Lady Vols hold off late Miami charge, 79-67

Cierra Burdick on the Lady Vols' win over Miami

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Tennessee took a 25-point point lead to the locker room Sunday afternoon against Miami.

The Lady Vols looked like they were building toward an impressive women’s basketball victory. And they were — even if the finish wasn’t anything like the start.

Tennessee’s advantage — which grew to 27 in the first minute of the second half — turned out to be insurance against a rainy South Florida day. The Hurricanes poured it on thereafter, scoring 46 points and whittling Tennessee’s lead to six points on two occasions inside the final 2:30.

Despite foul trouble, shooting woes and a surging opponent, the Lady Vols took a 79-67 victory with them out of the BankUnited Center, ending the Hurricanes’ 41-game home winning streak before a crowd of 2,524.

“It was huge,” UT first-year coach Holly Warlick said. “Even if we would’ve ended up winning by one, it’s still a huge game.”

Freshmen Bashaara Graves and Andraya Carter set career scoring highs with 20 and 16 points, respectively, for No. 24 Tennessee (3-1). Sophomore Cierra Burdick also set a career high with 10 rebounds.

Ariel Massengale added 14 points, shooting 10-for-10 from the free-throw line. She made six of them in the final minute.

Michelle Woods led No. 23 Miami (2-1) with 17 points. The Hurricanes did almost everything but recover from a 7-for-35 shooting start.

“I didn’t have my team ready; that’s on me,” said Miami coach Katie Meier, who described the halftime disparity as “well earned.”

“I will give Tennessee some credit,” she said, “but that was all on Miami.”

The Lady Vols shot 29 percent from the floor (9 for 31) in the final 20 minutes and were whistled for 14 fouls. In the end, some of their youngest players delivered when it mattered the most.

Graves, for instance, scored consecutive clutch baskets down the stretch, driving between two defenders for one and converting after a difficult catch for the other. She also stole an inbounds pass with 44 seconds left, essentially ending Miami’s rally.

“We just couldn’t put the ball in the hole and finally Bashaara put some in,” Burdick said. “It gave us some momentum and some encouragement to keep fighting.”

Sophomore center Isabelle Harrison did likewise with a pass, composing herself and connecting with a cutting Taber Spani for a layup and a 75-67 lead with 1:31 left.

Carter ended the game on the bench after leaping to deflect a lead pass and landing hard on her right shoulder with two minutes left. An ice bag was taped to her shoulder afterward.

“I just landed wrong but it’s fine,’’ she said.

Carter was instrumental in the Lady Vols’ start, hitting all three of her 3-point attempts in the first half as UT bolted to a 46-21 lead at the break.

The Hurricanes, on the other hand, weren’t necessarily taking bad shots but they started 1 for 11 and didn’t make enough to sustain their effort.

“I was trying to step up,” said forward Morgan Stroman, who started 0-for-6 before finishing with 13 points. “I was trying to keep the team up. It’s tougher than it looks.”

So was the victory for Tennessee.

On Twitter, Lady Vols head coach emeritus Pat Summitt wrote “Great road win!!!’’ Summitt was in Atlanta, watching her son, Tyler, as an assistant coach for Marquette in game at Georgia Tech.

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Comments » 25

movinonup writes:

Great job, Ladies....continued source of good news - much needed. Keep it going !

ps11824 writes:

Thank you, LVs, for keeping up the Volunteer Spirit.
You had me kinda flustered, however, in the waning moments allowing the Hurricanes to bring the score too close for comfort. Way to stick it out for the victory over a top 25 team on their home court. Nice win, Holly.

LadyVolsFan71 writes:

Great road win Lady Vol's. Can not wait to see you in person next Sunday against Alcorn. Happy Thanksgiving!

Theo writes:

Whew - but a win and a great learning experience. Good combo. Did not see only listened to part of game. Any news on Andraya's arm?

Volinflan writes:

Go gettem Holly!!!!. Thanks for a bright spark in an otherwise sort of down weekend. I was really happy to see Carter start hitting her shots. She's going to be an important point contributer as the season progresses.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

Beast!

SummittsCourt writes:

2 solid wins against top 25 teams is a good way to get rolling towards a great season.

Go Lady Vols!

SoddyVol writes:

Wow, sure am glad I'm not coaching. Holly is earning her wages. I enjoyed most all the game except when they took some quick unadvised shots from behind the 3 line and a few times when they didn't use their head on defense. Miami is a good team and The Vols sure surprised me with the big lead. Turns out the lead was greatly needed. Ladies, please listen closely to all the coaches have to say and let this fan have a real joyful BB season watching the beginning of greatness.

jt45 writes:

Caught the first half on the radio, it sounds like this group is really starting to play well together. Carter continues to impress, in fact all the freshman seem to be a step above what I remember seeing 4 years ago from the last class in terms of quickness. Things are definitely looking good for the future of Lady Vols basketball. I think they will do well in the SEC.

ACWLY writes:

Lady Vols have gotten better every game, sign of good players and good coaches, what else would one expect from the GREAT LADY VOLS!

butch31 writes:

Quality road win, against a quality opponent. I feel very comfortable taking on Stanford & Baylor. This team will do great things and may even SHOCK us.

ps11824 writes:

[[ Freshmen Bashaara Graves and Andraya Carter set career scoring highs with 20 and 16 points, respectively, for No. 24 Tennessee (3-1). Sophomore Cierra Burdick also set a career high with 10 rebounds.

Ariel Massengale added 14 points, shooting 10-for-10 from the free-throw line. She made six of them in the final minute. ]]

I LOVE THAT! I really get flustered when they miss freebies. Way to set the example Ariel Massengale.

Those young'uns are impressive, clutch. Izzy seems to pushing the limits with the propensity of foul trouble. That's worrisome.

To remain positive, the last 2 games have, LVs coming back , and/or sustaining opponent's drives. To me that speaks volumes of their toughness. Makes me nervous, though.

Yesterday was indeed a good road win. You know they (Miami) was sick to have their home winning streak broken.

I'm really impressed that the team could hang in for the win. I NEED TO WORK ON MY OWN WEAKNESSES. I confess to my GVX poster companions, I have a weak stomach for turnovers, ill-advised shots and losing...

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

I see us matching up nicely with Stanford. We will have the edge at home. With Baylor we have to shoot better than 40% to have a chance. Even though TAMU got dusted by Uconn , I see them being a strong SEC contender this year. They have some talented freshmen . Should be a interesting year. Vandy lost.

volboy81 writes:

I guess that is the first Lady Vols game in almost 40 years that Summitt hasnt been to...losing that big of a lead worries me. We have to develop the KILLER INSTINCT!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to ps11824:

[[ Freshmen Bashaara Graves and Andraya Carter set career scoring highs with 20 and 16 points, respectively, for No. 24 Tennessee (3-1). Sophomore Cierra Burdick also set a career high with 10 rebounds.

Ariel Massengale added 14 points, shooting 10-for-10 from the free-throw line. She made six of them in the final minute. ]]

I LOVE THAT! I really get flustered when they miss freebies. Way to set the example Ariel Massengale.

Those young'uns are impressive, clutch. Izzy seems to pushing the limits with the propensity of foul trouble. That's worrisome.

To remain positive, the last 2 games have, LVs coming back , and/or sustaining opponent's drives. To me that speaks volumes of their toughness. Makes me nervous, though.

Yesterday was indeed a good road win. You know they (Miami) was sick to have their home winning streak broken.

I'm really impressed that the team could hang in for the win. I NEED TO WORK ON MY OWN WEAKNESSES. I confess to my GVX poster companions, I have a weak stomach for turnovers, ill-advised shots and losing...

Good post as usual. LOTS of us have weak stomachs for those things you mentioned. I listened to the whole game and it seemed to me that the LVs in the second half went away from some of the things that got them that big early lead. That is often a problem with a young team but it says a lot for their resolve that they were able to hold it together at the end. Massengale was clutch at the line! We'll just have to see how they do against the better teams, but I'm looking forward to an interesting and competitive season, and positively drooling over the prospects for next year with all the experience the young ones are getting this year and the great incoming class.

ladyvolsfan789 writes:

The biggest concern I have for this team right now is that they don't play as well on defense in the second half. If we can lock that down this team will be really tough to beat. Great to hear that Carter's injury was nothing significant. She could really become a special player for us. Her defense is spectacular and if she develops a consistent offensive game, she'll be an All American.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to ladyvolsfan789:

The biggest concern I have for this team right now is that they don't play as well on defense in the second half. If we can lock that down this team will be really tough to beat. Great to hear that Carter's injury was nothing significant. She could really become a special player for us. Her defense is spectacular and if she develops a consistent offensive game, she'll be an All American.

It is virtually a truism in sports that when a team gets a big lead, they often lose concentration on defense, especially. The LVs were up 27 on Miami in the second half. The team is young and young players tend to play the scoreboard. From listening to the game, it seemed to me that the LVs gave Miami more opportunities by going away from their inside-oriented offense in favor of launching quick shots from the outside.

Volinflan writes:

I'm pretty sure me, you and Mickey Dearstone agree on that. Sounded like they started "chunking them up" early in the second half. I guess we expect that of a young team. But then, a couple of times last year when they had a stable full of seniors they did the same thing. I guess I'll take the 27 point lead and chance a "slack off".

So how did J. Jones get 4 fouls in three minutes of play. I sure miss the video part of the game.

Volinflan writes:

in response to ps11824:

[[ Freshmen Bashaara Graves and Andraya Carter set career scoring highs with 20 and 16 points, respectively, for No. 24 Tennessee (3-1). Sophomore Cierra Burdick also set a career high with 10 rebounds.

Ariel Massengale added 14 points, shooting 10-for-10 from the free-throw line. She made six of them in the final minute. ]]

I LOVE THAT! I really get flustered when they miss freebies. Way to set the example Ariel Massengale.

Those young'uns are impressive, clutch. Izzy seems to pushing the limits with the propensity of foul trouble. That's worrisome.

To remain positive, the last 2 games have, LVs coming back , and/or sustaining opponent's drives. To me that speaks volumes of their toughness. Makes me nervous, though.

Yesterday was indeed a good road win. You know they (Miami) was sick to have their home winning streak broken.

I'm really impressed that the team could hang in for the win. I NEED TO WORK ON MY OWN WEAKNESSES. I confess to my GVX poster companions, I have a weak stomach for turnovers, ill-advised shots and losing...

I understand about getting into the games too much. If me and Dearstone were officiating the games it would be about 100 fouls for the other guys and one for the Lady Vols. I sometimes call the refs bad names. But it's all just fun. I'll remember that right after the next loss (right!).

SoddyVol writes:

[[Volinflan writes:
……. Sounded like they started "chunking them up" early in the second half. I guess we expect that of a young team. But then, a couple of times last year when they had a stable full of seniors they did the same thing…….]]

It wasn't the freshmen, it was a Junior going 1 for 4 behind the line. (A Sophomore also missed all 3 of her tries behind the line).

ps11824 writes:

We sure need more out of our {veterans} Spani, Williams & Simmons. Yes, I know Meigan is chuckin' em up, scoring some, but she really should be more of a rounded player now, especially ball control. She seems lax on defense and she fouls because of poor defensive mechanics (I think). She just wants to be a shooter. That isn't enough. She needs to lead by example. That's just my 2 cents worth.

volinflan, for some reason, Mickey is beginning to annoy me with his inflection. I sense his impatience when our team turns the ball over, misses shots, fouls, etc. When he does, I worry. I want him to always be positive so I can listen. Isn't that crazy of me? I think it has to do with the unpredictability of University of Tennessee sports in general. We sure need a winning team, and I would LOVEEEEEEEEEE it to be the Lady Vols right now.

Volinflan writes:

Do you think he's doing a little to much coaching and not enough calling? I like him though. Ole Johnny Ward really got into it also but we loved him.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Volinflan:

Do you think he's doing a little to much coaching and not enough calling? I like him though. Ole Johnny Ward really got into it also but we loved him.

I like Mickey, too. He is, IMHO, miles better than Kesling. Of course, no one will ever measure up to the Great One. I have heard that if John had announced his retirement before his last season, we could have had current Titans announcer, Mike Keith, who was doing a sports call-in show in K'ville then and would have killed to be the next "Voice of the Vols", and I for one thought he was great. John didn't do that and Mike got the call from the Titans. Timing is everything in life.

ps11824 writes:

I think Doc calls the game ok, but he gets aggravated when LVs don't play up to his expectations; so do I, but I wish he wouldn't make me think we are looking bad.. I guess that's asking too much. I admit it is my problem. Myself would rather be watching, but that's not probable. Darn'it!

I wish with all my might that we could just kick butt. I'm awfully sick of all this negativity surrounding UT sports.

Not to be negative myself, but we HAVE TO GET OUR FANS INVOLVED MORE. Other schools are making us look so old & dead. Frankly, to me, that is too much realism to be comfortable...

I'm at home screaming, going crazy. I have to stop myself for fear of losing my voice, giving myself a migrane. Then I ask myself; "what the heck are you doing, they can't hear you?"

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

We will see how good our ladies are before the SEC play starts with #1 Stanford, #3 Baylor, and Texas . I think we are up to the challenge.

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