Tennessee cuts deficit to two late, but can't stop Chiney Ogwumike or Stanford

Tennessee's Meighan Simmons attempts to score while defended by Stanford's Erica McCall, left, and Lili Thompson during the first half of the game at Stanford on Saturday, December 21, 2013. Tennessee trailed 21-29 at the half. 
  
 (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Saul Young, 2013 Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee's Meighan Simmons attempts to score while defended by Stanford's Erica McCall, left, and Lili Thompson during the first half of the game at Stanford on Saturday, December 21, 2013. Tennessee trailed 21-29 at the half. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

STANFORD, Calif. Tennessee took its first top-10 test of the women’s basketball season Saturday and failed to stop a star player or make enough shots.

But not by much as it turned out.

Stanford scored a 76-70 victory at Maples Pavilion, but not before the Lady Vols whittled a double-figure deficit to two points inside the final minute.

Chiney Ogwumike scored 32 points and had 20 rebounds to lead the No. 6 Cardinal (10-1). Guard Amber Orrange’s driving basket and free throw with 23 seconds left was pivotal in thwarting Tennessee’s comeback, building Stanford’s lead back up to 73-68.

Ariel Massengale scored 17 to lead No. 3 Tennessee (10-1), which now has lost 13 in a row to top-10 teams on the road.

Too much Ogwumike and too many missed shots were Tennessee’s biggest problems from the outset. The combination looked insurmountable as the Cardinal’s lead grew to 12 points with 7:42 left in the first half.

While UT’s field goal shooting percentage hovered below 30 percent, Ogwumike was making 9 of her first 11 attempts — most from point-blank range.

Somehow, Tennessee managed to close the gap. A conventional 3-point play by Bashaara Graves pulled the Lady Vols within five points in the final seconds of the first half.

But Taylor Greenfield’s corner 3-pointer saved a final possession and sent the Cardinal off at halftime leading 37-29.

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Comments » 16

underthehill writes:

No excuse for letting one player do what Ogwum did..32 points and 20 rebounds..no excuse..as for losing on the road to a good team..not great team..home court sometimes too tough to overcome..

oldster writes:

LVs cannot stop a star and cannot shoot. I bet they had a bunch of turnovers, too. They play hard, just not particularly efficiently.

TNlogfire writes:

Home court advantage is huge, evidently...Lady Vols played hard, though...

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

Earlier in the week Bashaara said she couldn't wait to see where they are. Well, now we know. We don't have a stopper on the inside. Poor shooting and inadequate rebounding definitely gives us something to work on.

ModelMaker writes:

There were a few key moves that stood out in my mind that I think could have won the game for Tennessee.
1. I thought if Holly would have called a time out when Stanford went up 6-4 I think it could have made a big difference in the outcome. Stanford ran off 13 unanswered point's without a time out and it was up hill from then on.
2. With Ogwumike tiring (she played all forty minutes) and with about 7 minutes left in the game, if you had Graves, Harrison and Russell inside, I think Tennessee would have had a much better chance to win going down the stretch.
I think that if Holly can't develop Russell too the point where she is starting every game along with Harrison and Graves it is going to be a long year for the Lady Vols. I thought these kids played their heart out. They never gave up. The key is going to be if Holly & staff can bring Russell along to the point where she is starting and playing allot of minutes. I also think Carter is going to be a key player as well if she get's more playing time.

VFL70 writes:

UT still does not have "go go player". Simmons shot 28%; she continues to run hot and cold. I am absolutely amazed that a team cannot devote itself to shutting down one player but apparently LVs can't. Russell has got to play more and get tough.

Allenfan writes:

Stanford was simply more prepared. Their star player got a lot of her points on offensive rebounds, nobody blocked her out. We have much more talent on our team that they do. We have very little offense, and they were open to shoot most of the afternoon. What's the deal with Jones, as she refuses to play within her ability. Careless turnovers, poor defense most of the day, and shooting poorly will get you beat most of the time. With regional finals on a probable number one seed's home court, better not count on a final four. I am not being negative, but as any Lady Vol or basketball fan can see, we have not played a great game this year, we have just been so much more talented than the teams we have beaten. You can agree or disagree, but we watched the same game today, and we are not there yet.

VFL70 writes:

in response to VFL70:

UT still does not have "go go player". Simmons shot 28%; she continues to run hot and cold. I am absolutely amazed that a team cannot devote itself to shutting down one player but apparently LVs can't. Russell has got to play more and get tough.

I meant "go to player"

DroopyDrawers writes:

in response to VFL70:

I meant "go to player"

Janet Tucker please! We have no one that can hit the 3 ball under pressure.
Simmons-5 for 18-- 1 for 6--- 3 ball
Massengill 4 for 13--1 for 4--- 3 ball
Missed 4 free throws in 2nd 1/2

Poor coaching at start of game. Time out should have called when it was 8-4 or 10-4 and we were up 4-0.

Play 5 at a time---no way they can get into flow of game the way Holly subs.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

in response to DroopyDrawers:

Janet Tucker please! We have no one that can hit the 3 ball under pressure.
Simmons-5 for 18-- 1 for 6--- 3 ball
Massengill 4 for 13--1 for 4--- 3 ball
Missed 4 free throws in 2nd 1/2

Poor coaching at start of game. Time out should have called when it was 8-4 or 10-4 and we were up 4-0.

Play 5 at a time---no way they can get into flow of game the way Holly subs.

Is Janet a sister of Janna?

twmartin21#209204 writes:

Chiney is a load.She has that feel for being in the place where the ball is coming off like all great rebounders do.She also is so strong that she moves opponents out of her way so effortlessly that she doesn't appear to foul doing it but she does foul a lot.She reminds me of Shaq in that regard.I saw him push Carlos Groves out of good position many times without being called for fouling in the SEC tournament in Birmingham many years ago.I loved the Lady Vols effort today but they take too many bad and rushed shots.Someone needs to impress on Massengale and Simmons that a penetrating guard does not have to take questionable shots when she can set other players up for easy shots.With a little better judgement,the Lady Vols can be really good.

DroopyDrawers writes:

in response to snowpeapod#263184:

Is Janet a sister of Janna?

Janna or Janet, I dont' know just last name is TUCKER.

johnlg00 writes:

I hate to say it, but I had almost no confidence that the LVs would win that game going in. The are just too sloppy and uncoordinated to beat a good team. Someone above said that Stanford is a good team but not a great one. That may be so, but my mantra is that a team is only as good as it plays. The amount of "talent" on a given team has, within certain limits, almost nothing to do with how well it plays. TNT basketball commentator Kenny Smith, who knows talent when he sees it, says that physical talent is far less important in winning games and championships than is the capacity to make good decisions on the court. It is precisely in that area that the LVs tend to fall short right now, and until they change that tendency, they will continue to lose to physically comparable teams that do not have that tendency in a given game.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to twmartin21#209204:

Chiney is a load.She has that feel for being in the place where the ball is coming off like all great rebounders do.She also is so strong that she moves opponents out of her way so effortlessly that she doesn't appear to foul doing it but she does foul a lot.She reminds me of Shaq in that regard.I saw him push Carlos Groves out of good position many times without being called for fouling in the SEC tournament in Birmingham many years ago.I loved the Lady Vols effort today but they take too many bad and rushed shots.Someone needs to impress on Massengale and Simmons that a penetrating guard does not have to take questionable shots when she can set other players up for easy shots.With a little better judgement,the Lady Vols can be really good.

Excellent point about how Ogwumike, Shaq, and other powerful players use their power without APPEARING to shove other players around. It has to do with creating the impression that they are GOING somewhere on the court and just happen to muscle the opponent in the process. If a player just leans up against an opponent and gives him/her a shove and THEN makes some other move, it stands out immediately to a referee. This a lesson Stokes, for example, has yet to learn. Always make it look like you are going somewhere with a purpose and the opponent just gets in the way. I couldn't watch the game, but Ogwumike apparently put on a clinic on how to play physically without looking like a slugger out there.

RLL59 writes:

A major problem, and it's not new with Coach Holly, is that players don't understand their roles. Players are expected to be experts on all facets of the game, rather than stressing strengths and accommodating weaknesses, many of which are a factor of their physical make up. That's why we have a freshman center sometimes guarding someone at the top of the key, and a power forward bringing the ball down, and a point guard that's down court rather than presenting herself for a pass after a rebound. Watch other good teams, almost none of which are close to the Lady Vols in talent.. Most of them understand, and their coaches do as well, how to better utilize their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses. Losing a fairly close game to a top ten team on the road isn't terrible. But it does show that the Lady Vols are not even in the same class with UConn. I'm afraid that's not going to change until the coaching strategy is altered.

underthehill writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I hate to say it, but I had almost no confidence that the LVs would win that game going in. The are just too sloppy and uncoordinated to beat a good team. Someone above said that Stanford is a good team but not a great one. That may be so, but my mantra is that a team is only as good as it plays. The amount of "talent" on a given team has, within certain limits, almost nothing to do with how well it plays. TNT basketball commentator Kenny Smith, who knows talent when he sees it, says that physical talent is far less important in winning games and championships than is the capacity to make good decisions on the court. It is precisely in that area that the LVs tend to fall short right now, and until they change that tendency, they will continue to lose to physically comparable teams that do not have that tendency in a given game.

It is obvious you are correct to state making good decisions is not a strong point of this team..you could also say the same about the coaching staff for this game..to let one player do what Og did simply says you did not prepare your team for the game and you did not adjust when you saw what was going on..her performance falls completely on the coaching staff..

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