Lady Vols feeling at home in regional, advance to play Louisville

Lady Vols forward Cierra Burdick (11) shoots in the second half against Oklahoma during the third round of the 2013 Women's NCAA Basketball Tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., Sunday, March 31, 2013. The Lady Vols won 74-59 over Oklahoma. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Lady Vols forward Cierra Burdick (11) shoots in the second half against Oklahoma during the third round of the 2013 Women's NCAA Basketball Tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., Sunday, March 31, 2013. The Lady Vols won 74-59 over Oklahoma. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Meighan Simmons on the Lady Vols' win

OKLAHOMA CITY — First, Tennessee took the pro-Oklahoma crowd out of the game.

Then, the Lady Vols ushered the Sooners out of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament.

The Oklahoma City regional’s No. 2 seed parlayed a strong start into a 74-59 semifinal victory Sunday.

Kamiko Williams scored 15 points to lead Tennessee (27-7), which never trailed and led by as many as 28 points in advancing to the regional final at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

UT will play No. 5 seed Louisville (27-8), which used an NCAA tournament record-tying 16 3-pointers and two late free throws by Monique Reid to upset top-seed Baylor 82-81 in the other semifinal.

“I keep saying this,” UT coach Holly Warlick said, “but this team, they play in the moment. They play each possession like it’s their last.”

While Sharane Campbell led No. 6 Oklahoma (24-11) with 22 points, the Sooners shot a chilly 30.7 percent from the floor. Leading scorer Aaryn Ellenberg scored 13 points, shooting 5 for 21 from the floor.

The 59 points were a season low for Oklahoma.

“I mean you can’t stop shooting because the ball’s not going in,” Campbell said. “You got to keep trying. I mean, you just got to keep trying.”

While Tennessee’s first order of business didn’t guarantee the outcome, the crowd control of 9,162 at Chesapeake Energy Arena certainly didn’t hurt.

“I remember saying to Izzy (Harrison) ‘Now I know how other teams feel’ ” UT forward Cierra Burdick said, “because we usually enjoy the hostile environment with other teams coming to play in our house.”

During a timeout midway through the first half, the only audible voices were emanating from the UT fans sitting behind the team bench. By then, the Lady Vols were making their own noise.

Their field goal accuracy never dipped below 50 percent as they built their lead into double figures. A nice passing combination ended with a layup by Burdick and a 38-18 lead with 3:26 left in the first half.

“Looking at the faces of our players on the court, they were very, very secure in what they were doing,” UT assistant coach Dean Lockwood said. “Even when shots weren’t falling, there was no sign of being rattled. We felt they were very confident.”

Speaking of shots not falling, guard Meighan Simmons — UT’s leading scorer — was 1 for 15 from the floor.

To make matters worse, Simmons said that she tweaked her right ankle in a second-half collision with Oklahoma forward Joanna McFarland. Simmons plunged her foot into a bucket of ice in the locker room afterward.

“I got frustrated at one point,” she said. “But after a while (I thought) — my team was winning, my teammates are doing an amazing job — I realized I couldn’t hold on to that.”

Tennessee collectively missed its first nine shots to start the second half. Its lead never dipped below 13 points, however. Oklahoma, which lost point guard Morgan Hook in the first half with a concussion, couldn’t find the range against the Lady Vols’ defense.

“I don’t think they took a lot of shots out of character, necessarily,” Lockwood said. “But I do think our pressure bothered them and they didn’t get many comfortable looks for the most part.”

With the victory, Tennessee reached the Elite Eight for the third consecutive season. This journey was made essentially with five new starters and a new head coach in Warlick.

“It’s awesome,” Burdick said. “It speaks a lot for this program, for this coaching staff and for this team.”

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Comments » 85

voloffaith writes:

Yippee!!! Tuesday night here we come regardless of the opponent! Can't be afraid of Cardinals or Bears either way..............

voloffaith writes:

Extra extra read all about it.......Meighan Simmons has off game and Lady Vols still advance easily.....If we play Louisville those putbacks we had many of today will be possible....if Baylor those putbacks diminish greatly unless physically boxed out away from the hoop....either way as I said in my first post about the opponent.....Blessed Easter all!!

jt45 writes:

Wow all I can say is Kamiko is in it to win it !
Kudos to Coach Warlick for having a great game plan right out of the gate.

GO LADY VOLS!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Get ready for the "IT" factor..GLV!!

abnerPeabody writes:

It's louisville over Baylor by 19 with 12 minutes to go.Please hang on cardinals,beat the shemale.

UkJarhead writes:

Congrats Lady Vols- Would love to see UK/UT Final.

SummittsCourt writes:

Congrats to the Lady Vols! Coach Warlick is coach of the year in my book.

butch31 writes:

Louisville by 4 with 2 mins. left! I am not shocked! Stanford lost yesterday too.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

It's louisville over Baylor by 19 with 12 minutes to go.Please hang on cardinals,beat the shemale.

As one might expect, he refs have helped he bears get back in the game.

jt45 writes:

Wow Louisville just beat Baylor, so its the LVs VS Louisville for a trip to the final four.

The It factor might just be working this year.

GO LADY VOLS!

chaos001 writes:

HELL YES, LOUISVILLE!!!

Manbeast down! Manbeast down!

iowavol writes:

Dang - get ready for the Cardinals. They played a good game.

underthehill writes:

Officiating was heavy in Balyor's favor..and still Louisville hung on..I think UT will have to be on their game..but they can beat this team with Jones and Kamiko defending the 3..

golfman1975 writes:

Louisville vs Lady Vols....interesting.

CrankE writes:

1) Great win for the Lady Vols.
2) Good night Mr. Griner.
3) LVs have to play THAT team on Tuesday. Wow.

I thought the Cards were cooked when they flubbed the inbounds pass. That charge on Baylor might not have been a charge, but it could have been called player control just as easy. What a game.

chaos001 writes:

in response to underthehill:

Officiating was heavy in Balyor's favor..and still Louisville hung on..I think UT will have to be on their game..but they can beat this team with Jones and Kamiko defending the 3..

The officiating has been heavily in favor of Baylor for four years now. It's damn near past the point of ridiculous. Manbeast gets away with over the back, push-offs, punching people...sad just to promote the next "superstar." Where's the decency?

And btw, anyone in college who turns down the honor of playing in the Olympics is stupid or hiding something. I would not be surprised that she would've failed the genetic testing to prove that she was born either a male or inter-sex (my guess). If it's ever proven, would they take Baylor's championships away?

That's a man, Maury!

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to CrankE:

1) Great win for the Lady Vols.
2) Good night Mr. Griner.
3) LVs have to play THAT team on Tuesday. Wow.

I thought the Cards were cooked when they flubbed the inbounds pass. That charge on Baylor might not have been a charge, but it could have been called player control just as easy. What a game.

There's no way Louisville can play like that again, at least we should all hope not.

The bad news is that is one more team that can beat Ucon-vict out of the way. Can't believe I have to pull for UK.

CrankE writes:

Oh, and Kim Mulkey was a riot. All her hysterics, trying to strip her jacket (then someone helpfully remembering how little she had on under the jacket), hollering at whomever was closest, crowding the floor (uh, hello, sideline warning much?), and no technical.

Good luck without Mr. Griner.

jt45 writes:

I like the LVs chances much better against Louisville. The LVs have more scorers than Baylor and Louisville wont be able to just shut down one player like they did Griner.

I felt like the game was called heavily in Baylors favor, but the Louisville coach really had an excellent game plan to stop Griner. I dont think Ive ever seen a better defensive job against her.

The Lady Vols have a chance to make it to New Orleans and maybe even the championship game with the bracket looking very good with Baylor and Standford gone.

jt45 writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

There's no way Louisville can play like that again, at least we should all hope not.

The bad news is that is one more team that can beat Ucon-vict out of the way. Can't believe I have to pull for UK.

What about a UT VS UK rematch in New Orleans ? I know its a slim chance but I would love to see that game happen.

GO LADY VOLS!

tovolny writes:

The Griner era is over folks. SHE was a great player. If we had drafted her, she would be a hero here. I see no reason to keep calling HER names at this time. Lets show some CLASS and move on.

Go Lady Vols, play your game against Louisville, and move on up.

Good Job, Holly...Go Lady Vols.

Jshoop writes:

Loved watching the Cards beat Baylor. Hammond for the Cards is a local player and goes to my church. I am good friends with her parents but this is basketball and the VOLS are who I will root for. It would be great to see her score 25 and the VOLS win.

Volinflan writes:

in response to CrankE:

Oh, and Kim Mulkey was a riot. All her hysterics, trying to strip her jacket (then someone helpfully remembering how little she had on under the jacket), hollering at whomever was closest, crowding the floor (uh, hello, sideline warning much?), and no technical.

Good luck without Mr. Griner.

I thought she was going to pull her thong of and throw it on the court to stop play.

vol98champ writes:

As Jack Buck once said, I can't believe what I just saw". No, I'm not talking about the Baylor loss. I'm talking about the officiating.

ACWLY writes:

Great Great WIN for all those that Love the Lady Vols. Coaches had the Team ready to play and they played hard, best TEAM effort off the year. So happy for Coach Warlick, Staff and entire Team. VFL!

Volinflan writes:

Go SEC. Doesn't that mean we have three of the "elite 8 teams" remaining?

butch31 writes:

Oh oh...I had a dream *(UConn vs. UT)* for the final...They're Baaaacccccckkkkkk!!!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

What a great opportunity, UT matches up with Louisville much better..UT, here's your chance..

SummerfieldVol writes:

If Tennessee comes out and plays a very good half court game and limit the turn overs to 10 or less. Take care of the ball and good shot selection. I hate to say it keep the ball out of Simmons hands. She shot 1 for 15 from the floor and the shot selections was terrible, we will have a very good chance to beat Louisville. Louisville should be on a low coming down from such a high playing against Baylor, we Tennessee should take advantage of this. It would be a feather in Holly's cap to make the final four.

UkJarhead writes:

Could be 3 teams from the SEC in New Orleans. UT/UK in the final? Let's hope so.

JimmyJoe writes:

in response to vol98champ:

As Jack Buck once said, I can't believe what I just saw". No, I'm not talking about the Baylor loss. I'm talking about the officiating.

I agree and why didn't they "T" up mulkey for that striptease deal... That poor Louisville team beat Baylor, the officiating crew, and evidently the NCAA... That was the most one sided game I ever saw called... 24-14 on fouls...

JimmyJoe writes:

The player that was supposed to have changed the game... Will finish with half the NCAA titles that Candice Parker had... And will probably not be the first player selected in the draft...I would pick Della Don...

Mike_In_Storrs_CT writes:

Have not been here for a while, but I do want to give congrats on your team for a fine season so far. Definately much more than I expected from your team. And I think we should all have give some congrats to Louisville in their unbeleivable upset of Baylor today. I still cant believe it, and I know darn well that you guys cant beleive it either. LOL. But it is what it is. Your coach really deserves a lot of credit for getting this team this far, Post Pat ERA. Who knows it might be Uconn vs Tenn again if things work out the proper way, But we still got to get by Notre Dame who has been a thorn in our side for 2 years now. I think we should be able to get by Kentucky OK. But not sure about Notre Dame. But again congrats on a fine season so far. In a weird kind of way its good to see Tenn. in the championship picture again, But you guys have to admit you owe Louiville a whole lot. But good luck.

SoddyVol writes:

in response to vol98champ:

As Jack Buck once said, I can't believe what I just saw". No, I'm not talking about the Baylor loss. I'm talking about the officiating.

The most ridiculous and Bad call the whole game was the double technical called with about 6:05 left. The ball was thrown in and was already down the court when, with Schimmel starting to follow down court and just inside the end line, Sims got in her face and stayed there impeding her progress instead of retreating to where the play was.
On the charge against Baylor at the 16.7 mark, the replay seemed to verify they got the call right that time. Overall I felt the refs favored Baylor but maybe its because I was pulling for Dayton.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to UkJarhead:

Could be 3 teams from the SEC in New Orleans. UT/UK in the final? Let's hope so.

As long as tucky comes out on the losing end, Jughead..

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

What a day in basketball. The Lady Vols took control of the game early, started playing everybody off the bench, got a little sloppy but had enough in the tank..........took the Okie crowd out of it and came away convincingly.

All this with two players not being effective...
Simmons and Spani. Taber has gotten into a habit of taking a shot along the baseline with almost no angle to the rim whatsoever. But, if you can get her to the foul line, it's going in.

Louisville? It was a confidence builder for them beating Baylor. Can they be that fired up against the Lady Vols? I wouldn't think so........plus the Lady Vols didn't have to play a grinder game all the way to the finish. Let's hope they took serious notes of what will be necessary to beat Louisville. For certain, the Cards will be a challenge with all those 3's you know will be coming at us. Can the L V's defend out on the perimeter?????

Technical on the Louisville coach........how many times in lots of games should Mulkey have had a T herself? IMO she, along with her team got a little cocky during this stretch of success, so it's good to see how the mighty have fallen.

I'd love to see the L V's get to the final 4, but IMO, the eventual winner will either be U Conn or Notre Dame. You just never know. ( Georgia beating Stanford, etc ) Anything's possible.

Finally, re the men's games.........the Lizards went behind the wood shed against Michigan. We've heard about cow bells at Miss State. Who besides me,has noticed this idiot in the stands
for Florida with something like a fog horn, or megaphone sounding like a complete jerk every time a Lizard opponent had the ball. What was hilarious was his making all that stupid noise, almost inspiring the other team to score, and he sounded awfully silly when that did happen.

Those were probably the most pressure filled free throws at the end of a game I've ever seen when Louisville made them to shock the basketball world.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

A very solid effort by the Lady Vols. Kamiko deserved her TV designation as the "impact player".

So...now we get Louisville. First, congrats to them for their big win. Now, about Tuesday night...you gotta think they WON'T shoot 64% from 3-pt. land, but you have to know they will try. Reminds me of playing Mizzou. They were known for chunking up the 3's...and we learned how to handle that.

I would love to see this team in the final four. Not bad for a squad picked to finish 5th in conference.

Go for it, ladies. Why not us?

kazoo writes:

The first half was one of the best halves a UT team has played against a quality opponent in quite some time. Really amazing: Best passing I've seen from the Vols in YEARs, excellent shooting--and improved defense. Williams has made a huge difference in this team and probably doesn't get enough credit for how good she is. She is playing at a very high level---our best all-around guard by a mile. I liked the way Massengale distributed the ball today--nice job. We've got a lot of people who can score--and when we pass the ball well and find the open man, good things happen on offense. Simmons will bounce back next game--she needs to. We will have to defend the three against Louisville the same way we defended it against creighton. Great win.

roanecovol writes:

Louisville beat Baylor and the referees. The absolute worst officiating I ever saw. I truly believe the ncaa and espn wanted Baylor to win. Kim Mulkey is classless. She, Griner and Sims refused to shake hands with the Louisville team. Should be an investigation.. but by whom??

oldster writes:

At the beginning of the season, I thought that the best that could be expected of the LVs was a sweet sixteen appearance. After the loss to the Mocs, I did not even expect them to make the tourney. After the regular season, I came back to my original prediction and then, after seeing the brackets said, Elite 8 and good night. They cannot beat Griner. Well, now no Griner. The Final Four is a possibility. If they can do to the Cards what they did to Creighton, then they will continue playing. Who would they draw in semis, if they get by the Cards?

movinonup writes:

in response to oldster:

At the beginning of the season, I thought that the best that could be expected of the LVs was a sweet sixteen appearance. After the loss to the Mocs, I did not even expect them to make the tourney. After the regular season, I came back to my original prediction and then, after seeing the brackets said, Elite 8 and good night. They cannot beat Griner. Well, now no Griner. The Final Four is a possibility. If they can do to the Cards what they did to Creighton, then they will continue playing. Who would they draw in semis, if they get by the Cards?

They would play the winner of Notre Dame and Duke....play the way we did today and we can play with anyone. So proud of the Lady Vols and Holly----let's keep playing for another week or so :-)

UkJarhead writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

As long as tucky comes out on the losing end, Jughead..

I would expect nothing less from you Bipolar...

Nonetheless, glad to see the LadyVols continuing on. Nice win today. I guess I'll be cheering for them again as Louisville is a team I hate more than Tennessee.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Who knows what's happened to Phillips? I notice she wasn't in the box score. Of course, Andraya Carter has been out all season. But Jasmine Phillips is the 10th player, and it figures with a 28 point lead, everyone would have been off the bench.

Anyone know?

Go Lady Vols.......get tough Tuesday night !
Louisville proved what can happen when you play your hearts out and have a hot shooting touch.

PeytonWM18 writes:

First, congrats to Coach Warlick and her Lady Vols. This was a solid win, and with the eye on the prize Tuesday night, Holly will be in the Final Four her first season as the Lady Vols head coach. One word: Impressive!

Second, all this talk about Griner being the greatest player in Women's NCAA basketball history should finally END. In four years her Baylor teams won ONE title. Methinks some past Lady Vols and Lady Huskies and other more worthy former players would agree.

Last, with Mercedes Russell, Ms. Gatorade Player of the Year, and two more great players joining the Lady Vol family next year, watch out for a solid four-year run going forward.

The present and future look bright. Congrats to the Lady Vols program!

Go Lady Vols!

jdcdjc writes:

in response to chaos001:

The officiating has been heavily in favor of Baylor for four years now. It's damn near past the point of ridiculous. Manbeast gets away with over the back, push-offs, punching people...sad just to promote the next "superstar." Where's the decency?

And btw, anyone in college who turns down the honor of playing in the Olympics is stupid or hiding something. I would not be surprised that she would've failed the genetic testing to prove that she was born either a male or inter-sex (my guess). If it's ever proven, would they take Baylor's championships away?

That's a man, Maury!

Couldn't agree more, good post.

cheetah-vol writes:

I hope the Lady Cards have run out of made 3's! If so, we're New Orleans bound! Go Lady Vols!

Roxie writes:

So I'm now frustrated. Simmons has a bad day and now gets recognition. When she had 24 points, 5 steals, one of the favs was given player of the game. To take a 20 point average and destroy her confidence to a 14 pointer is sad. She's a kid. She wants to win more than anyone I've ever seen. She tries so hard she flubs up. Help her . Don't beat her up. To pull her out after 4 points and her first bad shot selection, is inexcusable. She has to get used to the court. How many other bad shot selections were there.?Please believe in your players. Give them a chance. She got us where we are, like it or not. Encourage her. Give her your support. And Spani too. Williams has been overlooked all year and look what she can do. We have a few that we WANT to be great and they will but we have a couple of greats now. It is a true challenge to positively GROW players not cause them to lose their confidence. We need Simmons and Spani and Williams if we want to Beat Louisville.

SummittsCourt writes:

As former Lady Vol great Kara Lawson pointed out yesterday; either Tennessee, Louisville, Georgia or California will be playing for a National Title next weekend!

It would be sweet to have 3 SEC teams in the final four!

vol98champ writes:

I wonder what kind of game will be called Tuesday night. We will have a lot of trouble if it becomes a fist fight like last night. Strange that Kim M. would bad mouth the refs for letting Louisville get away with what Baylor has done for 4 years. The refs could have stopped it, but they seemed to think that it favored their beloved Bears.

martic#220796 writes:

in response to tovolny:

The Griner era is over folks. SHE was a great player. If we had drafted her, she would be a hero here. I see no reason to keep calling HER names at this time. Lets show some CLASS and move on.

Go Lady Vols, play your game against Louisville, and move on up.

Good Job, Holly...Go Lady Vols.

Well said.

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