Lady Vols run over Old Dominion, 90-37

Tennessee's Meighan Simmons pulls down a long pass before Old Dominion's Tia Lewis on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at Thompson-Boling Arena. 


(SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Saul Young, copyright © 2011

Tennessee's Meighan Simmons pulls down a long pass before Old Dominion's Tia Lewis on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at Thompson-Boling Arena. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Lady Vols beat Old Dominion, 90-37

Alicia Manning did virtually everything for Tennessee Wednesday night, piling up rebounds, steals, assists and points.

And yet the senior forward yearned for more.

“I was trying to get Bree as many shots as possible,’’ she said, referring to teammate Briana Bass. “I mean I really was.”

Tennessee was all about Tennessee against overmatched Old Dominion. The Lady Vols’ self-indulgence was reflected by every statistic and most of the effort that went into a 90-37 women’s basketball victory before a crowd of 15,409 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Forward Glory Johnson led five-double figure scorers with 16 points. Despite missing sharpshooter Taber Spani, who sat out the game with a sore left knee, No. 7 Tennessee (8-3) hit six 3-pointers and shot 49.3 percent from the floor (37 for 75).

Manning’s 15 rebounds topped a 54-32 domination of the boards. Her six steals were part of a season-high 16 gathered by the Lady Vols.

Freshman reserve Cierra Burdick contributed nine assists to UT’s season-high 26.

And Manning got her wish as Bass doubled her previous high with eight shot attempts. The reserve guard matched Manning’s scoring with nine points.

The Lady Vols’ overall effort amounted to some useful distance between themselves and last Tuesday’s 97-80 loss to Stanford. That was their intention since returning from Christmas break as they concentrated almost exclusively on themselves in practice the past two days.

Their work was reflected by the starting lineup with Manning replacing Vicki Baugh.

“It was my call for her to start,’’ UT head coach Pat Summitt said. “Alicia has been such a team player and a productive player for us that it was time to reward her.”

In the end, virtually every player was rewarded by the one-sided result. Even freshman forward Isabelle Harrison, who hadn’t scored in the past three games, bounced back with a season-high 10 points.

“I like a game like this because we’re working on ourselves,’’ Johnson said. “We’re working on ourselves as a team, and we’re trying to get better. We’re working on our defense. We have so many things that we have to work on outside of the big games.”

UT didn’t start in a revival-like fashion on defense. Old Dominion (3-10) hit its first three shots and the fourth attempt rimmed out.

But as the Lady Vols warmed to their appointed task, the Lady Monarchs cooled off to 25 percent field goal accuracy by halftime and finished with a team low for points in the 45-game series with Tennessee, which stretches back to 1977.

Tennessee, which opens SEC play at Auburn on Sunday, limited Old Dominion to just eight points from the foul lane. Forward Tia Lewis, who was averaging a team-leading 18.1 points per game, was held to eight.

The Lady Monarchs were credited with just one point off turnovers and a single fast-break basket. Guard Jackie Cook was their only double-figure scorer with 13 points.

“We got after it; we were aggressive,’’ UT associate head coach Holly Warlick said. “We were not aggressive in the Stanford game on the ball. I thought we did a total 180 as far as what we can do as far as pressuring the basketball and taking people out of how they play.

“That’s the type of defense and that’s the type of Tennessee team we have to be, regardless of our opponent.”

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 » 35

seadaddy writes:

Close game?

SummittsCourt writes:

Great effort by the Lady Vols. This is not much of a rivalry game anymore but it is always great to get a 53 point win every now and then.

ACWLY writes:

Easy to see what the Lady Vols learned from the Stanford loss, PLAY BETTER DEFENSE, and Wow did they learn. After years of watching Summitt coached teams you just learn to expect improvement, especially after a loss. That's what makes her the BEST coach Tennessee has ever had,
Thank You Coach Summitt!

STLVOLS writes:

WOW, close game

Roger41 writes:

A great win after the Stanford loss. Look like we had the fire it takes to put numbers on the board as we did tonight. Johnson and Manning play well together.Glad to see Manning got the start tonight. Her work in practice the last two days must have been pretty darn good. WE need her in the lineup. Now let's go win the SEC. Take NO Prisoners.

jt45 writes:

Looks like Pat had THAT defense talk with them, they were really putting the pressure on ODU.

Good win LVs.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

What did you think of the 2 behind the back passes for the layup? That one had the place really excited, to say the least

butch31 writes:

Nice crowd tonite...I'm glad the Lady Vols were able to jump back and get back to playing great basketball. Missed Taber tonite. Meighan was 5-13 from the field 1 assist, 2 turnovers *(Selfish play)* I'm thinking she thinks its all about her, because Cierra had 9 assists and 3 turnovers from the post position. I am seeing some things don't ever change. I could never launch that many shots in less than 20 minutes of playing time, without getting some assists 1st. Kudo's to Cierra for the 9 assists. I'm glad the post players got more touches in the post, especially Glory, she works harder than anyone on this team, PLEASE REWARD HER!!! Good to see that the defense stepped up BIG TIME in the 2nd half, like I said last week, if we are trying to get to the final 4, we can't afford another LOSS. No one has played a more competitive non conference schedule like the Lady Vols have.
Isabelle, Cierra and Ariel are NO LONGER freshmen at this point *(LOL)* they must step up, and become scorers, rebounders and consistent contributors. The SEC starts now, and the Lady Vols must win it.

springtx_vol writes:

I am afraid that my hopes of a Final Four appearance and potential National Championship went away with Cain and Brewer. I don't think we have the post play to consistently beat Baylor, Stanford, UConn, etc. Glory is great, but she is 6-3 and too skinny to bang at the post. Yes, she is very strong, but she needs the mass to push around Griner and similar. We simply don't have the post play to put pressure on those teams that have a post and one or two shooting guards.

Harrison is only a freshman and has a great upside, but again is too light for the post play. Everyone else is shorter. Cain was apparently a legitimate 6-6 with a great body for the low post.

SoddyVol writes:

Very encouraging game. Yes, Cain is tall and big enough but in her last year, how far did her feet ever get off the floor? Also, except for Baylor, its not so much post play that would beat the Vols. I agree they need to continue improvement but from what they showed last night, it will just be a mental thing whether or not they play good enough to get to the final four. Here is hoping they heed what the coaches tell them.

flatrock writes:

Alicia Manning is a keeper. If they ever create a Pat Summitt Award, they ought to give it to Alicia!

OldVols68 writes:

in response to springtx_vol:

I am afraid that my hopes of a Final Four appearance and potential National Championship went away with Cain and Brewer. I don't think we have the post play to consistently beat Baylor, Stanford, UConn, etc. Glory is great, but she is 6-3 and too skinny to bang at the post. Yes, she is very strong, but she needs the mass to push around Griner and similar. We simply don't have the post play to put pressure on those teams that have a post and one or two shooting guards.

Harrison is only a freshman and has a great upside, but again is too light for the post play. Everyone else is shorter. Cain was apparently a legitimate 6-6 with a great body for the low post.

Very good post; reflecting my thoughts exactly. When Pat was really winning National Championships she had signed the number one players in the country(like say Holdsclaw, Catchings, and Parker) and/or she had big bad post players.

Now, unfortunately, UConn gets the number ones it seems like every year, and Griner hated orange and ended up at Baylor.

VolsFanInNC writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Took the words right out of my mouth. I remember them being pretty good in yrs past.

SummittsCourt writes:

“I was trying to get Bree as many shots as possible,’’ she said, referring to teammate Briana Bass. “I mean I really was.”

This is why Manning is one of a kind and will be greatly missed next year.

oldvoltimer62 writes:

Go ahead Ladys set them nets on fire.Keep em rocking Coach Summit.GBO!!!

Jephry writes:

in response to butch31:

Nice crowd tonite...I'm glad the Lady Vols were able to jump back and get back to playing great basketball. Missed Taber tonite. Meighan was 5-13 from the field 1 assist, 2 turnovers *(Selfish play)* I'm thinking she thinks its all about her, because Cierra had 9 assists and 3 turnovers from the post position. I am seeing some things don't ever change. I could never launch that many shots in less than 20 minutes of playing time, without getting some assists 1st. Kudo's to Cierra for the 9 assists. I'm glad the post players got more touches in the post, especially Glory, she works harder than anyone on this team, PLEASE REWARD HER!!! Good to see that the defense stepped up BIG TIME in the 2nd half, like I said last week, if we are trying to get to the final 4, we can't afford another LOSS. No one has played a more competitive non conference schedule like the Lady Vols have.
Isabelle, Cierra and Ariel are NO LONGER freshmen at this point *(LOL)* they must step up, and become scorers, rebounders and consistent contributors. The SEC starts now, and the Lady Vols must win it.

The reason Meighan doesn't get many assists is that she doesn't pass the ball well. Her passes are either telegraphed or way off target. It's obvious, as a scorer, she's never had to pass the ball. So...as a shooting guard, don't we want her to shoot the ball when she's open? Key there...when she's open...when it's a good shot... etc. =) If she keeps hitting, she can keep shooting. I'd really rather see her do that than try to pass. At least a missed shot can lead to a rebound and a putback. hehe

libraio writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Vols,

What did you think of the 2 behind the back passes for the layup? That one had the place really excited, to say the least

That was fun, but only the fans saw it since half the attendees had left the gym. I never have understood how you can call yourself a fan if you are just sitting there soaking up the glow of the shiny display advertisements, itching for your chance to leave. If you respect the low minute players and respect the game, you will be rewarded.

KennyGVolsFan writes:

Alicia Manning came to play. I am surprised that it took Coach P. Summitt to put her in the game. Doesn't Warlick understand the importance of playing Manning? Now, I think she has learned. Mannings defense is much better than Spani's.

Spani and Simmons need to get a lot better on the defensive end! Looks like Burdick should be our secondary PG... LOL

Great game by a great team. If we can keep up this type of play against all opponents, teams are going to be in trouble when they come to play Tennessee!! Nice bounce back from a huge loss!!

Way to go Ladie!!!

armyvol22 writes:

Good Grief, ODU sure has fallen from basketball top teams since 1996-97 season. I was at the game when UT played ODU in Norfolk that year. There was a lot of home cooking in that game. UT got them in the NCAA championship game for pay back. Keep it up girls.

KennyGVolsFan writes:

in response to springtx_vol:

I am afraid that my hopes of a Final Four appearance and potential National Championship went away with Cain and Brewer. I don't think we have the post play to consistently beat Baylor, Stanford, UConn, etc. Glory is great, but she is 6-3 and too skinny to bang at the post. Yes, she is very strong, but she needs the mass to push around Griner and similar. We simply don't have the post play to put pressure on those teams that have a post and one or two shooting guards.

Harrison is only a freshman and has a great upside, but again is too light for the post play. Everyone else is shorter. Cain was apparently a legitimate 6-6 with a great body for the low post.

Are you serious? You must not have seen the Baylor game?

I thought our posts, when in the game did a great job of defending against Griner. I thought Baugh did a great job defending her in the first half. The second half was a different story. However, I think having more mobile posts is more important than having a thick body!

Baugh and Johnson both have the physical play to defend any other post player in the country (with the exceptioin of the Ogwumike sisters, which was obvious by the 42 point N scored). I think mobility and speed is something we have to be good at.

It doesn't take big thick bodies to win games. It takes smart players willing to put in the work and effort to defend a player. We haven't succeeded in defending great players. Once we are able to lock down the great players like the O sisters, Sykes, Griner and Kokenis, we will be great but not until then!!

I think our mobile post players are our strength. Our weakness is the selfish play of our guards right now. Of course, it would be different if our guards (simmons) was hitting shots.

VolsFan4Lyfe writes:

I agree with KennyGVolsFan... As long as our post players are hustling and getting after it its hard for them to be competed with...Baylor has Griner at 6'8'' but Brooklyn Pope(6'2'') who had been on a roll and Destiny Williams were negated by TN post players! Notre Dame has a post who is 6'2'' and Johnson gave her fits last year in the Elite 8 ...it was the guards who hurt TN in that game... UCONN has Dolson but plays a 5'11 player at the power forward spot! Stanford was just an aweful defensive game all around... But to put up 80 points on a systematic team like Stanford isn't to shabby! I think the biggest thing the Vols learned was to compete on every play, they were up by 30 and pushed the lead and stayed aggressive. I saw two things I did like in that game (Stanford game) Strick got in one of her teammate's face and Glory responded on the very next play and when Massengale entered the game she jammed Stanford's point guard and made her uncomfortable. As far as Simmon shooting 5 of 13 isnt great but it almost seemed like her shots were in the flow of the offense because she passed the ball around and just missed a couple of wide open threes...Her feet were set but they rimmed out! She didnt get into the lane and just jack up shots she actually passed the ball around on the outside and she actually got out and transition and went to the basket on a lay-up from Baugh...usually she would have pulled up but she went in with authority and finished!

butch31 writes:

in response to Jephry:

The reason Meighan doesn't get many assists is that she doesn't pass the ball well. Her passes are either telegraphed or way off target. It's obvious, as a scorer, she's never had to pass the ball. So...as a shooting guard, don't we want her to shoot the ball when she's open? Key there...when she's open...when it's a good shot... etc. =) If she keeps hitting, she can keep shooting. I'd really rather see her do that than try to pass. At least a missed shot can lead to a rebound and a putback. hehe

Ummm...Meighan ran the point in High School, averaging near 7 assists a game...LOL! Oh and in case u didn't know it, any offense starts from the post first and not the 3 point line LOL...In our losses to Virginia, Baylor and Stanford, just watch how the offense doesn't get in the post. Results: 3 Losses. Keep reading my posts and u will learn a thing or two. Meighan should work harder on post entry passing, obviously she's too small for a two guard. If she keeps shooting 30% from the field, we will have more losses coming. The SEC is not kind.
If we don't establish a post game NOW, instead of jacking up 3's all night, it will be a long season. Meighan is too quick just to be jacking up 3's, she needs to take advantage of driving to the basket, and either dishing off, getting fouled or scoring the basket. That's what gets your adrenaline going, then you pull up for the 3's every once in a while.
This team is too athletic not to be at the final 4. I WOULD BE TOTALLY DISAPPOINTED if they were to miss the final 4.
We have big post players who are very athletic, and can get up and down the floor better any other post players, if we can't take advantage of that, then the coaching staff FAILED.
DEFENSIVELY, we have 4 very lazy players, and they know who they are.

butch31 writes:

in response to OldVols68:

Very good post; reflecting my thoughts exactly. When Pat was really winning National Championships she had signed the number one players in the country(like say Holdsclaw, Catchings, and Parker) and/or she had big bad post players.

Now, unfortunately, UConn gets the number ones it seems like every year, and Griner hated orange and ended up at Baylor.

These two posts sound like they come from UConn fans. I know for a fact UT is a better team without Kelly Cain and Lisi Brewer. We're NOT slow this year. LOL
We blew leads against Baylor & Stanford, those two games will only help us down the road. UT got both opponents best shots. We were up 10 points against Baylor, while only shooting 29% from the field. LOL...I'll take that loss this early in the season anytime.
We blew a good lead on the road at Stanford, and I'll take that loss anytime this early in the season too. The only loss I wouldn't accept is the Virginia loss, that was a very upsetting game. I felt no one showed up and played that game with heart.
My thoughts are the Lady Vols won't be losing at Notre Dame, they may lose one game in the SEC, but I doubt it. They will most definitely win SEC Tournament, when these freshmen Cierra, Isabelle and Ariel get up to speed, WATCH OUT

SoddyVol writes:

butch31:... Yes! Vols definitely have three good freshmen in Cierra, Isabelle and Ariel. They don't have the problem starting to play like Vols the way the class of 2012 had when they arrived. Those players had no "on the floor" leadership because Baugh was injured and others had graduated.

Vols68 writes:

People keep on doubting this team! Regualar season and NCAA tournament is different! Plus we're not even healthy.. Once we get Miko back, and Spani back healthy, we will be fine.. Massengale isnt even 100 percent! I compare Vicki Baugh to deveraux peters from Notre Dame! She had just tore her ACL and last season was her first healthy season back! Around NCAA tourney time she really showed up and was a BIG reason Notre Dame made that run to the NCAA title game! Vicki Baugh is going to start coming around folks.

kazoo writes:

Baugh is the key to this team's title hopes. She needs to play as much as possible, work on her post game and play big. Unfortunately, though the Vols have a post coach, I've seen little evidence over the years that UT's bigs have learned some moves.

g-man writes:

in response to KennyGVolsFan:

Are you serious? You must not have seen the Baylor game?

I thought our posts, when in the game did a great job of defending against Griner. I thought Baugh did a great job defending her in the first half. The second half was a different story. However, I think having more mobile posts is more important than having a thick body!

Baugh and Johnson both have the physical play to defend any other post player in the country (with the exceptioin of the Ogwumike sisters, which was obvious by the 42 point N scored). I think mobility and speed is something we have to be good at.

It doesn't take big thick bodies to win games. It takes smart players willing to put in the work and effort to defend a player. We haven't succeeded in defending great players. Once we are able to lock down the great players like the O sisters, Sykes, Griner and Kokenis, we will be great but not until then!!

I think our mobile post players are our strength. Our weakness is the selfish play of our guards right now. Of course, it would be different if our guards (simmons) was hitting shots.

you'll probably never admit it , but u will miss cain true post, baugh is tall but can't bang, glory too too wild, harrison carbon copy of glory

g-man writes:

in response to butch31:

These two posts sound like they come from UConn fans. I know for a fact UT is a better team without Kelly Cain and Lisi Brewer. We're NOT slow this year. LOL
We blew leads against Baylor & Stanford, those two games will only help us down the road. UT got both opponents best shots. We were up 10 points against Baylor, while only shooting 29% from the field. LOL...I'll take that loss this early in the season anytime.
We blew a good lead on the road at Stanford, and I'll take that loss anytime this early in the season too. The only loss I wouldn't accept is the Virginia loss, that was a very upsetting game. I felt no one showed up and played that game with heart.
My thoughts are the Lady Vols won't be losing at Notre Dame, they may lose one game in the SEC, but I doubt it. They will most definitely win SEC Tournament, when these freshmen Cierra, Isabelle and Ariel get up to speed, WATCH OUT

you sound like a fan in denial, you're crazy if you think, this team doesn't miss cain and brewer, you probably think the team is better without kamiko and avant too, and i guess spani is a superstar too, wake up out of your dream

SoddyVol writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No coolaid but sounds like you've had some "corn from a jar".

WCBB_FAN writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree with you tnmantravel. Tenn is not going to beat Norte Dame. Conference games: Arkansas, Vanderbilt,Georgia, and Kentucky will be a big challenge on their homecourt. NO Elite 8 or Final Four. Sweet 16 is a good possiblity. That's about it.

butch31 writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I hope ur screen name is changed come March...Me and the Lady Vols will have u eating dust and slurping orange kool-aid LOL...

Bye Hater

butch31 writes:

in response to g-man:

you sound like a fan in denial, you're crazy if you think, this team doesn't miss cain and brewer, you probably think the team is better without kamiko and avant too, and i guess spani is a superstar too, wake up out of your dream

Avant, Cain and Brewer are not missed from a fan's viewpoint LOL! We're better this year! We will beat Notre Dame on the road, not lose 3 or 4 games in the SEC, and I'm not in denial, YOU ARE!!!
This is a good team, remember we were by 10 points over #1 Baylor, shooting less than 30% from the field LOL...no team was able to shoot that bad, and have a lead over Baylor and only lose by single digits, no team LOL! When we're in the final 4, u will be back on the band wagon LOL

crossvoll writes:

This was just a fantastic game, everybody contributed, 26 assists, several other season-high stats, just shows that teamwork makes everyone a star! I believe this team will make it to the final four and beyond, if they stay healthy and keep playing like they did in this game. The losses we've had have been good learning experiences and the girls have taken it to heart and it shows! I am very proud of the Lady Vols and wish them all the best! That last play with the two behind-the-back passes to Alicia was so much fun! Go Lady Vols, you're a championship team, so keep playing like it!

g-man writes:

in response to butch31:

Avant, Cain and Brewer are not missed from a fan's viewpoint LOL! We're better this year! We will beat Notre Dame on the road, not lose 3 or 4 games in the SEC, and I'm not in denial, YOU ARE!!!
This is a good team, remember we were by 10 points over #1 Baylor, shooting less than 30% from the field LOL...no team was able to shoot that bad, and have a lead over Baylor and only lose by single digits, no team LOL! When we're in the final 4, u will be back on the band wagon LOL

it's bad when you start looking for positives in a lost, you are in denial, this team is not that good, and i'm not on and off the bandwagon, i'm just being honest with myself, and from a reality point cain, brewer, avant and kamiko are missed, i'll look for your post tournament time, and i hope i eat my words, not to enthused about this team

WCBB_FAN writes:

Covergirl Diggins and her teammates beat Mercer by 86 points. I'm scare for Tenn. now. I would hate to see lady vols go up there and play them. PLEASE DON'T GO!!!!!!

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