Lady Vols waiting on results of MRIs on Ariel Massengale, Isabelle Harrison

photos by wade payne/associated press
Tennessee guard Ariel Massengale is helped from the court by assistant coach Dean Lockwood and trainer Jenny Moshak against Texas A&M on Thursday at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Photo by Wade Payne, AP2013

photos by wade payne/associated press Tennessee guard Ariel Massengale is helped from the court by assistant coach Dean Lockwood and trainer Jenny Moshak against Texas A&M on Thursday at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Tennessee center Isabelle Harrison is helped up after being injured in the second half against Texas A&M on Thursday at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Photo by Wade Payne, AP2013

Tennessee center Isabelle Harrison is helped up after being injured in the second half against Texas A&M on Thursday at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Tennessee still was totaling the medical bill Friday for an SEC championship-clinching women’s basketball victory.

Coach Holly Warlick didn’t offer any specifics on the right knee injuries suffered by point guard Ariel Massengale and center Isabelle Harrison in the second half of an 82-72 victory over Texas A&M Thursday night at Thompson-Boling Arena. With the victory, No. 8 Tennessee (23-5, 14-1 SEC) clinched the conference’s regular-season title, the 17th in program history.

Records, rankings and perhaps NCAA tournament seedings are what’s left in play for the showdown at No. 10 Kentucky (24-4, 12-3) on Sunday (TV: ESPNU, 3:30 p.m.) to end the regular season.

When meeting with the media before Friday’s practice, Warlick said that Massengale and Harrison would have MRI exams later in the day. Both players passed through the Pratt Pavilion lobby with the aid of crutches. Massengale’s knee was packed in ice while Harrison wasn’t wearing any ice bags.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Warlick said. “So many injuries. I don’t know. I don’t have an answer for it. It’s kind of crazy.”

Massengale and Harrison have made previous appearances on UT’s injury report. Massengale began the season recovering from tendinitis in her left Achilles’ tendon. Freshman Andraya Carter started the first five games before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery in December. Massengale, a 5-foot-6 sophomore, recorded six assists against the Aggies before going down with 7:44 left.

Harrison, meanwhile, returned last Sunday against Arkansas after missing the previous six games with a left knee injury. She underwent surgery on Feb. 1 to address her lateral meniscus. Before Sunday, the 6-3 sophomore hadn’t played since going down in the first half against Notre Dame on Jan. 28.

Against Texas A&M, Harrison scored 10 points — all in the second half. She also recorded four rebounds and two blocks before departing with 1:52 left.

Warlick wouldn’t rule out either player yet for Sunday. But she indicated that senior Kamiko Williams was the backup plan at point guard.

On Second Thought: When Warlick first was approached about doing a net-cutting celebration if UT won Thursday, her first reaction was “not really.”

Then, she thought otherwise.

“To do it at home, in front of our crowd, and for our players and for our seniors,” she said, “I thought we needed to do it.”

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Comments » 8

Theo writes:

Man, it would be great to have either of these kids for the tournament but it didn't look good last night.
Even if they were able to play Sunday I think I would sit them. The title is won. The issue now, however, is seeding. Not only would we get dinged if we lost to KY (shorthanded) but the NCAA looks at your injuries and adjusts your seeding based on them. Is JP a shooting guard or a point guard? If it wouldn't hurt the team's confidence I'd put JP, JJ and Nia in and say have at it. A whole game of playing might really be good for them. I'll be waiting for Holly's call on this;)
In the meantime keeping my fingers crossed for Ariel and Izzy.

oldster writes:

Izzy looked better cutting down the nets than Ariel. She actually put weight on the injured leg while climbing the ladder. Could still cost her game(s), but it looks hopeful.

madrigal writes:

Just another reason for using all your scholarships. This bench is way too short! Best wishes to Izzy and Arielle and I hope neither injury is as bad as they looked.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

Mssengale probably out, period. The ice would indicate serious swelling.

Harrison, who know? NOT having swelling doesn't mean something's not torn.

Pompey writes:

....the orange curse stricks again, and again, and again....UT's athletic program is "star crossed"....!

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

in response to Pompey:

....the orange curse stricks again, and again, and again....UT's athletic program is "star crossed"....!

I know it may seem that way, but nearly every basketball program in the women's game has a strong knowledge of knee braces and crutches.

SummittsCourt writes:

Prayers for positive or negative results whichever way you look at it!

Go Lady Vols!

volfan2002 writes:

We'll just have to go to Kentucky and fight with who we have available and regardless Kentucky is not winning the SEC title this season.

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