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