An accurate assessment ... Lady Vols take good shots in rout of Ole Miss

UT shoots season-best 59.4 percent

Tennessee's Kamiko Williams attempts to shoot while defensed by Ole Miss' Gracie Frizzell, left, and Kenyotta Jenkins at Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday, February 10, 2013. 
  
 (Saul Young/News Sentinel)

Photo by Saul Young, 2013 Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee's Kamiko Williams attempts to shoot while defensed by Ole Miss' Gracie Frizzell, left, and Kenyotta Jenkins at Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday, February 10, 2013. (Saul Young/News Sentinel)

Holly Warlick reviews win over Ole Miss

Saul Young/News Sentinel
Tennessee's Meighan Simmons, right, attempts to score over Ole Miss' Maggie McFerrin during the second half Sunday at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Photo by Saul Young, 2013 Knoxville News Sentinel

Saul Young/News Sentinel Tennessee's Meighan Simmons, right, attempts to score over Ole Miss' Maggie McFerrin during the second half Sunday at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Good shooting begins with good judgment.

So said Tennessee coach Holly Warlick after presiding over the Lady Vols' 97-68 SEC women's basketball victory over Ole Miss on Sunday afternoon.

"For the most part I think (the players) understand what is a good shot and a bad shot," Warlick said. "We don't take a lot of bad shots."

Before a crowd of 11,727 at Thompson-Boling Arena, the Lady Vols' judicious touch translated into a season-high 59.4 percent field goal accuracy (38-for-54) and five double-figure scorers. It was their most accurate shooting day since hitting at a 69.2 percent clip against UCLA on Dec. 17, 2011.

Against Ole Miss, they scored 46 points from close range but also shot 6-for-13 on 3-pointers. After two wayward performances from the foul line, they achieved a season-best 93.8 percent accuracy on free throws (15-of-16).

Meighan Simmons and Bashaara Graves were their usual selves with 24 and 19 points respectively. But reserve Nia Moore also joined the act with a season-high 12 points in just 10 minutes.

In short, virtually all the Lady Vols made good on all manner of shots.

"A lot of it had to do with us being able to get up and down the floor," said Taber Spani, who bounced back from zero points against LSU to score

12. "We moved very fast and quick. That also helps when you're shooting high-percentage shots — layups and jumpers."

Simmons, in particular, benefitted from the fast pace. The majority of her baskets were scored either off the dribble or in transition, including a second-half drive in which the junior guard swooped across the lane to convert. Simmons surpassed Tonya Edwards on the Lady Vol career scoring list and stands in 26th place with 1,319 points.

"Meighan's the best scorer we have; she's very confident," Graves said. "Everyone else is trying to get the way she is."

Graves tried in her typical workmanlike fashion, driving to the basket as if she was running between the tackles. She shot 6-for-8 from the floor and was 7-for-7 on free throws. In gathering 11 rebounds, the freshman forward recorded her ninth double-double of the season, tying Tamika Catchings for fourth most by a UT freshman.

Ole Miss forward Danielle McCray said she was surprised by Graves' strength. Graves' teammates are more accustomed to her powering up through multiple defenders, as she did in scoring the winning basket Thursday night at LSU. But they're no less impressed.

"She knows how to use her body more than anything," Spani said. "It's crazy."

While the game's fast pace enhanced Tennessee's scoring, it also exposed suspect ball-handling, which undermined UT's defense.

Led by Diara Moore's 16 points, Ole Miss (8-15, 1-9) converted 19 Tennessee turnovers into 20 points. The Rebels bounced back from an early deficit to rally within 28-23 with 5:52 left in the first half.

"We're a transition team as well, and I think we're best in the open court," Ole Miss coach Brett Frank said. "I feel like our players did a good job of making transition off their miscues."

The Rebels couldn't keep up, however, enabling the Lady Vols to play all nine available players and spread the playing time. Graves, Simmons and point guard Ariel Massengale reached 30 minutes with Simmons logging a team-high 31.

Nia Moore, a freshman center, made the most of her time, converting 4-of-5 field goal attempts and all four of her free throws. Warlick indicated that she will reconsider Moore's heretofore limited role when UT returns to action Sunday against Vanderbilt.

"She's put in the time and the work," Warlick said, "and I'm comfortable with her coming out and giving us some minutes."

Lady Vols/Vandy at 5: Game time for Tennessee versus Vanderbilt on Sunday at Thompson-Boling Arena will be 5 p.m.

Due to an administrative error at the SEC office, the Vanderbilt-UT start had been published incorrectly on schedules. The game will be televised by ESPN2.

The game will be Tennessee’s “Live Pink, Bleed Orange” game to raise funds and awareness for finding a cure for breast cancer.

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Comments » 36

johnlg00 writes:

Nice win for the LVs. Yeah, yeah, it was just Ole Miss and it was at home, but the gals deserved a romp like this after the Mizzou ambush and the LSU cage match. Now they get a few days off with good feelings and a chance to breathe. More time for Williams and Burdick to rehab some more, though both played really well today. Great to see Moore and Philips get some good minutes; they could be a big help to this still short-handed squad. I didn't realize either that Moore was such a great foul shooter or that she had played enough that anyone COULD know that. She looks like she needs to beef up a little bit, but she seems to have some skills. Time to gear up for the stretch run, ladies. Enjoy your little break and get ready to put the hammer down.

ps11824 writes:

How many coaches, assistants and managers on that bench... 6 players on the court? again? Is this football revisited? Good grief, Lady vols, how difficult can you make this game of basketball for your fans to watch?

Thank you for the win, by the way.

SoddyVol writes:

The first half I thought they had decided to not wait until after this game to take a needed break from competition. Fortunately Simmons, Graves, & Williams play for the Vols. Most all Vols shot the ball well when not letting Ole Miss get the 13 steels.

As expected, the bench got more greatly needed playing time. The play of Jones and Moore both looks promising. You could see the improvement in Moore as the game progressed. After the break, the schedule is very tough so Ladies, get a little rest and be ready for Vandy next week.

SoddyVol writes:

Before I get hammered. I do know how to spell "steal". That is just one of many mistakes I'm capable of making.

golfman1975 writes:

in response to SoddyVol:

Before I get hammered. I do know how to spell "steal". That is just one of many mistakes I'm capable of making.

Don't worry Soddy...I don't know my zip code...SHHHHHH!

Biggie writes:

Who is the genius that schedules the men's games and the women's games at the same time on the same days? This has happened more than once this year!

jt45 writes:

Best Ive seen Nia Moore to date and flat out money from the free throw line, her game may be top notch by next year. Kamiko, Graves and Simmons all had a good game. One thing that stands out with JP is she made some really sharp passes late in the game to cutters for easy baskets. The LVs bench players are starting to get to the level where production doesnt fall off when they are in the game. That is important come tournament time. Offense was excellent but defense faltered down the stretch a little.

Good job Ladies.

tonyvick#213307 writes:

I think Burdick and Jones were liabilities tonight. Maybe this break will help but you will have to fccus out there. We need you both.

AllforTenn writes:

They may not have had a great game but they certainly were not "liabilities."

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

The ladies did what they had to do. Note:
Vandy apparently lost one of their best players to an injury near the end of their game with U K.

Lady Vols alone in first place. Still, there will be some who don't even accept that.

Oh by the way, good comments by you positive Vol fans, led by Johnlg.

ladyvolsfan789 writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Vols,

The ladies did what they had to do. Note:
Vandy apparently lost one of their best players to an injury near the end of their game with U K.

Lady Vols alone in first place. Still, there will be some who don't even accept that.

Oh by the way, good comments by you positive Vol fans, led by Johnlg.

Not quite alone in first place. Texas A&M was able to pull it out against South Carolina late so we're still in a tie for first. We'll just have to show them who's first in the SEC when they come to play us!

soitgoes12 writes:

Still don't know why Kamiko Williams continues to get limited minutes with a short bench. She is the most complete player on the team. She only played 20 mins tonight and had 11 points on 5-7 shooting, 4 rebounds and 5 assists.

madrigal writes:

Turnovers can kill you, but fortunately the didn't kill the Lady Vols today. Very nice game from Meighan and a good outing by Nia Moore, plus the usual exciting bits from Miko and Taber. It's sometimes hard to play against a team that is less skilled because they're so busy getting in their own way that they get in yours too. I'm sure at some point someone will complain because they didn't try for 100, but shoot, didn't they humiliate Ole Miss enough?

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

in response to ladyvolsfan789:

Not quite alone in first place. Texas A&M was able to pull it out against South Carolina late so we're still in a tie for first. We'll just have to show them who's first in the SEC when they come to play us!

When it comes to number of SEC games played, we are in first place. But I get what your saying and Gary Blair has his team hungry to win the SEC in its first year. Our girls will have to bring the pain to beat them. Good win today , rest up and beat Vandy.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to ps11824:

How many coaches, assistants and managers on that bench... 6 players on the court? again? Is this football revisited? Good grief, Lady vols, how difficult can you make this game of basketball for your fans to watch?

Thank you for the win, by the way.

Shut up!!

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to Biggie:

Who is the genius that schedules the men's games and the women's games at the same time on the same days? This has happened more than once this year!

TV ratings.

LadyVolsFan71 writes:

Good game Lady Vol's!
Really showed today how bad the Lady Vol's played Missouri.........Miss State beat the Tigers at Missouri. I was really pulling for SC to win over Texas A& M today and Vandy sure looked bad against KY.

snowpeapod#263184 writes:

in response to Biggie:

Who is the genius that schedules the men's games and the women's games at the same time on the same days? This has happened more than once this year!

The genius is the SEC officials who makes up the conference schedules.

volsfaninsc writes:

THE BIG DUH OF THE DAY IS INCREASED MINUTES ,QUALITY AT THAT, BY MS. MOORE AND MS. PHILLIPS can reap major benefits as we go deeper into season without Ms. Harrison and Ms. Carter. Sorry about caps....good to see Ms. Burdick hit some mid range jumpers to open up insid ebetter. Cut down turnovers or will be in second place or third after kittenettes and aggieettes.

smokeygrowl writes:

zzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzz

Theo writes:

Minutes for Miko - historically has had stamina issues - maybe at her best at around 20 minutes with breaks. Just a guess.
JP a liability? Four steals with limited minutes several rebounds, had a couple of TOs though. Guessing she'll work on ball handling and passing this summer.
NM what a sweet stroke for a big. So glad to get to see her get a few minutes. Also think she showed good hands catching the entry pass to the paint.
Just glad to get to the break still in first place and without any further injuries. If NM can contribute minutes I really would not let Izzy play again this year.
Great job Lady Vols! So good to see a LV team having a fun time.

Theo writes:

A&M still has to play KY, UT and LSU.
KY still has to play UT, A&M, SC and LSU
Little bit of a round robin but I am glad we are done with SC and LSU.
Also checked JJ had 5 rebounds to go with 4 pts and 4 steals. Pretty good in my book for a freshman. She could be special. Has that glide of a really good athlete.

kazoo writes:

UT plays very relaxed and confidently against most teams, and as a result they tend to shoot the ball well. It's a pity they lose their confidence against the top teams. The difference is stark: Everybody plays tense, shots don't go in. Got to play with confidence against everybody.

DC82_Vol writes:

Scheduling the men's and women's BB games at the same time was stupid. The LV BB game was not televised was it? I watched it online.

This team has more heart than last year's team. I like the way they play for each other.

switcher76 writes:

Thank you Coach Holly! That's exactly what I have been saying...give Nia some minutes to get her confidence going and she will perform! She is going to be really good just wait and see!

ps11824 writes:

59.4 percent field goal accuracy (38-for-54) and five double-figure scorers. 6-for-13 on 3-pointers. A season-best 93.8 percent accuracy on free throws (15-of-16). Graves' 6-for-8 from the floor and was 7-for-7 on free throws. In gathering 11 rebounds, awesome. Now that's the way I like to see them play the offensive game.

Ole Miss converted 19 Tennessee turnovers into 20 points. Not the kind of defense I like, especially against an (not top ranked) opponent such as the Rebels; 13 steals, are you kidding? SoddyVol, say it isn't so!

SummitsCourt, I'm not a troll. I meant no disrespect. I was simply shocked that they could make such a boob of a move as to allow too many players in the game. Isn't it someone's job to keep such things from happening. Like, "You get in the game, no, you. Oh, me?" Remember that technical we had a few games back for not turning our starting lineup in on time? Those things should not happen when we have a bunch of personnel sitting there waiting for the horn, should they? That's all I'm saying, SummitsCourt.

Thrilled at our victory, but Vandy took a licking from Kentucky so they will be itching to take revenge on some Orange & Pink in Thompson Boling next Sunday.

Holy Kittens, the SEC regular season's end is just around the wildkat korner. WE CAN WIN OUT... GO LADY VOLS!

VOLindiana writes:

The lady vols came in this game (1) confident (2) prepared with a game plan (3) relaxed but aggresive

There was no rush, no frantic play, just calm, responsible, basketball and getting the job done.

In all of our loses none of that was portrayed. You have to calm yourself to a point where you don't play out of control, you play with poise, and you play with confidence like you can win the game. You have a game plan and you execute it using Basketball IQ.

Imagine if we walked onto the court everytime with that

RLL59 writes:

One of the better games on offense. It appeared the Lady Vols were practicing their entry passes into the post, and that's where many of the turnovers occurred. Just because the coach wants the ball there, doesn't mean the defense is going to let it happen. Nia played well. She's not the quickest, but she can put the ball in the basket, and she is an excellent free throw shooter. Hope Holly follows through on getting her more minutes...at least try it out.

Allowing guard penetration is still the main problem with the defense, which only can be described as poor against perhaps the worst team in the league. When Mickey Dearstone comments that MS was just taking the ball to the basket at will, you know there's a problem. Still time to fix it before playing the better teams...but the coach needs to stress better techniques and execution on defense. Not one word about defense in the articles, after the previous day's story emphasized how the Lady Vols were going to win with defense. Go figure.

hikerdude writes:

I loved Glory but I think Bashaara is already as good as Glory and will only get better. I'm really looking forward to next year. I predict that the LVs are going to be a real contender for the NC.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to VOLindiana:

The lady vols came in this game (1) confident (2) prepared with a game plan (3) relaxed but aggresive

There was no rush, no frantic play, just calm, responsible, basketball and getting the job done.

In all of our loses none of that was portrayed. You have to calm yourself to a point where you don't play out of control, you play with poise, and you play with confidence like you can win the game. You have a game plan and you execute it using Basketball IQ.

Imagine if we walked onto the court everytime with that

I have heard a number of great coaches say that players have to learn to play against the game, not just against the opponent. The LVs' tight performance against the elite teams comes from the thought, "Oh, gosh, we're playing against Baylor/Stanford/ND tonight!" No, you have to learn to treat each team and each game the same; you will make the plays you are supposed to make EVERY TIME, no matter who you are playing. You won't always win but you give yourself a better CHANCE to win when you don't obsess over WHO you are playing. Simple to state but difficult to accomplish. One thing I admire about UConn is that Geno seems to get that point across to all his teams better than almost any other coach today. Not a Geno fan in general, but I've gotta give credit where it is due.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to RLL59:

One of the better games on offense. It appeared the Lady Vols were practicing their entry passes into the post, and that's where many of the turnovers occurred. Just because the coach wants the ball there, doesn't mean the defense is going to let it happen. Nia played well. She's not the quickest, but she can put the ball in the basket, and she is an excellent free throw shooter. Hope Holly follows through on getting her more minutes...at least try it out.

Allowing guard penetration is still the main problem with the defense, which only can be described as poor against perhaps the worst team in the league. When Mickey Dearstone comments that MS was just taking the ball to the basket at will, you know there's a problem. Still time to fix it before playing the better teams...but the coach needs to stress better techniques and execution on defense. Not one word about defense in the articles, after the previous day's story emphasized how the Lady Vols were going to win with defense. Go figure.

In some games, you have to outscore the opponent and in some you have to out-tough them. The Ole Miss coach said that they try to be an up-tempo team, so they were playing into the LVs' hands playing that way. Can't blame them for that; you have to try to do what your team does best, even if some other team might be better at it than you are.

As for your comment about the LVs' susceptibility to the drive, maybe they will have to play more zone against teams that like to take it to the hole. It might also be better if they didn't try to crowd up on the outside players quite so much in the man-to-man. You can't let them shoot free on the outside, but if you can't deny them the ball, it might be better to back up a step to guard against the drive, and challenge the outside shot by just keeping your hands up. Most of the time, if a team is really stroking it from outside, you are in trouble anyway if they can keep it up. If you make even such a team settle for the outside shots, they may start missing them on their own later in the game. Better for this group to avoid the silly fouls 35' from the basket and play back to stop the drive.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to hikerdude:

I loved Glory but I think Bashaara is already as good as Glory and will only get better. I'm really looking forward to next year. I predict that the LVs are going to be a real contender for the NC.

I agree. The future looks bright for a number of reasons. This group might not be a solid championship contender this year, but they are fun to watch and they are getting better all the time.

RLL59 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

In some games, you have to outscore the opponent and in some you have to out-tough them. The Ole Miss coach said that they try to be an up-tempo team, so they were playing into the LVs' hands playing that way. Can't blame them for that; you have to try to do what your team does best, even if some other team might be better at it than you are.

As for your comment about the LVs' susceptibility to the drive, maybe they will have to play more zone against teams that like to take it to the hole. It might also be better if they didn't try to crowd up on the outside players quite so much in the man-to-man. You can't let them shoot free on the outside, but if you can't deny them the ball, it might be better to back up a step to guard against the drive, and challenge the outside shot by just keeping your hands up. Most of the time, if a team is really stroking it from outside, you are in trouble anyway if they can keep it up. If you make even such a team settle for the outside shots, they may start missing them on their own later in the game. Better for this group to avoid the silly fouls 35' from the basket and play back to stop the drive.

Agreed, and as you are well aware, the teams that defend well, stay far enough back from the good ball handling guards to prevent unimpeded drives, but close enough to deny an open 3 point shot. Once the opponent has picked up her dribble, or if she is being double teamed, close harassment works. We, as fans, don't know whether the Lady Vols coaches, over at least the last 5 years, haven't subscribed to that philosophy or whether the players don't learn and adapt. The problem (drives to the basket at will) is evident to everyone; implementing a solution is up to the coaches. It is frustrating because the Lady Vols can't beat the better teams without solving the defense problems.

Volinflan writes:

Probably for anyone to wrest the National Championship from one of the "Big Four" (Baylor, Notre Dame, UConn and Stanford) is going to be hard, but the Lady Vols have a very real shot at a SEC Championship. Winning 3 of the last five games would put UT into the first four seeds.

I looked at the brackets (unfilled of course) and it shows seeds 1-13 with 12 seed and 13 seed playing into the twelve team format like they have had in the past few years. What happens to number 14? Do they just not get to play?

underthehill writes:

in response to soitgoes12:

Still don't know why Kamiko Williams continues to get limited minutes with a short bench. She is the most complete player on the team. She only played 20 mins tonight and had 11 points on 5-7 shooting, 4 rebounds and 5 assists.

Miko was not needed much in this game and may have been resting her ankle..she is at her best when playing teams on her talent level..she does this better than any Lady Vol..

johnlg00 writes:

in response to underthehill:

Miko was not needed much in this game and may have been resting her ankle..she is at her best when playing teams on her talent level..she does this better than any Lady Vol..

Good point. It may be that she is a senior, but, despite the fact that she has rarely had consistent playing time in her career, she rarely seems flustered out there, no matter who they are playing. She seems to have a pretty good sense of what she is trying to do in games and keeps doing it no matter what.

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