Lady Vols take down Texas, 92-75

Ariel Massengale, left, of Tennessee, and Imani McGee-Stafford, of Texas, go for a loose ball during an NCAA college basketball game at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, on Sunday Dec. 16, 2012. Tennessee won 94-75.

Austin American-Statesman

Ariel Massengale, left, of Tennessee, and Imani McGee-Stafford, of Texas, go for a loose ball during an NCAA college basketball game at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, on Sunday Dec. 16, 2012. Tennessee won 94-75.

Cierra Burdick talks about Tennessee's 2nd half struggles with Texas

Lady Vols get road win over Texas, ...

AUSTIN, Texas – Tennessee wasted a lot of lead Sunday afternoon.

The Lady Vols built a 22-point advantage in the second half only to see Texas whittle the difference to 10 on three occasions inside the final 8 minutes, 15 seconds.

No matter how much the Longhorns threatened, Tennessee’s six double-figure scorers kept a watchful eye. They made sure the Lady Vols always had more lead than they could possibly squander.

They steered Tennessee clear of trouble and hung some window dressing on a 94-75 women’s basketball victory before a matinee crowd of 3,027 at the Erwin Center.

“I think we’re extremely balanced,’’ said Cierra Burdick, who scored 14 points. “That’s one of our strengths. On a given day, somebody can go off and score points.

“The fact that we had how many players in double figures? Six. I mean that says a lot for our team basketball.”

Meighan Simmons led the team approach with 18 points for No. 13 Tennessee (7-1). Ariel Massengale matched her season high and Taber Spani reached a new one as each scored 15.

Bashaara Graves also scored 14 points. The freshman forward grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds as well.

Fellow freshman Jasmine Jones was the sixth player to join the group with 10 points, which matched her season high.

“Because of the way they shot the ball in the first half, we did try to change our defense and put more pressure on the ball,” Texas coach Karen Aston said. “They made very tough shots.”

Tennessee’s scorers outnumbered Texas’ Chassidy Fussell, who returned from missing two games with a head injury to score a career-high 31 for No. 18 Texas (6-2).

Despite the victory, Tennessee didn’t survive unscathed as center Isabelle Harrison was helped off with 7:54 left after suffering an injury to her right ankle. Tennessee coach Holly Warlick was hopeful but uncertain about Harrison’s status for Tuesday’s game at No. 3 Baylor.

The Lady Vols had problems to begin with when they didn’t submit their starting lineup in time beforehand and were assessed a technical foul. They were down by two Fussell free throws before the opening tip. The clerical error inspired a funny exchange afterward between Warlick and Michael Beaumont, the team’s director of operations.

It didn’t help matters that Simmons, playing before a large group from her hometown of Cibolo, Texas, was over-amped and missed her first seven attempts.

Warlick was more uncomfortable with how Simmons started than how the junior guard finished. She hit the side of the backboard with one second-half attempt as part of her 6-for-20 performance. But she also nailed a pair of clutch 3-pointers down the stretch, including one over Fussell for an 84-70 lead with 4:44 left.

“In the second half, I thought she took some good shots, she took some shots that Meighan can make,” Warlick said. “I think in the first half she was forcing.”

Tennessee’s biggest problem turned out to be foul trouble, which slowed its transition game and undermined its defensive effort.

At times, the Lady Vols were forced to deploy the 6-foot-1 Spani and the 6-2 Jones against Texas 6-7 center Imani McGee-Stafford.

“That’s something that we pride ourselves on is the versatility we can bring,” Spani said. “In practice, Cierra, Jasmine and myself, we’re always guarding guards and posts.”

Burdick described the predicaments caused by Tennessee’s foul trouble as “a huge issue.”

Not too big, though, for Tennessee’s scorers to handle.

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Comments » 46

movol53 writes:

Great win on the road!!! Hope Harrison is back for Baylor. We will need all hands on deck for that one. Play them one at a time Ladys. Go Lady Vols!!!!

SummittsCourt writes:

Wow, great win again. This team is really impressing me more and more. 4 wins against ranked opponents with two big ones coming up.

Let's go Lady Vols! Beat Baylor!

SummittsCourt writes:

Did JA write the first line? Whoever did, not very good writing. Please stop.

BigBadVol writes:

The Lady Vols blow out Texas but by reading the article you would think the game was close. What a bunch of hack writers.

vol98champ writes:

Great to see all Lady Vols contribute. Speedy had an off day which can prove disastrous, but all hands on deck beat a very good team if you only catch the last 20 minutes. Baylor and Stanford will play 40 minutes.

vol98champ writes:

I think the halftime score was 45-27.

Millisa writes:

Glad We won Got to Play Harder Lady Vols and Hope Harrison is okay Go Lady Vols!!! :) :) :)

pcorange writes:

Great job, Lady Vols!

movol53 writes:

Why didn't we recruit Fussell? She had 31 and is from Troy, Tenn. Seems no one on the Lady Vols team could guard her. Yes, the Ladys won but I thought this year they were going to play a stronger defense; didn't seem like it at times in this game. One of the great things about this game is that when Texas made the run in the second half the Lady Vols did not fold on the road; that happens to a lot of good years.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Carter, now maybe Harrison. Lady Vols normally lead the nation with injuries.........or so it seems.

Was away from home, so didn't know how the girls were doing. When I got here, turned on the t.v. and we were up 12 with about 6 min to go.

They didn't disappoint. We should at least give Baylor a run for their money, and then take a good shot at Stanford. All time, the Lady Vols have had the upper hand with them.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Great game great win. Can't wait for Baylor.

pomp_and_circumstance writes:

Six LV's scoring double figures? That is how games are won. Mid-range shots that were too often klunkers before were falling. That is how games are won. Under the rim is good, only when not triple teamed by shot blocking defenders. Learn to kick it out in that case, that is how games are won. I still give Simmons the green light. Shoot at will, but learn that drives to the basket free up two other team mates and pass to them. Spani has finally arrived her senior year. All she was expected to be. Let the good times roll. Graves and Burdick are cool customers. They get it done.

jt45 writes:

Good win despite the way the refs let things get kind of rough down the stretch. Rebounding looked a little lacking at times and the inside game wasnt as good as they have shown at times this year. Izzy was on the bench more than I would have liked, but they did a great job of passing around the perimeter and knocking down the midrange and 3 point shots, good thing too with Texas getting multiple offensive putbacks.
Fussel was shooting lights out in the second half, I wish the lady Vols had recruited that Tn girl when they had the chance.

Now go get Baylor !

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to movol53:

Why didn't we recruit Fussell? She had 31 and is from Troy, Tenn. Seems no one on the Lady Vols team could guard her. Yes, the Ladys won but I thought this year they were going to play a stronger defense; didn't seem like it at times in this game. One of the great things about this game is that when Texas made the run in the second half the Lady Vols did not fold on the road; that happens to a lot of good years.

Tennessee recurited her hard. She said no thanks.That was in spite of her family wanting her to come to Tenn.Her heart was in Texas.

jsmithnga#207674 writes:

in response to jt45:

Good win despite the way the refs let things get kind of rough down the stretch. Rebounding looked a little lacking at times and the inside game wasnt as good as they have shown at times this year. Izzy was on the bench more than I would have liked, but they did a great job of passing around the perimeter and knocking down the midrange and 3 point shots, good thing too with Texas getting multiple offensive putbacks.
Fussel was shooting lights out in the second half, I wish the lady Vols had recruited that Tn girl when they had the chance.

Now go get Baylor !

To all you wishing we had recruited Fussell, they said on the telecast that she was told as a sophomore by Tenn. that she didnt have what it takes to play D1 ball and she chose TX because they play us every year; obviously she showed she can play D1 ball-you miss on some-the girl from Jackson did the same at FLA. Can't take all the TN girls I guess.

movol53 writes:

I have two completely different answers as to why UT did not get Fussell; one from Hall of Fame and the other from jsmith. So which id it? I understand we can't get'em all but it does seem like those that for some reason didn't get to UT they put on one heck of a show when we play those teams. One girl at MTSU, one at Fla and now Fussell at Texas.

CaliVOL2 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I would suggest not displaying your ignorance publicly.

SoddyVol writes:

Up until this game I have supported Simmons because she deserved it with good shooting and good play. Now all of a sudden she got into situations she should have avoided and took ill-advised shots. Both are indicated by her 4 turnovers and 30 % overall shooting even while making all 3 of her 3 pointers.

jsmithnga#207674 writes:

in response to movol53:

I have two completely different answers as to why UT did not get Fussell; one from Hall of Fame and the other from jsmith. So which id it? I understand we can't get'em all but it does seem like those that for some reason didn't get to UT they put on one heck of a show when we play those teams. One girl at MTSU, one at Fla and now Fussell at Texas.

I don't know the real story, I only related what the announcers said on the telecast.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to SoddyVol:

Up until this game I have supported Simmons because she deserved it with good shooting and good play. Now all of a sudden she got into situations she should have avoided and took ill-advised shots. Both are indicated by her 4 turnovers and 30 % overall shooting even while making all 3 of her 3 pointers.

MS is a streaky shooter, if she's off she looks terrible and if she's on she can look like the best SG in the country..Hopefully against Baylor she'll be on her game..

volfan2002 writes:

We need Burdick to shoot it more she was hitting every shot. Meghan finally got going and we coasted because of the big lead we built in the first half. Baylor will be a lot tougher and we will need to hit over fifty percent to win and not turn it over.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

This was a good practice against a very good perimeter player in Fussell; O.Sims will be similar, a not so good 6'7 footer; Griner will be better, and a good post player who I can't pronounce her name; Brooklyn Pope like. I like our chances a little better if we can keep turnovers to a minimum meaning under 8 and we shoot 45% or better. A huge challenge Tues and I hope we have Izzy back. I'm convinced this team is playing better than last year's team at this point in the season. Go get em Lady Vols!

tonyvick#213307 writes:

Williams we need a tad bit more from you. You can lead if you choose to. Izzy you are the one person we need to beat Baylor. I hope you can go but if you can't get well soon.

Theo writes:

We did win right? Good grief, how negative can these writers get? Hope Izzy gets better soon. Hopefully will be available for Baylor. I like our chances against Stanford a little better than agains Baylor. BG is awfully dominant but we will see.
Go Lady Vols - get better soon Andraya and Izzy!

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

If you watched the game Simmons had to calm her nerves because of family in the stands. She got in her groove. It's going to be hard to stop her( I certainly hope they dont) Tuesday. I don't think they have anyone that quick off the ball to stop her. There was one play when she received a pass from Spani I think and as soon as her hand touched the ball she took off to the basket for a easy layup. Our speed has a chance against Baylor against Stanford.
Scout: #11 Oklahoma lost to Vandy
#6 UGa beat Lipsticks overrated
Even if UT loses to Baylor and beats Stanford. We should be #10 by weeks end.

fearthehound writes:

We beat the #18 team in the country by 17 on their own court. The article makes it seem like we lost. What's up?

fearthehound writes:

I mean, we won by 17 freaking points, right?

chaos001 writes:

We had some sloppy and uncoordinated moments in the second half that let what should have been a comfortable lead become a slightly worrisome stretch. Guess there was a little rust after the time off.

golfman1975 writes:

Did we watch the same game? We beat the 18th ranked team in the country by 19 points. Lost Carter for the year last game. Harrison hurts in the second half. We scored 94 points with Simmons going 6 for 20. Texass shoots 10 more free throws. Please...do not sit on your key board to type.

AllforTenn writes:

Texas had one lead - before the tip-off. How odd is that? Really a good overall performance with balanced scoring and good rebounding.

Orangeblood13 writes:

Good to see the bandwagon jumpers are back
Same ones that said this team was done after UTC
Great job ladies keep it up

1volk-nowi-tall writes:

Read all the stats. Simmons had 7 assists. SEVEN assists.

jt45 writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

Tennessee recurited her hard. She said no thanks.That was in spite of her family wanting her to come to Tenn.Her heart was in Texas.

Thats odd given that the press report during the game had her saying she was told she wasnt good enough for Division 1 by the Lady Vols, so she went with Texas in order to get playing time.

I dont know how accurate the statement was but thats how it played out during ingame report.

Extremely good shooter that just about carried Texas with 31 points. One that got away I guess.

jt45 writes:

in response to AllforTenn:

Texas had one lead - before the tip-off. How odd is that? Really a good overall performance with balanced scoring and good rebounding.

I think thats the first time ive seen that Technical called for not getting the starting lineup turned in within a certain timeframe pregame.2 shot technical before tipoff, how common is that ?

golfman1975 writes:

in response to jt45:

I think thats the first time ive seen that Technical called for not getting the starting lineup turned in within a certain timeframe pregame.2 shot technical before tipoff, how common is that ?

Excellent thought...that was the first time I had seen it also...should have been given the ball to start the game...or a five yard penelty.

golfman1975 writes:

Here is how ESPN recapped the game...link below. See what you think. Ya know how much ESPN love the Vols!

http://scores.espn.go.com/ncw/recap?g...

vol98champ writes:

in response to golfman1975:

Here is how ESPN recapped the game...link below. See what you think. Ya know how much ESPN love the Vols!

http://scores.espn.go.com/ncw/recap?g...

Both of these reports are OK, but the original post game recap was awful. It reported the halftime score was 54-27. That would have been a big lead lost. I bet whoever wrote that did not even watch the game. We did outscore them by a point in the second half.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

Very solid win for the Lady Vols. I like what I saw.

Perhaps Graves has found her role...the latest incarnation of Glory Johnson. Go, Bashaara...be an absolute animal on the boards...the points and opportunities will follow.

Weren't we supposed to be down this year?

SoddyVol writes:

in response to jt45:

I think thats the first time ive seen that Technical called for not getting the starting lineup turned in within a certain timeframe pregame.2 shot technical before tipoff, how common is that ?

One of the things I enjoyed during Ray Mears days with the Men's team was his ability to often get the opponent charged with a Technical due to starter different from submitted lineup or similar problem. I haven't seen it happen much since Mears retired.

volfaninbuckeyeland writes:

First time I had ever seen that issue at the beginning of a game resulting in the Tech. I had to rewind the DVR to find out what was happening. First time also to see the LVOLS play this year, and all I can say is "Wow!!" After seeing 2 of the men's games in which they seemed to be competing in a golf tournament--lowest score wins--I was just watching in disbelief as these ladies hit shot after shot. Hope Harrison makes a quick recovery, but regardless of whether she returns for the next 2 games, I believe this team certainly has the potential to win the SEC. Looks like that opening game with UTC served as a real wake up call. Sure brought back some fond memories watching this team play.

SoddyVol writes:

in response to 1volk-nowi-tall:

Read all the stats. Simmons had 7 assists. SEVEN assists.

I believe it was Massengale with 7 (Seven) assists. Simmons had 3.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

Tennessee recurited her hard. She said no thanks.That was in spite of her family wanting her to come to Tenn.Her heart was in Texas.

I don't remember hearing about her when she was in HS, but I distinctly remember the announcers saying that she was told by the UT staff that she wasn't good enough to play there. They may just have played that up to make a story. Just shows that any staff can make mistakes. Even so, she reminded me of Angie Bjorkland; a deadly shooter when she is on a roll, but maybe a step slow on the defense against perimeter players and not big enough to guard the posts. She certainly had it going yesterday, though; enough "want-to" can overcome almost any physical disadvantage.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to jt45:

I think thats the first time ive seen that Technical called for not getting the starting lineup turned in within a certain timeframe pregame.2 shot technical before tipoff, how common is that ?

It's rare but not unknown. I may have seen it a couple of times before in 55 years of watching college basketball.

Theo writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I don't remember hearing about her when she was in HS, but I distinctly remember the announcers saying that she was told by the UT staff that she wasn't good enough to play there. They may just have played that up to make a story. Just shows that any staff can make mistakes. Even so, she reminded me of Angie Bjorkland; a deadly shooter when she is on a roll, but maybe a step slow on the defense against perimeter players and not big enough to guard the posts. She certainly had it going yesterday, though; enough "want-to" can overcome almost any physical disadvantage.

She is definitely a talented player but I do not think she would be playing at Tennessee. There is not one kid on our team that I would trade for her. We are a national program. Just because she is good and went to high school in TN does not mean we should recruit her. No disrespect intended.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Theo:

She is definitely a talented player but I do not think she would be playing at Tennessee. There is not one kid on our team that I would trade for her. We are a national program. Just because she is good and went to high school in TN does not mean we should recruit her. No disrespect intended.

Gotcha. The state of Tennessee, however, does seem to be something of a hotbed for girls' basketball. There have been more than a few LVs, including some of the more productive ones, who are natives. As long as the LVs continue to give in-state girls a look and lock in on the best of them, I can live with the Fussell types getting away occasionally.

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