Kamiko Williams shows flash of brilliance in Lady Vols' rout of Alcorn State

Tennessee's Kamiko Williams is fouled by Alcorn State's Tierro Frost on Sunday, November 25, 2012. Tennessee defeats Alcorn State 90-37 at Thompson-Boling Arena. 

(Saul Young/News Sentinel)

Photo by Saul Young, 2012 Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee's Kamiko Williams is fouled by Alcorn State's Tierro Frost on Sunday, November 25, 2012. Tennessee defeats Alcorn State 90-37 at Thompson-Boling Arena. (Saul Young/News Sentinel)

Taber Spani on the Lady Vols' win over Alcorn

Saul Young/News Sentinel
Tennessee guard Meighan Simmons coils and considers her next move as she  tries to get around Alcorn State's Carolinsia Crumbly during a women's basketball game Sunday at Thompson-Boling Arena. Simmons scored a game-high 12 points.

Photo by Saul Young, 2012 Knoxville News Sentinel

Saul Young/News Sentinel Tennessee guard Meighan Simmons coils and considers her next move as she tries to get around Alcorn State's Carolinsia Crumbly during a women's basketball game Sunday at Thompson-Boling Arena. Simmons scored a game-high 12 points.

Kamiko Williams made the most out of 18 seconds Sunday afternoon.

Tennessee's senior guard squeezed her biggest contributions to a 90-37 women's basketball victory over Alcorn State into that relatively small time frame.

The reaction lingered much longer. First, the announced crowd of 10,609 at Thompson-Boling Arena roared its approval to a series of athletic plays by Williams. Then her coach and teammates convened a discussion afterward about a suitable encore.

"There is so much that she can bring to the table, and I think sometimes she doesn't even realize it," UT guard Meighan Simmons said. "... When she does it, it gets everyone else involved and it brings out the best in everyone."

Several of Williams' teammates already were engaged, as evidenced by six Lady Vols scoring in double figures. Simmons led No. 20 Tennessee (4-1) with 12 points. Bashaara Graves, Taber Spani, Jasmine Jones, Nia Moore and Isabelle Harrison each scored 10. For Spani, it was her first double-figure scoring game since Dec. 17 of last season.

Williams was one of three players to grab four steals as UT amassed 22 and had a hand in 34 turnovers by Alcorn State (0-4), which resulted in 37 points.

Amid this uncanny show of balance, Williams stood out midway through the second half by first soaring for an offensive rebound and scoring a putback basket. Her main event was Johnny Manziel-worthy. She blocked a shot at the other end of the court and snared the loose ball out of midair in the resulting scramble. Williams then spun and fired a strike deep down the court to a streaking Simmons for a layup.

"That's just the explosiveness that she has," Spani said.

Williams chalked up the three-feat essentially to spontaneity.

"A lot of things that I do are just off of reaction, just things I do and it just happens," Williams said. "I don't really think much about the play. I just let things go the way it is."

The thinking has been left to head coach Holly Warlick, specifically how to coax more highlights out of Williams in a more meaningful context.

"I think we've come to the conclusion that we have to have a little bit of balance now when coaching her,'' Warlick said. "We can't stay on her all the time because she takes everything really personal, so I think you've got to get on her but you've got to show her a little love as well."

There was plenty of that feeling to go around on Sunday. Alcorn State coach Tonya Edwards had her moments beforehand. Warlick escorted the former Lady Vol point guard across the court to head coach emeritus Pat Summitt, who was sitting in the front row. Edwards and Summitt embraced and shared a brief conversation. Edwards said that Summitt told her, "basically the she loves me and, of course, I love her for everything that she's done for me and just overall the discipline that she helped instill in me while I was here at Tennessee."

During the pre-game introductions, Edwards received a hearty ovation from the crowd.

Edwards' players enjoyed their coach's homecoming.

"It's all good coming back,'' Alcorn forward Renelle Richmond said. "You want for your coach to come back where she first and foremost learned everything, the whole aspect of basketball. From a player-to-coach relationship, that's an important part of basketball. You could tell she was happy to come back."

Then, the game began and the Lady Braves were buried not only by their turnovers but also by 12 for 53 shooting from the floor (22.6 percent). Guard Tierro Frost needed 15 shots to score a team-high nine points.

"I thought we gave effort," Richmond said. "We could've given more."

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Comments » 21

movol53 writes:

Hey a win is a WIN no matter how you get it!!!
But with a young team like UT has every game should be a learning experience. This game should teach: rebounding is about effort!!! I'm sure State knew the only way they could possibly stay in the game was to out rebound our Ladies. Again, rebounding is effort and personal pride. Learn from this young ones.
We are 4 - 1; keep it going Ladies!!!

SummittsCourt writes:

Did we win by 53 or by 3? According to this less than well written drivel I couldn't tell.

Seriously though, Alcorn St may have put a minor fight, but UT's talent obviously won this game easily.

volfan2002 writes:

53 points is Alcorn State's worse loss of the year. They lost to SMU by 30 in an earlier game. No doubt we could have won by 65 we missed at least ten layups but it really didn't matter in this game.

tonyvick#213307 writes:

I guess I shouldn't be so serious I watched this game discussed at the play. Anyway I just want to see these girls play "unrealistically perfect" every game. GO Ladies!!!

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to tonyvick#213307:

I guess I shouldn't be so serious I watched this game discussed at the play. Anyway I just want to see these girls play "unrealistically perfect" every game. GO Ladies!!!

Your going to give yourself a coronary with those kinds of "expectations".

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

Did we win by 53 or by 3? According to this less than well written drivel I couldn't tell.

Seriously though, Alcorn St may have put a minor fight, but UT's talent obviously won this game easily.

It's simple math. 90-37=53

blackandblue writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

Did we win by 53 or by 3? According to this less than well written drivel I couldn't tell.

Seriously though, Alcorn St may have put a minor fight, but UT's talent obviously won this game easily.

This is actually one of Fleser's better efforts at getting to the point. He is obviously not "old school" - I don't believe he's ever heard of "the five w's" (who, what, when, where, why). I've always thought he was a frustrated novelist...

SoddyVol writes:

I was impressed with Kamiko’s good play today. She, Carter and Harrison got 4 steals each. Enjoyed watching Carter, and Simmons-- and Jones was great today. Moore did very good inside. Spani looked better today. Burdick did her job but may have been just a little off her game today. I just enjoyed the whole game even with them playing a weak Alcorn State team.

oldster writes:

Missed layups and turnovers have been problems for the Lady Vols for quite a while. They are unlikely to return to glory without addressing these issues.

vol4life1983 writes:

I am so happy for Miko! One of my all time favorite vols for sure and congrats to JP on getting her first two points as a lady vol today!!!

Caspian writes:

I've always thought Kamiko was more talented than she was given credit for by the coaching staff. Always seemed to be getting yanked from the lineup on the slightest miscue. I think she's been one of the most underutilized players on the roster for the last 3 years. Hope that changes this year.

jt45 writes:

More impressed with the speed and defense than I was with the shooting but this bunch is starting really play well together. Time will tell but look for Jasmin Jones to be a game changer in the future, for such a young team they are looking pretty good. Im guessing the Lady Mocs should be glad they played them on their first game, they are a better team than they were then.

wigmeister writes:

If she shows the consistency that is needed game in and game out, she should get more playing time. She is the senior. She needs to lead every day by her actions!

r2d2 writes:

I think the LVs are a better team than last year, even with 5 freshmen and 3 sophomores. They could finish with a 25-4 regular season record as opposed to last year's record of 21-8. I realize this is a very early assessment. the next 10 games will tell if I am correct.

ps11824 writes:

oldster writes:
Missed layups and turnovers have been problems for the Lady Vols for quite a while. They are unlikely to return to glory without addressing these issues. ]]

Olster, I agree, that stuff makes me crazy too. WHY in the world do they continue to 'throw stuff up toward the basket' and NOT learn to finish shots. All that wasted effort is just, well, it reminds me of little kids ball.

They surely spend time on shooting, especially finishing shots and developing a routine at the freethrow line. Makes me kinda crazy when they miss and miss. They've been making baskets since they were little girls. Lack of fundamentals, concentration and follow thru has to be the answer.

That said, I'm happy for the win, but those kinds of careless mishandlings will get us slammed by the top teams we will be facing in the next stretch of games.

Go Lady Vols. Work hard. Follow thru. Finish the shot. Value the basketball. It's yours for the taking.

ladyvolsfan789 writes:

The turnovers this game were very odd. Most of them were unforced and a lot of them came off of good passes that were mishandled. Seemed to me like it was just a case of butterfingers at times. It's really the first time I've seen it from this team, so I wouldn't expect it to persist. Really liked the movement on offense and for as many turnovers as the Lady Vols had, they forced even more and ended up with more assists than turnovers.

jamgod writes:

Uuuhhh? IT's Alcorn whatever....whooo big freakin' deal. Just wait till they have to play someone with as much talent as this team has or better coached team you know, like the first one of the year. This team is not going to do anything special except come up short time and time again. Don't hate the bringer of truth. This team will not be able to compete with Uconn, Baylor, Duke, etc...need I go on?

ps11824 writes:

Oh, stop your trashing. Anyone with a name like the one you dare to use cannot have anything positive or worthwhile to post. The espn message board is more your speed.

Volinflan writes:

in response to ps11824:

Oh, stop your trashing. Anyone with a name like the one you dare to use cannot have anything positive or worthwhile to post. The espn message board is more your speed.

Gettem 98.... Where did that trash mouth come from? Maybe the football side?

underthehill writes:

Kamiko creates her own shot better than any player UT had last year or this year..only the most athletic lady players can do this..such as Myra Moore..UT has not got the most out of Kamiko's talent..

ps11824 writes:

[[ "You get those big leads and you have a mental letdown, and that's part of human nature, but it's also, for us, having to mature as a team to stay in tuned and try to finish ball games," said coach Cuonzo Martin. ]]

If I may be so presumptuous as to pull a quote from the men's thread... I love this mindset. I want the LVs to have the killer instinct. Get up to speed, and do not let up until the final horn; NOT the half-time horn, the FINAL horn.

So many times we see the intensity wane with a big lead. We will play teams that want to smash us into the hardwood. We must not look at the score during the game but play each and every possession as if we are fighting for our very life.

There's no reason to let up at this point no matter WHO we are playing. We are "in training" right now. We are nowhere near where we want to be, right? As long as we are turning the ball over and missing lay ups and free throws, we have not arrived. Agree?

I want us to arrive. I want us to take on the giants with the confidence of champions. Izzy and our big girls should not see Griner as a giant but a welcomed challenge. Our freshmen have not played the giants yet, so they see them as mice...

First, lets knock out instate rivals, Middle TN. Leave Coach Insel scratching his head thinking about our Lady Vol toughness.

GO LADY VOLS.

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