Lady Vols rally past Vanderbilt, 65-57

NASHVILLE — Tennessee scraped together an offense and salvaged an outcome Sunday night.

A freshman’s fingerprints were all over this crucial reclamation work in the second half against Vanderbilt. But it wasn’t the usual Lady Vols rookie doing the honors.

After a cameo appearance in the first half, Lauren Avant arrived like a one-woman cavalry brigade after halftime, complete with solid point guard play and stout defense.

Teammate Shekinna Stricklen earned team scoring honors with 14 points in a 65-57 SEC women’s basketball victory over the Commodores before an announced crowd of 11,386 at Memorial Gymnasium. Yet she passed the credit quickly to where she thought it was due.

“She had it all today,’’ Stricklen said of Avant. “She brought the energy in the second half.”

Avant’s spirited play helped the Lady Vols overcome a 13-point halftime deficit and one of the worst halves of offense in program history. She backed up Stricklen with 11 points and gathered four steals to spearhead the defense.

“She was more than a spark,’’ UT forward Alyssia Brewer said. “She lit a bonfire and kept it burning.”

No. 4 Tennessee (24-2, 12-0 SEC) scored 50 points in the second half and shot 51.5 percent from the floor (17 for 33). Glory Johnson was the other Lady Vol scorer in double figures with 10 points. The junior forward also had 14 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season.

Guard Meighan Simmons, who has inspired most of the freshman headlines this season, scored nine, including a driving layup that gave UT the lead for good, 51-49 with 3:42 left.

“I think once they got more aggressive again and came after us, we got on our heels defensively and didn’t do the job that we did (in the first half),’’ Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb said. “Then you get tight on offense because you can’t get the stops you were getting in the first half

“The frustrating piece is until the last 8 minutes we were beating them and they’re a number 4 team in the country and there’s a lot to be said for that.”

Led by Jence Rhoads’ game-high 15 points, Vanderbilt (17-8, 8-4) set the tone with its dogged defense, which robbed Tennessee of any semblance of offense in the first half. The 15 points were a season low for a first half and the third lowest total in program history.

“Vanderbilt came out with a lot more energy,’’ UT coach Pat Summitt said. “Why? Because they were here and they wanted to beat us.”

Tennessee looked beaten and broken at halftime, shooting a chilly 20 percent from the floor (5 for 25). Four starters — Meighan Simmons, Taber Spani, Johnson and Stricklen were a combined 0 for 14 from the floor.

The Lady Vols also committed 12 of their 17 turnovers in the first 20 minutes. Vicki Baugh, who made her first start since Dec. 30, 2008, was charged with five of them. She and Johnson finished with six apiece.

Reserve Elan Brown’s two free throws gave Vanderbilt its biggest lead, 28-15, which the Commodores took into halftime.

“I ripped everybody,’’ said Summitt, recounting her locker room talk. “Nobody was stepping up taking ownership, leadership.”

Summitt described her search for an effective lineup combination as “almost like roll call.”

Avant, who returned with 16:05 left, answered the call. She all but attached herself to Commodores guard Jasmine Lister.

“That started it all,’’ Stricklen said.

Lister and fellow guard Rhoads finished with a combined 11 turnovers. Twelve of Tennessee’s second-half points corresponded with Vanderbilt turnovers and 14 points were scored in fast-break fashion.

Avant helped start something good.

Dan Fleser covers Lady Vols basketball. He 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 » 91

al2476 writes:

Same old Vandy! ! Choke !

chaos001 writes:

Down go the damned Dirty 'Dores!!!

I always hate the Vandy game @ Vandy. They get away with bloody murder. I was hoping GloJo would've put that elbow into Tuomi's ugly face. She and a few others deserved it.

Way to come out and kick some butt, Lauren Avant!

huntined#565710 writes:

They sure had to play a great second half to pull this one out. Avant had a good game and they gutted one out tonight.

springtx_vol writes:

The last foul on Glory was completely bogus, but she has brought the extra attention on herself with the elbows. She needs to get her arms below shoulder height when she is clearing out.

Otherwise, without Angie we struggle with outside shooting. I really liked the lineup of Symmons, Williams, Avant, Stricklen, and any one of the bigs. Avant looks like a more natural point guard and it opens the floor because everyone knows Symmons and Williams will shoot at the drop of a hat.

The only thing that I see that the Ladies need is an upgrade on the intensity from the opening tap. Against Vandy today and Kentucky last week, it looked like they knew that they could turn it on at any time. They did; it was enough to win the game, but that is not the way that champions play.

huntined#565710 writes:

Vandy is a young team so they will be tough for a couple of years. They do have some big three point shooters and they play tough on D. TENN will just have to get up for their games and be ready to play from the start.

cdtnladyvols931#663910 writes:

in response to chaos001:

Down go the damned Dirty 'Dores!!!

I always hate the Vandy game @ Vandy. They get away with bloody murder. I was hoping GloJo would've put that elbow into Tuomi's ugly face. She and a few others deserved it.

Way to come out and kick some butt, Lauren Avant!

you are so right!!!! they flopped on some of those fouls on GloJO

mhsvol writes:

One more example of an article from the KNS that contains enough typos to make a sixth-grader blush. If you people don't care about this kind of stuff, then find another profession where you can actually be considered a professional.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Here's my take........no t.v. for me so listened to Mickey. First off, here's to the Vanderbilt total idiot who sounded on the radio like he was 3 feet from Mickey's microphone.........and this clown whistled as loudly as you have ever heard a whistle, everytime we had the ball or went to the line for free throws. Now, how does that idiot feel?

Back to the game in a sober evaluation. We may have found a starting 5 based on who decided to play in the 2nd half. ( Shekinna, Glory, Simmons, Avant, and Brewer. ) Sadly, I'm afraid Spani has found a place on the bench with her offensive struggles. Vicki had 4 or 5 turnovers but at least she gave great effort.

Our girls must be observing the men shooting free throws since we had a similar effort tonight.

Pat on the radio now is giving her 100% accurate assessment saying the first half woes have got to stop.

Anyway, we took their best shot and it was a 50-29 2nd half performance and the Doors dropped their first home loss of the season. Just a little present for Cantstandsaban and "the whistler." Could be the same guy.

Anyway, we did in fact step on their throats, didn't we?

Ga_Dave writes:

Only 15 first-half points and 50 in the second. Need to jump on it early, not wait until 2nd half. Glad they won, just 4 more to go before tourney time!!! GLV

krich24 writes:

I would like to know how the whistle deal was not handled by the refs?

USNVOL writes:

in response to al2476:

Same old Vandy! ! Choke !

I wonder where the trolls are HA HA HA BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA:)
Same old vandy,same results.

USNVOL writes:

Nice win Lady Vols!
I wonder where the trolls are?
Same old vandy,folds when things get tuff.

al2476 writes:

Any tean that plays Vandy in Nashville at that crappy gym of theirs is going to get screwed by the refs. The mens team will get it from the refs. over there, just wait and see.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

I hope KNS updates the second half of the game. We did win the game convincely. The ladies scored 50 points in the second half and like I said in my other posts Avant is the PG answer once she gets on her feet. She did tonight shutting down the perimeter with her defense and slashing to the hole like i knew she is very capable of doing. I hope we dont start the caparing game with the guard play as we need All our players to play Lady Vol basketball. Pat is one of the greatest halftime coaches in the game. Its obvious she knows how to light a fire under our team but I would love to finally get a team on the floor that has great chemistry and not have Pat figure out whos hot or who wants to play mid game. I know that has to be tearing her up. Well heres my lineup again for next week. I hope to get Angie back soon but...

Avant
Strick
Johnson
Williams
Spani

SummittsCourt writes:

Nice rally by the Lady Vols. Should win the last four games to finish undefeated in the SEC again.

b24vol writes:

in response to huntined#565710:

Vandy is a young team so they will be tough for a couple of years. They do have some big three point shooters and they play tough on D. TENN will just have to get up for their games and be ready to play from the start.

Agree we must come out hungry and ready to play for every game. Vandy is young, remember Angie B is only senior that plays for us. The team that's playing now will all be back next season. With all the bigs being juniors this year, I wonder if anyone would take a redshirt year next season?

RLL59 writes:

I hope it will not be forgotten by the coaching staff that this game was turned around and won with speed and quickness...on both offense and defense. The Lady Vols succeeded by Avant, Simmons and Williams taking the ball into the paint, not throwing it into the post. When the ball did go into Brewer, she controlled it and, if a shot wasn't available, she got it back out to one of the guards. This strategy won't work against all teams, but it is an example of adjusting your game plan to take advantage of an opponent's weaknesses.

Couple of negatives.
1) The Lady Vols scored a total of 15 POINTS in the entire first half and the coaching staff didn't see fit to call even one time out to regroup the team. Were they just spectators?? Vanderbilt called a timeout to 'stop the bleeding' immediately after TN scored the first 2 baskets of the second half.
2) Coach Summitt replaced Williams with Johnson after the Lady Vols took a 6 or 7 point lead with about 2 minutes to go. I'd like to see her go with those that 'got you there'. I know Johnson is a great rebounder, but her recklessness put the game in jeopardy.

Anyway, good second half by both the players and the coaches. The Lady Vols needed this win to keep a top seed in the NCAA tournament.

eefor10c writes:

MHS vol, give it a rest! This is not the final story that will appear in print. It will be cleaned up and made more complete. Too bad everyone isn't perfect like you.

manoffewwords writes:

Forget the first half; after that great second half
comeback Please no critics tonite.

USNVOL writes:

Where are the trolls? :)

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

Yeah the Whistler was very annoying even on tv. I had to listen in surround sound . It sounded like he was behind me lol . Anyway good win lets take care of business with SC.

jsmithnga#207674 writes:

Actually the whistle guy sounded more like a little pig squealing.

CoachFulmerFan writes:

It was genius by CPS and CMDM to insert Avant into the lineup at PG. She literally saved our number one seed chances. Again, poor officiating, but I'm accustomed to seeing that here lately. Maybe the refs have it in for the Lady Vols? Who knows.

SoddyVol writes:

in response to CoachFulmerFan:

It was genius by CPS and CMDM to insert Avant into the lineup at PG. She literally saved our number one seed chances. Again, poor officiating, but I'm accustomed to seeing that here lately. Maybe the refs have it in for the Lady Vols? Who knows.

You do know Dee Kantner was the referee? Her along with Felicia Grinter & Mary Day. It seems Kantner doesn't care for Pat Summitt. I say this not knowing which official made the ridiculous calls but Kantner was in charge.

dead_vol_foul (Inactive) writes:

Smart, LV fans, smart....
most every one is picking up on the value of Avant. The telling will be whether she can do it two, three games in a row.

I've wondered much if she really was going to stay at UT...and I still wonder. But, she has given herself a chance for some minutes.

Pretty damn cool to have 4 guards: Williams, Simmons, Angie, Avant...and 2 girls, Strick and Spani, who can at least play out there.

Spani and Manning are having a tough go. What hurts both are their shooting touches.

Razor784 writes:

What's happened to Spani and Cain? Great game by Avant and Brewer

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

What an awful first half and what GREAT 2nd half!
Avant was the spark that this team needs. Great offense and excellent defense! Looks like we got us a great point guard!

This team will get their act together if Pat has anything to do with it. We're still winning, but certain issues need to be addressed and she will do it.

Bring on South Carolina! We are picking off the SEC, on by one. GLV!

xvolx writes:

Looks like tonight we got to finally see what a point guard looks like. Plays defense, great ball handling skills, well balanced, poised and with the ability to shoot. Simmons, Strickland and Johnson played well. Simmons put a dagger in them with her last three. Put us up by four. Brewer, great effort. I wouldn't want to play them if they come together.

geraldodell#1377039 writes:

I dont think we win the game without Avant who created a major spark to a listless offense. Glory maybe the most athletic but she certainly isnt the smartest. Being able to run the court doesnt mean you are the most athletic when it comes to basketball. She turns the ball over too much and is overly aggressive with swingin the elbows. That is going to hurt us big time on down the road if PS doesnt get that tendency stopped. Last comment is it just UT basketball in general which must have an underline of not being able to make free throws? Both the men and womens teams are horrendous in this most important aspect of the game.

xvolx writes:

in response to dead_vol_foul:

Smart, LV fans, smart....
most every one is picking up on the value of Avant. The telling will be whether she can do it two, three games in a row.

I've wondered much if she really was going to stay at UT...and I still wonder. But, she has given herself a chance for some minutes.

Pretty damn cool to have 4 guards: Williams, Simmons, Angie, Avant...and 2 girls, Strick and Spani, who can at least play out there.

Spani and Manning are having a tough go. What hurts both are their shooting touches.

Avant's not going anywhere. She committed to Vols when she was fourteen. She has, however; been injured or ill since her junior year in HS. Maybe she is finally OK.

CoachFulmerFan writes:

in response to dead_vol_foul:

Smart, LV fans, smart....
most every one is picking up on the value of Avant. The telling will be whether she can do it two, three games in a row.

I've wondered much if she really was going to stay at UT...and I still wonder. But, she has given herself a chance for some minutes.

Pretty damn cool to have 4 guards: Williams, Simmons, Angie, Avant...and 2 girls, Strick and Spani, who can at least play out there.

Spani and Manning are having a tough go. What hurts both are their shooting touches.

Was just wondering why you think she wouldn't stay at UT? I will agree with you that she needs to be consistent and show us that this game wasn't a fluke.

nola_vol writes:

I hope we'll be able to look back at this evening from the near future and say this was the night Lauren Avant "arrived" as a Lady Vol.

SATCHMOE writes:

With all else aside I know that Vandys Arena is a difficult place to play and make shots.The floor dimensions will play mind games with you as it messes with ones depth perception.With that said we missed to many under the basket shots and our quickness to react to loose balls or the ball coming off the rim was very slow.I cannot understand why Cain doesn't seem to want to body up to girls much less her size and kick some but.I feel that the talent is here but the physical tuffness of one or two will not cut it.When you catch the ball in the paint go up,quit putting the ball on the floor and allowing the defense time to get to you.There is hardly nobody that can cover our size.We will either score or go to the foul line.All this guard play is wearing me out and we are either missing the shots or turning it over.Good victory tonight, but you want do that to a top five team.

1volk-nowi-tall writes:

Officiating has a very negative effect on how the LV's play. When teams are allowed to foul continually and not be called for fouls it is most agravating to any basketball player. Cain is constantly fouled when, as the announcers say, " the defense bodies up with her. When we body up we are called for fouls. Glory is fouled almost every time she gets a rebound and must do all in her power to clear the defenders from hanging on her arms. The very first foul on Glory tonight was when she clearly took the ball away from a Vandy player, under the Vandy basket in the first 1-2 minutes of the game. I knew at that point that we were in for a difficult time. Cantner is very biased against the Lady Vols as is Day. It truely appears as if the NCAA has sent out an edict that Tennessee's teams are to be held to a totally different set of rules when it comes to calling fouls in a basketball game. Not some paranoia here. When it looks like, quacks like and smells like then it IS. What an amazing gorup of ladies though to have fought back from such adversity, certainly some self inflected with the turnovers, and come out ahead in this game. Come on NCAA officials, be consistent in your officiating, especially with the contact and foul calling and let us play the same game as the other teams do. Glory has really had TREMENDOUS selfcontrol during her three years at UT. Sure she gets those BOWS a little high sometimes and it actually shows how strong she is because there is usually an opponent hanging on one or both arms..

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to 1volk-nowi-tall:

Officiating has a very negative effect on how the LV's play. When teams are allowed to foul continually and not be called for fouls it is most agravating to any basketball player. Cain is constantly fouled when, as the announcers say, " the defense bodies up with her. When we body up we are called for fouls. Glory is fouled almost every time she gets a rebound and must do all in her power to clear the defenders from hanging on her arms. The very first foul on Glory tonight was when she clearly took the ball away from a Vandy player, under the Vandy basket in the first 1-2 minutes of the game. I knew at that point that we were in for a difficult time. Cantner is very biased against the Lady Vols as is Day. It truely appears as if the NCAA has sent out an edict that Tennessee's teams are to be held to a totally different set of rules when it comes to calling fouls in a basketball game. Not some paranoia here. When it looks like, quacks like and smells like then it IS. What an amazing gorup of ladies though to have fought back from such adversity, certainly some self inflected with the turnovers, and come out ahead in this game. Come on NCAA officials, be consistent in your officiating, especially with the contact and foul calling and let us play the same game as the other teams do. Glory has really had TREMENDOUS selfcontrol during her three years at UT. Sure she gets those BOWS a little high sometimes and it actually shows how strong she is because there is usually an opponent hanging on one or both arms..

GE446,

Good point my friend. Again, since I couldn't see it, I had to listen to Mickey Dearstone. Now, trusting Mickey as I do, he inferred there were very typical calls by Mary Day and Kantner as is their custom. He goes on to say Vandy people were flopping on the floor.........selling the charges against our post players, and especially against Glory.

You know, that 27-14 halftime deficit against UVa, which quickly turned into a 17 deficit early in the 2nd half...........was the year the Lady Vols went on to win the NC with the 10 losses. It was great. I was sitting there in University Hall in Charlottesville surrounded by Cavalier fans........but the greatest sound of all that night was hearing Rocky Top echoing throughout the arena.

Who knows, this just could be another season like that one turned out to be. However, is it true that we might be sent out of our region to some place like Connecticut? I haven't seen the possibile pairings, which is speculation at this point, but that was one scenario for us.

CoachFulmerFan writes:

I'm glad a bunch of other people are noticing the horrible officiating that occurs against the Lady Vols almost in every game. I guess CPS can't say much or face some kind of fine for speaking out about it, much like in college football.

BleedsOrangeinMO writes:

All I can say is we WON!!! I'm glad they can rally back to win. I just wish they would NOT put themselves in that position. They truly are more talented than all but three or four other teams. UConn had a close one against UWV last week. Please have all of the girls shoot 100 free throws each, on their own time, at least every other day.

PINK_CHAMPAGNE writes:

Throw out the first half, second half was good. Glory has got to stop letting the way the game is being called get in her head. Block it out and play ball! She does just what they want her to do, and they get her for it. I can't really put this game into words. I guess I would have to say it was won on the defensive end. When our players finally decided to clamp down on defense in the second half, good things happened for them. Simmons had a better game than her past usual, but she must defend the three ball better. Stricklen decided to get aggressive and it payed off. These first half slumps really need to stop. This game could very well have been a loss! I thank God that Demoss told Pat to put Avant in in the second half. Thank you Demoss! Avant brought that defense that was needed. She also got to the basket like the other guards should have been trying to do since their shots were not falling. Our perimeter players are too quick to settle for the jumper. Learn to get to the basket! Avant was really impressive tonight. Player of the game in my opinion! Brewer gave good minutes! I can't wait until she gets back into playing form. We really are starving at the post as of late.

Spani looked scared to me tonight! She is in a slump right now. Kamiko gave good minutes. Can't wait until Angie gets back!

ps11824 writes:

Vandy women are always dirty. That Toumi and Ros duo are partners in crime and do accurate scout report. They know Glory and Cain are easily provoked. Our bigs should do as Griner does. After securing the lose ball, rebound or pass, they should always go arms straight up with the ball. They should always draw the foul, unless the ref is Dee Kanter.

[[[ jsmithnga#207674 writes:
Actually the whistle guy sounded more like a little pig squealing. ]]]

Maxwell, you're home.

We have too many folks not producing for us right now, Spani, Cain, and Manning need to be putting forth a little more effort.

Please come on, step it up Lady Vols. This season is about to be history. We need to go out with a flourish, if not a bang.

flatrock writes:

Dr. Naismith is tonight spinning in his casket.
This was not the game he had in mind. Don't remember ever seeing as many one-footers being missed- and most of them were not even
close! I thought Lady Vols played into Vandy's
hands by going with a zone most of the first
half, slowing the pace just the way Vandy wanted. Honestly, the bigs are killing the Lady Vols on both ends of the floor. On defense,
Pat has to play zone to cover up the bigs'
incredible lack of mobility; and on offense,
their inability to catch and shoot at point-blank range stifles any momentum.
--Game ball: Avant (great defense kept VU
from getting into their half-court set;
--Pat-on-the-back: Stricklen (2nd half
aggressiveness) and Williams (played good defense vs. Vandy PGs, wings and posts-
and provided structure to the offense;
--Mind-boggling: Johnson (dumb and dumber
fouls, awful shooting) and Simmons (she
still takes brain-dead shots when
out-manned but, to her credit, makes
nice late shots when others get her the ball
in shooting position);
--Advice: Spani (go back and watch the
games where you were a sharp-shooter...
erase all the others!);
--Advice: Johnson (point both feet
at the rim when shooting free throws);
--Note: from the neck down, Johnson
is All-SEC...from the neck up, she is
no better than 3rd-team All-West Knoxville
Rec League!
--Still Waiting: PG-Williams; 2G-Simmons
or Avant: 3G-Bjorklund or Spani; 4P-Johnson;
5P-Stricklen.

dead_vol_foul (Inactive) writes:

in response to CoachFulmerFan:

Was just wondering why you think she wouldn't stay at UT? I will agree with you that she needs to be consistent and show us that this game wasn't a fluke.

Well, several reasons:
-from Memphis, a pretty good hike to UT
-hasn't played much, and never a mention by CPS
-Simmons emergence at PG
-recruitment of Massengale (who I tend to thik is overhyped).

Hopefully she works out fine and stays and plays, but OTOH I won't be surprised if she goes if she does not play when she thinks she should be.

I see kids like Smallbone and Bass, and think "what are you doing here?? Why aren't you playing somewhere"???

Life if short, college basketball careers much shorter.

Cookeville-vol writes:

Can the ncaa , sec or anyone do anything about the bench being @ the baseline instead of the sidecourt, or can sec teams make vandy sat @ the baseline in home games? That really stinks..

richvol writes:

Pink,Flatrock and ge446- all of you make great points. I really think the one ge446 made about UT being held to a different standard by the refs is valid. Kentucky men's basketball gets preferential treatment everywhere they go in this league and it's a given. The LV's however are hacked to death under the basket by everybody and the refs look the other way. I understand Glory's frustration but if Pat doesn't get her to put the team's needs first she is going to get thrown out of a game.

Avant played very well and basically saved our rear ends last night. Maybe she is the one to get the ball distributed to the right player. She is a threat to go to the basket as well.

Kamiko is playing well...she just needs to stop with the passes that no one can get to.

Cain has completely given up it seems. She has stopped working hard and looks like she has put on more weight.

Spani is a good outside shooter but she needs to find her spots and square up.

Brewer played better...she is getting her feet under her and gaining confidence. She was a real contributor to the win. She has great skill passing the ball from the post. I love Baugh's effort...she was a little awkward on her feet and that caused the turnovers but she has big potential if she can become smooth in her movements.

Meighan played under more control and can be a great spot up shooter and slasher.

I like a lineup of:
Simmons,Williams,Stricklen,Spani with Glory at post. Then mix in Avant,Baugh,Manning,Brewer and Borklund.

Whoever has a hot hand,is rebounding like a demon and playing great defense...give them the minutes.

easleychuck writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

GE446,

Good point my friend. Again, since I couldn't see it, I had to listen to Mickey Dearstone. Now, trusting Mickey as I do, he inferred there were very typical calls by Mary Day and Kantner as is their custom. He goes on to say Vandy people were flopping on the floor.........selling the charges against our post players, and especially against Glory.

You know, that 27-14 halftime deficit against UVa, which quickly turned into a 17 deficit early in the 2nd half...........was the year the Lady Vols went on to win the NC with the 10 losses. It was great. I was sitting there in University Hall in Charlottesville surrounded by Cavalier fans........but the greatest sound of all that night was hearing Rocky Top echoing throughout the arena.

Who knows, this just could be another season like that one turned out to be. However, is it true that we might be sent out of our region to some place like Connecticut? I haven't seen the possibile pairings, which is speculation at this point, but that was one scenario for us.

Flopping without contact is a a technical foul for unsportsmanlike conduct. If an official has the guts to call this once it would stop the flopping. But apparently this is not their intent. It creates an unfair advantage to have a team flopping all over the place.

Balcomb is delusional. Her team blows a 13 point halftime lead and she talks about how her played so well. Really sending a positive message to her kids. They folded like cheap suits in the 2nd half.

Bottom line is that many times you have to beat the officials and the other team on the road especially the officials are spineless.

DroopyDrawers writes:

in response to flatrock:

Dr. Naismith is tonight spinning in his casket.
This was not the game he had in mind. Don't remember ever seeing as many one-footers being missed- and most of them were not even
close! I thought Lady Vols played into Vandy's
hands by going with a zone most of the first
half, slowing the pace just the way Vandy wanted. Honestly, the bigs are killing the Lady Vols on both ends of the floor. On defense,
Pat has to play zone to cover up the bigs'
incredible lack of mobility; and on offense,
their inability to catch and shoot at point-blank range stifles any momentum.
--Game ball: Avant (great defense kept VU
from getting into their half-court set;
--Pat-on-the-back: Stricklen (2nd half
aggressiveness) and Williams (played good defense vs. Vandy PGs, wings and posts-
and provided structure to the offense;
--Mind-boggling: Johnson (dumb and dumber
fouls, awful shooting) and Simmons (she
still takes brain-dead shots when
out-manned but, to her credit, makes
nice late shots when others get her the ball
in shooting position);
--Advice: Spani (go back and watch the
games where you were a sharp-shooter...
erase all the others!);
--Advice: Johnson (point both feet
at the rim when shooting free throws);
--Note: from the neck down, Johnson
is All-SEC...from the neck up, she is
no better than 3rd-team All-West Knoxville
Rec League!
--Still Waiting: PG-Williams; 2G-Simmons
or Avant: 3G-Bjorklund or Spani; 4P-Johnson;
5P-Stricklen.

Flatrock, I would play Avant instead of Simmons.
Simmons is out of control.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

Game ball: Lauren Avant. It's really the first time I've gotten to see her play and I liked what I saw. Good to see yet another bullet in the chamber.

I agree with the others about Glory Johnson. Great talent playing hard...but she needs to keep herself under control. This is at least the second time she got away with swinging an elbow at the competition. There's a case to be made that she should have been called for both of them. Love the effort...but not when we play like a thug...and throwing elbows is thuggish.

Like most of Coach Pat's teams, this one is really deep with talent. Can't wait to see them shock the world in the tourney(s).

rockytoplady writes:

in response to krich24:

I would like to know how the whistle deal was not handled by the refs?

The whistle blowing was ridiculous. I cannot believe it was allowed to continue. We checked Vanderbilt's policy on this and it states that no whistles or airhorns are allowed at games. Funny, they didn't pick up on the whistle, because everyone else sure heard it. Refs should have dealt with it. I have never seen or heard a game where that was allowed.

PureOrange writes:

The general rule officials follow in calling our Lady Vol games is that our players must be hit at least 3 times before a foul is called. On the other end, touching a uniform is enough.

It takes a lot of self control for our girls to even be able to continue playing under those conditions. It was a great win against very long odds.

vol98champ writes:

Surely someone can politely tell the SEC that coaches are telling their players to hack at Glory to see if they can get her out of the game. How she keeps any self control is amazing. Every rebound she gets is followed by slaps at her by at least 2 players. I would pay $50 to see her and Tuomi in a cage.

1volk-nowi-tall writes:

I go back to the KY game when Glory was fouled on two occasions by Dunlap after Glory had a rebound. No foul was called on Dunlap and we played on. It is plain and simple. I know that TV is a one demensional medium but even there you can clearly see that fouls occur causing movement of players from their original positions. Really officiating basketball is not a difficult as it is made to be today. Just call the game by the rules and the players will adapt to it. If Dr. Naismith was dissapointed in how we butchered the backboard and rim on Sunday, he was as dissapointed in how the game is now being officiated. All officials should be given a workshop where they are placed on the floor and subjected to the same physical contact that players are facing and see if they think that that contact prevents them from making a shot or getting a rebound or continuing to dribble or pass the ball. These officials of today have little or no knowledge of what the game is about. I know it is more physical and players are bigger, faster and stronger than in the past but basketball is still basketball. The NCAA needs to get serious about training basketball officials. When the best you have is the women's game are Kanter, Mattingly, Day, The little bald headed guy who struggles to get down the floor and even big Burline that says alot about this need. Where are the good officials?

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