell you the same thing. I have no need to dog Manning! Yes, I defend Spani because you obviously have something against her. Your bashing of her, which is all false I might add, is ridiculous! Your existence her is pointless! All you do is criticize certain players that you seem to think are cutting into the playing time of the one's you want to play.

At any rate, you are irrelevant, just like your comments! I need you to cancel your account immediately with Govols Xtra! You are not a Tennessee fan, you're a troll! All of your comments are to stir up trouble! Bow out gracefully! You are beginning to look pathetic!

if you dont like the truth you bow out, people like you are pitiful who has to stoop to name calling and degrading people for stating their on opinion, opinions you don't agree with, players get criticized on her everyday, like you did manning, any other player have a bad game their getting bashed, but you act like spani is untouchable, if you don't like i don't read, my opinion buddy

g-man writes:

in response to la_Madrina:

I didn't dog Manning! I just simply pointed out her shortcomings on the court. I'm sure she will tell you the same thing. I have no need to dog Manning! Yes, I defend Spani because you obviously have something against her. Your bashing of her, which is all false I might add, is ridiculous! Your existence her is pointless! All you do is criticize certain players that you seem to think are cutting into the playing time of the one's you want to play.

At any rate, you are irrelevant, just like your comments! I need you to cancel your account immediately with Govols Xtra! You are not a Tennessee fan, you're a troll! All of your comments are to stir up trouble! Bow out gracefully! You are beginning to look pathetic!

i'm pretty sure manning and lot of other people will tell you than manning deserves more minutes, quick to point out manning's shortcomings, don't have a clue dude

g-man writes:

in response to la_Madrina:

I didn't dog Manning! I just simply pointed out her shortcomings on the court. I'm sure she will tell you the same thing. I have no need to dog Manning! Yes, I defend Spani because you obviously have something against her. Your bashing of her, which is all false I might add, is ridiculous! Your existence her is pointless! All you do is criticize certain players that you seem to think are cutting into the playing time of the one's you want to play.

At any rate, you are irrelevant, just like your comments! I need you to cancel your account immediately with Govols Xtra! You are not a Tennessee fan, you're a troll! All of your comments are to stir up trouble! Bow out gracefully! You are beginning to look pathetic!

and for your info, i am a lady vol fan, im just not a spani is a superstar fan, like you

g-man writes:

in response to la_Madrina:

I didn't dog Manning! I just simply pointed out her shortcomings on the court. I'm sure she will tell you the same thing. I have no need to dog Manning! Yes, I defend Spani because you obviously have something against her. Your bashing of her, which is all false I might add, is ridiculous! Your existence her is pointless! All you do is criticize certain players that you seem to think are cutting into the playing time of the one's you want to play.

At any rate, you are irrelevant, just like your comments! I need you to cancel your account immediately with Govols Xtra! You are not a Tennessee fan, you're a troll! All of your comments are to stir up trouble! Bow out gracefully! You are beginning to look pathetic!

i knew that troll stuff was coming, cant have your own opinion here, i suppose to agree with everything you say...........yeah right

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