While Tennessee won’t be emulating Creighton’s prolific 3-point shooting on Holly Warlick’s watch, the Lady Vols coach does want to maintain a long-range threat.
Heading into tonight’s second-round NCAA tournament game against the Bluejays (TV: ESPN2, 7 p.m.), Tennessee has made 163 treys this season. The total is tied for 11th most for a season in program history. Warlick indicated that she’d like that number to be higher in the future, but didn’t offer a specific target for her sharpshooters. The Lady Vols hit at least 187 3-pointers in each of the past three seasons, setting a record with 242 in 2010-11.
“I think in the SEC, you have to have a great 3-point shooter,” Warlick said. “But I also think you have to have the combination of a great 3-point shooter and a penetrator.”
Warlick said that she expects more 3-pointers next season from point guards Ariel Massengale and Andraya Carter. Massengale, who hit three 3-pointers against Oral Roberts on Saturday, has 31 for the season. Carter made four in one game before undergoing shoulder surgery in December, which sidelined her for the season.
Warlick said that incoming freshmen Jannah Tucker and Jordan Reynolds should contribute, too.
“I don’t think you’ll ever see five people on our team shooting 3s,” Warlick said. “It’s just not our philosophy.”
Chart Climber: With her 18 points against Oral Roberts, Simmons moved into 23rd place on Tennessee’s career scoring list with 1,460 points. She surpassed Cindy Brogdon (1,458).
Simmons led the Lady Vols in scoring Saturday for the 19th time this season and the 39th time in her career. She’s scored 15 or more points in nine of the last 10 games.
Bench Mark: The 31 points from its reserves Saturday constituted the most bench scoring for Tennessee since getting 35 against Davidson on Dec. 28.
In the Davidson game, Warlick — still miffed over a loss to Stanford — utilized a one-time starting five configuration of Jasmine Jones, Bashaara Graves, Nia Moore, Taber Spani and Simmons. For Jones and Moore, it was their only starts of the season.
Chat With Pat: During Friday’s press conference, Creighton coach Jim Flanery recalled conversations with former Lady Vols head coach Pat Summitt during the summer recruiting circuit.
“I found her very pleasant,” he said. “The circumstances of my talking to Pat are I’m watching a game in the summer time of one team that’s playing a team that’s a lot better. Pat is watching the team with a lot better players, but they were matched up against a Nebraska, Minnesota or Iowa team that I’m watching.
“Those are the circumstances of having met Pat, but I found her to be very pleasant and approachable. Although, she did tell me a couple different times that she was too old to be doing the summer recruiting thing.”
Notebook: Creighton forward Sarah Nelson surpassed the 1,000-point career milestone with 17 against Syracuse on Saturday. She’s scored 1,014 points. ... Tennessee has won 47 NCAA tournament games by at least 20 points. ... Creighton guard McKenzie Fujan has made 26 consecutive free throws. The school record is 40 by Sam Schuett.