Lady Vols hammer Vanderbilt; Shekinna Stricklen injured

Stricklen scores 20, hurts knee

Tennessee's Glory Johnson steals the ball way from Vanderbilt's Jasmine Lister, right. At left is Elan Brown. The Lady Vols defeat Vanderbilt 87-64 at Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday, January 15, 2012.
 
(SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Saul Young, Saul Young

Tennessee's Glory Johnson steals the ball way from Vanderbilt's Jasmine Lister, right. At left is Elan Brown. The Lady Vols defeat Vanderbilt 87-64 at Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday, January 15, 2012. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Holly Warlick on the Lady Vols' win over Vandy

Shekinna Stricklen expended her share of effort on Tennessee's behalf Sunday afternoon.

The Lady Vols' senior forward scored a team-high 20 points and played an active part in a second-half defensive revival, which insured an 87-64 SEC women's basketball victory over Vanderbilt.

And then she struggled to the interview room afterward to assess the painful ending to her day.

Stricklen arrived on crutches with her right knee wrapped in ice. She went down after banging knees with a Vanderbilt player while going after a rebound with just about 3 minutes left. Stricklen hit the ground clutching her knee and screaming. The initial prognosis was that Stricklen suffered a sprain of her right knee. She will be re-evaluated today.

"All I remember, I was going up for the ball,'' she said. "I don't know, her knee hit my knee and I came down wrong. I probably hyperextended it but I really don't know. ... I'm not sure."

No doubt the game exacted a physical price. Lady Vol Glory Johnson banged her head on the court before halftime and was sporting an ice bag on her left elbow afterward. And she said that her hip

hurt the most.

The toll might have been greater, though, if the Lady Vols hadn't sweated the defensive details after halftime, entertaining a crowd of 17,879 at Thompson-Boling Arena in the determined process. After essentially trading baskets with Vanderbilt for the first 20 minutes, No. 6 Tennessee (13-4, 4-1 SEC) had a hand in 13 second-half turnovers by No. 25 Vanderbilt (14-3, 2-2), converting them into 15 points. The Lady Vols also limited the Commodores to eight baskets after the break.

"We got serious about it,'' UT associate head coach Holly Warlick said.

Along with Stricklen, Johnson got back in double-double gear with 16 points and 13 rebounds. She had five of UT's 14 steals. too. Vicki Baugh scored 16 points off the bench and Meighan Simmons added 10. Freshman point guard Ariel Massengale orchestrated much of the scoring with a career-high 12 assists.

The Lady Vols' team effort eclipsed another great singular performance achieved at their expense. Vanderbilt guard Christina Foggie matched her career high with 27 points.

"I was disappointed in the second half just because I felt like they really outworked us, outhustled us and were more aggressive and we didn't rise to that challenge,'' Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb said.

Tennessee shot 52.9 percent from the floor (36 for 68) primarily by accomplishing what it couldn't do against Kentucky on Thursday. After missing 11 layups in a 61-60 loss to the Wildcats, UT was 20 for 25 from point-blank range against the Commodores.

The defense was a factor in the number of opportunities. And UT head coach Pat Summitt's halftime pep talk was a factor in UT's second-half play.

"It doesn't hurt to remind them about the pride of wearing the Orange,'' Summitt said during her postgame comments. "Especially when you're playing your cross-state rival in Vanderbilt."

In this case, the Orange included the "We back Pat" shooting shirts the players were wearing as the SEC began its weeklong initiative to bring aware to Summitt's Foundation Fund and the fight against Alzheimer's disease.

"We know we're Tennessee and we can't just put on the Orange and win," Baugh said. "I think she reinforced that."

It was going to take more effort and, in some cases, more pain in order to prevail.

"I know we have the best trainers,'' said Stricklen in summing up her situation, "and I know I'll be all right."

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

SummittsCourt writes:

Great bounce back win for the Lady Vols! If Baugh starts getting in a groove look out!

meemaw writes:

Great game but let's pray that Stricklen's injury isn't serious.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

Nooooo! Praying Strick is ok. GLV. Burdick and Manning be ready to shoot the ball a lot and often. We need you Strick!

bsimpg3 writes:

Much better game today. Hope Stricklen is ok. Looked liked she either bumped knees or hyper-extended hers. Hopefully scared her more than anything else.

PureOrange writes:

Great game with lots of hustle. Just hope and pray Stricklen is ok. Losing her could ruin us. She is just too important to lose.

rocky_topper writes:

Hope and pray Stricklen is okay.

oldster writes:

Ok, I have criticized Simmons' play since she got here. Today, even though she still did not shoot well, she only heaved up one questionable shot, got some rebounds, had few turnovers, and played really good defense. In other words, she hurt the other team more than she did her own. Way to go Simmons! Massengal had 12 assists! That is some stat. However, all of that will be pretty close to meaningless if Stricklen is out for the year. Goodbye any chance of Final Four without her at her best. More important than the pain it would cause her team though, is the pain that it would cause her physically and emotionally. Be well or get well, soon, Shekina!

RashaadSalabeb writes:

Always fun to beat Vandy!

TennVolgal writes:

Enjoyed the game today. Came out 2nd half and made adjustment- Defense was stifling and turnovers down to 4. Baugh looked relaxed & enjoyed seeing Burdick make some shots. Simmons played a smart game and Massengale is one of the best freshman point guards I have ever.

Hope Shekinna is okay. Looked like hyperextended knee. My prayers are with you.
Tough next 2 games- we need the LVs to come out and strong.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

Glory Johnson is playing with soo much passion. I'm afraid the only thing IMO that would keep her number from hanging from.the rafters is a Natl Championship. We haven't had someone with such hustle since Catchings. Definately a women's hall of famer because she represents the university as a student and athlete to the fullest. I tell you this young lady would average about 18-20 a game if her FT % was better and if she would develop a outside shot like Baugh ... Wow. Top 10 WNBA.

I love Bri's heart. Her love and passion for the game make me want her to have everything she wants out of her future. She earned a chance and I believe she can play in the WNBA. She has the skills.

butch31 writes:

This is something we haven't seen 22 assists, now this is the Lady Vol team that needs to be present every game. I think Shekinna will be o.k., I guess when she showed up in the 2nd half, it wore her out LOL! I hope she is going to be good tho! Its amazing how we had 10 turnovers in the 1st half, and only 3 in the 2nd..hmmmm LOL!
Meighan has really cut back in the turnover area, and I commend her for that.
Once again my player of the game is *GLORY JOHNSON* 16pts &13 rebs, what can u say? This young lady had a damn near a double double at the half.
Vicki Baugh, took her own advice and came to play, I think Vicki, Shekinna, and Meighan GOT THAT MEMO!
An angry LSU squad is coming to town next week. I see South Carolins gave Kentucky a run for its money today LOL.
Cierra, we need to see u earlier, and often in these games, I see nothing but potential from u, work on getting some boards, and shutting down ur opponent defensively. I bet u will see plenty of minutes.
Briana, did very well and its always refreshing to see her on the floor. Ariel, is just wise beyond her years when directing traffic. I would love to see her lock down her opponents defensively too.
Good win Lady Vols, lets rap up the SEC Championship, and get the final 4.

johnlg00 writes:

The game wasn't on in my market, so I didn't see it, but I loved the outcome of the game. I am among many who have said hard things about Shekinna for much of her career. It would be just too sadly ironic if her career ended on the same day she once again showed her All-America form. If she is out for good, or even for a month, it could be a devastating blow to this team. One can only hope that it inspires the rest of them to pick up their games a little bit to TRY to make up for a great individual talent. Sad, sad.

johnlg00 writes:

For all of you who said you didn't think Shekinna's injury was too bad, I sincerely hope you are right. However, it is just a documented fact that women's knees are more fragile than men's, so an injury that might seem trivial to a male player could be crippling to a female one.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

One thing that stuck out to me that I've harped on for a while.
Four players played more than 30+ mins which means they played together and got comfortable. Baugh and Johnson needs to feed off of each other every game from now on. Wow what a tandem. Cierra was the only bright spot late after the game went solemn for Stricklen. She will have to grow up now!! Look to shoot young lady. It's time. Shekinna will be fine I think. Hope.
If we better our perimeter defense and not allow the "star" player to torch us we should be fine. Remember ND has 2 stars. We have got to get better.

chl1958 writes:

Did Fleser leave the game with the score 35-32 Tennessee? Good luck Shekinna on a speedy recovery!

Millisa writes:

Glad we won got to keep working harder for sure I pray Shekinna is okay and gets better soon the others on the team have got to step up.

jt45 writes:

in response to maxvolfan#217855:

One thing that stuck out to me that I've harped on for a while.
Four players played more than 30+ mins which means they played together and got comfortable. Baugh and Johnson needs to feed off of each other every game from now on. Wow what a tandem. Cierra was the only bright spot late after the game went solemn for Stricklen. She will have to grow up now!! Look to shoot young lady. It's time. Shekinna will be fine I think. Hope.
If we better our perimeter defense and not allow the "star" player to torch us we should be fine. Remember ND has 2 stars. We have got to get better.

I agree and I hope Strickland recovers, they played well today in the second half, with the kind of pressure that Pats teams have been known for. I was really impressed with Baugh today, her outside shooting should be used more often and work in the paint between her and Glory is something they need to stick with. I do wonder why this is the first time they have spent that much time on the floor together. The only breakdown I saw today was some lack of weak side help against their drives to the basket and foul shots. Practice girls
Great to see Pat up and going after the players and officials, she gets results
when she does that

Good win.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

I can rest a little easier with Strick thinking its just a banged knee . Ice it down good and great effort . Good night Volnation.

crossvoll writes:

What a great game! 18,000 fans, the Pat Summitt we know and love on the sidelines, giving it to the refs and players with that old fire we're used to seeing, Glory and Vicki bringing it, the whole team clicking together, yes!!! The only fly in the ointment is Strick going down, but hopefully she'll be all right. Congratulations on a wonderful game, Lady Vols!!!

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

First off, Shekinna.......I'm pulling for you to be okay or get well very soon anyway.

Now as to the game. This to me looked a lot like Tennessee, the team we remember from the past. They were all over the ball, diving for lose balls, scrapping and taking the ball away, fighting for rebounds and showing Vandy that it was they who were going to be the turnover machine today.

Burdick taking and hitting nice outside shots.
Vicki coming to play for real today. Best game she has played from beginning to end. She has a nice outside touch and is smooth at the foul line.
Little Brianna...........she also has a really nice outside shot and is money at the foul line. She hustles the whole time she's out there.

Glory? Good grief, she is becoming a terror on the court and will go down as one of Pat's greatest. Simmons, she came to play today and showed her speed and savvy on defense as well.

Excellent effort, especially in the second half when the Lady Vols answered the bell and said, "okay Vandy, it's show time now." Great team effort girls
and coaches !

dbc5361 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

frblalack writes:

Great Game Lady Vols! If we play with that intensity and resolve, we are UNBEATABLE!

Proud of our Coaches, as well. WOW!

Go Big Orange!

clvolfan writes:

Johnson is SEC player of the year,so far.

cdtnladyvols931#663910 writes:

in response to mountainViews:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree with your post! Get Well Soon! Strict I am surprised someone hasn't already been hurt,the way the officials let the other teams knock down & punch.

kazoo writes:

Baugh had a nice game today--but I'm not sure how much she really helps UT with her offensive style of play. She clearly prefers being a forward rather than a center, what with her dribbling close to the basket, running one-handers etc. Will she be able to do that against the top teams? Not so sure. I'd like to see her play in the low post like a true center--with her back to the basket, and simply catch the ball, turn and shoot. I think she'd be very hard to stop. We need a scorer down low, and she could be that scorer.

butch31 writes:

in response to dbc5361:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's a great observation...they also talk, chew gum, have babies and sleep! I bet u didn't know that, did u? Ooopps...someone gave birth to u LOL

jt45 writes:

in response to Bodeanvol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

+1

Jephry writes:

Decent game with a good second half. Glory Johnson is so much better than the rest of the SEC, it's almost scary. I wish her supporting cast would bring her energy and fight every game.

I really hope Strick is right and her knee is just banged up a bit. Even though she's not been playing true to her All American status, we need her.

The team played so much better with Pat roaming the sidelines instead of sitting. That was encouraging, and I hope it continues. I also hope the swarming D continues. We need that more than anything.

Keep workin'; keep winnin' Lady Vols!!

ps11824 writes:

Glory is great. No doubt about it. The difference in GJ and Parker, Holdsclaw, maybe Catching is, GJ cannot carry a game on her back. She cannot create game-winning plays the way those 3 could. There has to be a supporting cast to create the game-winning play and get the ball to GJ. Massengale is capable. (hold the criticism) Simmons is not, Williams is not, Manning is so inconsistent; we need Burdick to become that go-to play that she seems to be capable of. Stricklin is a player we really need to get healthy and hungry from this point on.

Stranger things have happened at Tennessee as in '96 & '97 as far as pulling a rabbit out of a hat. We need that kind of magic now, if we are to have a chance at SEC OR National Championship....IMHO.

voloffaith writes:

Current ray of sunshine is that once upon a time there was a Lady Vol team that lost ten games in a season and still cut down the nets in March. Not saying this will be a repeat as I haven't seen the reb/defensive consistency to get there. Go to player is by committee for now and won't necessarily cut it come tourament time if we are there. However,I will say I was encouraged by the teams ability to play more under control when necessary on many possessions in 2nd half. Especially Ms. Simmons playing more TEAM ball. Notre Dame minus Shekkina and Spani is a tall order to take on....BTW how many now see the value of Spani's outside shot we have been missing?

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

Cierra has good upside and I think she just needs to get out of her sharing mode. She is a shooter and will have to learn when to turn it on. She should be looking to shoot first then give it up if its not there. I see a little of that formal Uconn player in her where she can score almost anywhere on the court. Her shot is very fluid. If she creates the space she should shoot. Izzy is still young but look for her to be a defensive player and I hope Glory rubs off on her and she will play with her intensity. It's gonna be nice having Ariel for 3 more years. I hope Greenwell enjoyed herself . What other women's bball team has 17k fans yelling for you? There's a reason the women's bball hall of fame is in Knoxville. We love our girls! And we criticize or push for excellenence not because we are spoiled but we only want to see our girls achieve and succeed at the highest level. GLV

D60 writes:

Vicky Baugh heart is as big as anyone who's ever played for the Lady Vols....Good job Vicky!

GONAVY writes:

Vanderbilt used to have a great women's program under Jim Foster. With using UT's program as one to aspire to and be competitive with, in his tenure Foster took the VU program to a closer second to UT's. He in fact was the last/only VU coach to beat Summit with modest success counting both regular season and SEC Tournament. He left because of the past VU usual denial of financial supoort for athletics and has gone on to OSU where their program is a constant Top 10. Then, after a knee jerk hire-then-fire of a talented Women's coach (a resume error later admitted by VU as actually being accurate)enter Melanie Balcomb. The program has continued to slide into mediocrity ever since. She did slip one by Summit in the '08-'09 season which was a horrible one for UT (22-11 first round NCAA loss)by beating UT in Nashville. Later in Knoxville Summit paid Balcomb back pretty good. The point is VU will never be a threat again to UT, nor any other of the top 3 SEC programs. I read all the negative postings about beating Vandy and it only makes me sad to realize how far apart the programs have become. I had a niece who played for Foster. He was an excellent coach who left because VU wouldn't increase his budget and give his two assistants a raise...after asking 3 years in a row. Sad. I hope UT pounds 'em into the court by 40 in Nashville later this year. We'd love Micki DeMoss if she'd ever come available again...

voloffaith writes:

in response to GONAVY:

Vanderbilt used to have a great women's program under Jim Foster. With using UT's program as one to aspire to and be competitive with, in his tenure Foster took the VU program to a closer second to UT's. He in fact was the last/only VU coach to beat Summit with modest success counting both regular season and SEC Tournament. He left because of the past VU usual denial of financial supoort for athletics and has gone on to OSU where their program is a constant Top 10. Then, after a knee jerk hire-then-fire of a talented Women's coach (a resume error later admitted by VU as actually being accurate)enter Melanie Balcomb. The program has continued to slide into mediocrity ever since. She did slip one by Summit in the '08-'09 season which was a horrible one for UT (22-11 first round NCAA loss)by beating UT in Nashville. Later in Knoxville Summit paid Balcomb back pretty good. The point is VU will never be a threat again to UT, nor any other of the top 3 SEC programs. I read all the negative postings about beating Vandy and it only makes me sad to realize how far apart the programs have become. I had a niece who played for Foster. He was an excellent coach who left because VU wouldn't increase his budget and give his two assistants a raise...after asking 3 years in a row. Sad. I hope UT pounds 'em into the court by 40 in Nashville later this year. We'd love Micki DeMoss if she'd ever come available again...

So based on my intuitive powers of humble observation you would be a Vandy fan correct?

GONAVY writes:

in response to voloffaith:

So based on my intuitive powers of humble observation you would be a Vandy fan correct?

Fair assumption, but not entirely so. I was asked this last year by a poster. In a nutshell, once again for anyone who cares: Grew up in Nashville. Played football two years at Vandy, injured, quit, transfered to and graduated from UT in 1977. I have, yes I do, split loyalties. Wife is a VU graduate but a UT fan. Son is a Naval Academy graduate (hence the screen name). Put a daughter through UT and another through TN Tech, but went her first year to UT. I maintain close contacts with friends connected with both Universities, but do have two very good friends in the athletic offices at VU (notice I didn't say department). I cringe at comments by blind homers from either school. I like to have fun with my posts, but I do fight cynicism on ocassion. I am not always right, but do believe every poster has a right to their opinion. I do not take well to any posters who use personal attacks and/or derogatory language. I basically call it as it is. That sometimes upsets the apple cart of either school's homers. That's about it.

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