A pair of double-doubles for points and rebounds added up to an SEC first for Tennessee’s Cierra Burdick.
The 6-foot-2 sophomore forward was named conference women’s basketball player of the week after averaging 13 points and 12.5 rebounds in games against Texas A&M and Kentucky.
She came off the bench to score 15 points and grab a career-high 14 rebounds last Thursday to help the Lady Vols beat Texas A&M 82-72 at Thompson-Boling Arena and clinch the program’s 17th SEC regular season championship.
Against Kentucky, she had 11 points and 11 rebounds along with a career-high four blocks in the 78-65 loss. She also had a career-high seven turnovers, part of UT’s 31 against Kentucky’s pressure defense.
Burdick has recorded double-doubles in three of the last four games and five total this season.
For the week, Burdick shot 42.9 percent from the floor (8 for 19) and 90 percent from the free throw line (9 for 10). For the season, she is averaging 8.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Burdick missed eight games in January after suffering a fractured right hand.
No. 9 Tennessee (23-6, 14-2) opens SEC tournament play at noon Friday in Duluth, Ga., against the Florida-Arkansas second round winner.
Injury Report: During a coaches teleconference on Monday, Tennessee coach Holly Warlick reiterated that she wasn’t sure whether Isabelle Harrison would be available for the SEC tournament. The Lady Vols sophomore center left last Thursday’s game with a right knee injury.
Warlick said guard Kamiko Williams, who suffered a sprained right ankle last month, now is dealing with a sprain of her left ankle.
Warlick also said point guard Ariel Massengale was sore after returning from a right knee injury last Thursday to play 34 minutes against Kentucky.
Spani Honored: Tennessee’s Taber Spani has been named to the SEC’s community service team for women’s basketball.
The senior forward has been active with Habitat for Humanity and made frequent appearances at the Knoxville Boys & Girls Club.
Poll Watch: While Tennessee dropped a spot to No. 9, Kentucky vaulted three places to No. 7 in the Associated Press’ Top 25 weekly poll.
With LSU returning at No. 22, six SEC teams are in the poll.