Kentucky beats Lady Vols in Knoxville for first time since 1985, 75-71

Tennessee forward Bashaara Graves (12) loses the ball as she is chased down by Kentucky forward/center Jelleah Sidney (12) during the first half at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Saul Young

Tennessee forward Bashaara Graves (12) loses the ball as she is chased down by Kentucky forward/center Jelleah Sidney (12) during the first half at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Jennifer O’Neill and turnovers were too much for Tennessee on Sunday.

The combination erased a one-point UT lead and sent Kentucky to a 75-71 SEC women’s basketball victory before a crowd of 15,664 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The victory was the first for No. 18 Kentucky (19-6, 7-5 SEC) at the arena and its first in Knoxville since Jan. 23, 1985.

O’Neill, who scored a game-high 24 points, gave the Wildcats the lead for good by converting a turnover by Tennessee’s Meighan Simmons into a layup and a 70-69 advantage.

UT had committed three in a row at that point and finished with 22 turnovers for the game. Its last possession and a final shot at a tying basket ended with Isabelle Harrison fumbling away the ball.

Harrison and Bashaara Graves each scored 20 points to lead No. 8 Tennessee (20-5, 9-3) Harrison added 16 rebounds.

Foul trouble was the story of the first half.

Initially it was Kentucky’s plight. The Wildcats were whistled for six fouls before the first media timeout. Starting forward Samarie Walker picked up two fouls on consecutive plays.

But the Wildcats got by on their depth, using 10 players.

Tennessee ultimately had the bigger problems. The Lady Vols starting backcourt of Andraya Carter and Simmons both picked up two fouls and played just 17 combined minutes before halftime.

The Lady Vols committed 13 turnovers and trailed 38-34 at the break.

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Comments » 38

murrayvol writes:

Ouch!

rockypop writes:

They're trying too hard to be like the men.

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

Might be the ugliest game played in TBA history. No SEC championship this year due to really poor fundamental basketball skills.
Once again unforced turnovers, missed layups, missed free throws, did I say turnovers, no defense and poor rebounding have made this team of so called stars a mediocre team muddling through a mistake prone season.
How can they be so bad. UK took 9 more shots and the last four possessions were a disaster. Gamecocks now have a clear path to the SEC.
This team will likely not even make it out of TBA's second round. This is a 4 seed at best.
This game illustrates why so many basketball fans can't stomach watching the LV's play anymore. It is too painful watching these players make the same mistakes every game and choke in the big games.
These players continue to set new low standards against our rivals like losing for the first time in TBA and in Knoxville since 1985.
Pathetic effort.

tennisvol5 writes:

Outplayed and outcoached.

wigmeister writes:

UGH!

oldster writes:

This team is now, officially, the University of Turnover, Lady Vols. Holly said in her show that the 22 turnovers were uncharacteristic. This indicates that she either does not know the meaning of the word, or does not know her team. They are sloppy and careless with the ball. Think of it. They shoot about 40%. Had they gotten 22 shots instead of those turnovers, they would have made 8 more baskets, or 16 points more and won going away. Moreover, this does not take into consideration of how many points UK got off the turnovers. Were this team merely adequate in TOs, they would score and average of 6-10 points more a game and give up 4-8 less. However, either Holly has no idea that it is a problem, or simply cannot fix it. It is simply a part of the game, just like bad officiating. The team is just going to have to learn to live and win despite it - if they can.

Allenfan writes:

It was foolish thinking we had turned the corner. It is so sad that when 2 college player All American's at the Espn Studio, as well as a former coach in Carolyn Peck, realize that you can't play zone against Kentucky. We don't play even an average zone against anyone much less a good team. We are very fortunate we didn't loose by more than the 4 points as Kentucky missed numerous shots that were uncontested in the first half. Jasmine Jones would never leave the bench until it was mop up duty, much less attempt to bring the ball down court. When will they learn that she and Burdick CANNOT dribble the basketball. Now to coach Warlick, she doesn't seem to have a clue. Mitchell was in the officials ear every time they were close enough, and sometimes when they weren't, and they got EVERY questionable call. Every time we made a move, he called a timeout to put things in order. We had three straight unforced turnovers, and what does she do but whistle at them. There were 43 seconds left in the game, Kentucky 1 timeout, and Tennessee 4, it didn't do a lot good to save them did it. I am wondering what is up and what we don't know about Ariel, I did not see any emotion from her at any point during the game sitting on the bench. I think that is 0 and 3 against Kentucky since Holly as been calling the shots, with 2 of those being our head coach. The two biggest games (Parker Jersey retiring and play for Kaye) and we are 0 and two. She is so out of her league when it comes to preparation as well as game management. I certainly hope we do not get UCONN in the tournament, even with 4 or 5 scholarship players left, I feel we would be completely embarrassed. I am a fan of the team and not the coaching staff, so I will continue to watch every game made available.

massvolfan writes:

22 turnovers...4 in last 6 possessions...7 missed free throws...they didn't deserve to win. Maddening how they can play this poorly, for an entire game, after the effort they put in against Vandy...absolutely maddening. "Strive For 9" is about to become "Strive Not To Be A 9 Seed" !!

magicbyswh#221420 writes:

The coach is coaching like the mens coach. The bench warmers could turn it over that many times.
This is a middle of the road team that plays that way. 28 years and KY can't win in Knoxville but with Warlick coaching they can. Warlick is what she is an assistant not a head coach.

UTANDNOBAMA writes:

They have a statue of Pat Summitt outside the arena... They are planning on erecting one for Holly...at the arena in Kentucky, the Arena at Vandy, the Arena at Chattanooga.... Well you get the picture.

atnvol#283282 writes:

The men and women basketball teams are affected with the same problems...lack of real leadership...on the court and on the sidelines. Not being mean, both sidelines leadership looks lost and indecisive in tight games. On the court, closing seconds in tight games looks frantic...

willphill#241787 writes:

The downward spiral continues. You hire the wrong coach. You suffer the consequences. The entire Tennessee athletic program is in shambles. The result of years of poor leadership from the administration as well as the athletic department. The fatal blow was first dealt with the hiring of Mike Hamilton; an individual who was uniquely unqualified for the job. I hope Hart can turn things around, but I am not optimistic with Cheek and DePietro at the helm.

vol52 writes:

We need new basketball coaches men and women, SAD AT THE Current STATE of Tennessee basketball

Allenfan writes:

in response to atnvol#283282:

The men and women basketball teams are affected with the same problems...lack of real leadership...on the court and on the sidelines. Not being mean, both sidelines leadership looks lost and indecisive in tight games. On the court, closing seconds in tight games looks frantic...

I totally agree with you on everything that you said. I just watched the post game interview and she has major problems explaining what went wrong. They just failed to recognize where O'Neill was on the court in the first half, well duh, that is what a time out is for. Regardless of how people like her, and how many charities she supports, she is just an awful game coach. Everyone in the world new she couldn't play a zone and win against Kentucky, well everyone but her and the coaching staff. It is what it is, and is not likely to get any better with all of the good coaches that we now have in the SEC. I hope the people that matter realize this before we are an ordinary team, playing before just a few thousand fans. I know that recruits are watching.

willphill#241787 writes:

in response to willphill#241787:

The downward spiral continues. You hire the wrong coach. You suffer the consequences. The entire Tennessee athletic program is in shambles. The result of years of poor leadership from the administration as well as the athletic department. The fatal blow was first dealt with the hiring of Mike Hamilton; an individual who was uniquely unqualified for the job. I hope Hart can turn things around, but I am not optimistic with Cheek and DePietro at the helm.

I believe the football team is headed in the right direction.

RLL59 writes:

Those fans who wanted to see Bashaara, Mercedes and Izzy on the floor at the same time, saw it today, and it was a disaster. In my opinion, the game was lost in the first half when we should have opened up a 10 point lead at least. The Lady Vols cannot win with both Andraya and Meighan on the bench for much of a half. If Ariel was available, with Jordan's recently gained experience, perhaps they could both sit for a while. but with 4 forwards led by a single freshman guard, turnovers were going to happen..and they did, continually until the end of the half. KY had the lead and all the confidence they needed.

Any Lady Vol who picks up a first half foul plays the rest of the half like someone with 4 fouls in the second half; i.e. afraid to play defense because they know they'll sit for the duration. Coach Holly might as well take a player out when she commits the first foul rather than wait for the second and suffer the consequences of no defense. For whatever reason, it's not alright for either Andraya or Meighan to be in the game the 19th and 20th minute of the game with two fouls but it's alright for them to both play starting the 21st minute?? I know other coaches do that as well, but it's not logical....particularly when the absence of those 2 players is having a very obvious negative impact on 1st half results.

What happened to Cierra again? A few confident games and today, she's afraid to take the mid range shot!

Was the entire coaching staff busy being spectators when Cierra picked up her dribble near the sideline at the end of the game and proceeded to let valuable seconds elapse before calling time out? It may or may not have made any difference to have 9 seconds left rather than 5.4, but it should have been called immediately by the head coach, who was 5 feet away from the play.

It appears the team will go through the motions in both tournaments, perhaps winning some games, but eventually losing to teams whose talent level doesn't even approach theirs. It's a shame.

GBOEngineer writes:

Cuonzo = Buzz
Holly = Lady Buzz

tomkats3242 writes:

in response to rockypop:

They're trying too hard to be like the men.

Thank goodness they are not as bad as the men. BUT they are close. No Coaching as the coach does not know who to play or when to play them. One and Done.

tomkats3242 writes:

This is going to sound ugly but not intended that way. Every GOOD team in the USA is mixed. I don't know why those teams play better but it is almost like the University of Tennessee does not believe in equal rights or treating everyone equally. I have many friends and do not look to see what their color is or what the sex is. JUST look at all the good teams and you will see that they play better ball, treat each other with more respect and are not jealous of each other. There a FEW exception but not many to my statement. It is time for a change at UT starting at the top and I am only talking basketball. The University finally did something right by hiring Jones and his brick by brick is working and there are no colored bricks talked about as he treats everyone by their effort and skill needed to make it a better team.

MaxVolFan writes:

Drove from Atlanta to watch the game. Disappointed on thr outcome but glad I was able to attend to help the others support the fight against breast cancer. Now my very short spill about the game. Turnover, Stallworth and Oneill. I know those three were apart of the teams preventions/focal points this week yet they couldn't correct the turnovers or stop key players.
I looked up at around 2:00 mins left and I saw 4 timeouts left. Holly should have call one then but didn't. At that point they started to feel the pressure . I felt sorry for Izzy and Bash. They battled all day on the boards. They guards didn't come to play today . One 3 .

Chris_L75 writes:

in response to tomkats3242:

This is going to sound ugly but not intended that way. Every GOOD team in the USA is mixed. I don't know why those teams play better but it is almost like the University of Tennessee does not believe in equal rights or treating everyone equally. I have many friends and do not look to see what their color is or what the sex is. JUST look at all the good teams and you will see that they play better ball, treat each other with more respect and are not jealous of each other. There a FEW exception but not many to my statement. It is time for a change at UT starting at the top and I am only talking basketball. The University finally did something right by hiring Jones and his brick by brick is working and there are no colored bricks talked about as he treats everyone by their effort and skill needed to make it a better team.

I am struggling to grasp just what in the wide world you are trying to say here. That players of certain ethnicities are more prone to "jealousy" and bad teamwork? That Warlick and/or Martin are prejudiced against white players?

I'm sorry but I don't see it this way, or get how this line of discussion applies to the results we're seeing on the court. The university cannot possibly mandate any such ratio, "mixed" or otherwise.

The longer I fumble for a response here, the more I wonder why I bother. Let's not make our reputation on these matters any worse than it already probably is.

MaxVolFan writes:

Good win for your team Tomcat now go back to playing in your kittylitter. If this is a question of the lady Vols not having a Caucasian player ??... Alexa Middleton and Kortney Dunbar next year. Its about the talent a coach see not their color. Cmon Kat..

jmtellico#1438721 writes:

Boy, most of the comments are right on. I guess the pink jerseys were a little too close in color bucause the Lady Vols sure made a lot of crisp passes to the darker jerseys. I never heard anouncers so often call LVol passes "throw aways" but it says it right. They make so many passes that are unbelievably bad. Simmons is in the group too. Her passes are great or just terrible. Also the LVols play so out of control, in addition to the TO's, they also commit too many offensive fouls, again....out of control. The times O'Neil was wide open was unbelievable also. Did the LVols forget the top scorer or is just like in the ND game...they have no player who can defend a fast guard...no matter what their size is. They can't shoot, handle the ball or defend. That about says it all when we feel the pain watching them. I also would like less hand clapping by Holly. What does she see to clap about. She needs Pat's stare or a lound voice directed at the player who lets her body get ahead of her brain. Bad year and it won't get better. They have one good game and "have turned the corner"....boy, that's a far cry from reality.

underthehill writes:

This was a hard fought game by both teams that could have gone either way..the Lady Vol coaching staff did an excellent job getting the ball to Izzy for a possible tie..she turned into the defender instead of shielding the ball with her body and going to the basket..I don't see how it is possible for any Lady Vol fan who knows anything about the game of basketball to say there was a lack of effort..no there was no lack of effort..and the coaching staff gave the Lady Vols a chance to win by going to the zone..the Kittens were on track to win by a large margin if they had tried to stay in the man defense..the Kittens were too quick getting to the basket and the Lady Vols did not play enough players..Burdick played 39 min and had her worst game in a while..Graves had her best game of the year and made the game winnable for the Lady Vols..I thought 3 of the first 4 fouls called on Carter were not fouls..the kittens were given several foul shot points on blocks which the replays showed were not fouls..I thought Reynolds was playing too well late in the game to take her out..this was a tough loss to a well coached team..the Lady Vols are more than good enough to beat them when they meet next time..

oldster writes:

in response to underthehill:

This was a hard fought game by both teams that could have gone either way..the Lady Vol coaching staff did an excellent job getting the ball to Izzy for a possible tie..she turned into the defender instead of shielding the ball with her body and going to the basket..I don't see how it is possible for any Lady Vol fan who knows anything about the game of basketball to say there was a lack of effort..no there was no lack of effort..and the coaching staff gave the Lady Vols a chance to win by going to the zone..the Kittens were on track to win by a large margin if they had tried to stay in the man defense..the Kittens were too quick getting to the basket and the Lady Vols did not play enough players..Burdick played 39 min and had her worst game in a while..Graves had her best game of the year and made the game winnable for the Lady Vols..I thought 3 of the first 4 fouls called on Carter were not fouls..the kittens were given several foul shot points on blocks which the replays showed were not fouls..I thought Reynolds was playing too well late in the game to take her out..this was a tough loss to a well coached team..the Lady Vols are more than good enough to beat them when they meet next time..

Much of what you said is accurate. The Lady Vols played hard. I think they almost always do in close games. However, they do not always play smart or focused. No smart or focused team would commit 22 turnovers.

Allenfan writes:

in response to underthehill:

This was a hard fought game by both teams that could have gone either way..the Lady Vol coaching staff did an excellent job getting the ball to Izzy for a possible tie..she turned into the defender instead of shielding the ball with her body and going to the basket..I don't see how it is possible for any Lady Vol fan who knows anything about the game of basketball to say there was a lack of effort..no there was no lack of effort..and the coaching staff gave the Lady Vols a chance to win by going to the zone..the Kittens were on track to win by a large margin if they had tried to stay in the man defense..the Kittens were too quick getting to the basket and the Lady Vols did not play enough players..Burdick played 39 min and had her worst game in a while..Graves had her best game of the year and made the game winnable for the Lady Vols..I thought 3 of the first 4 fouls called on Carter were not fouls..the kittens were given several foul shot points on blocks which the replays showed were not fouls..I thought Reynolds was playing too well late in the game to take her out..this was a tough loss to a well coached team..the Lady Vols are more than good enough to beat them when they meet next time..

I don't think the zone gave them any chance to win. UK was open for shot after shot, in the first half and if they could have hit at all, it would have been out of reach at half time. It certainly was not good coaching, saving all of the time outs, (she had 4 with 43 seconds left) while we were struggling, is stupid. No other coach in America does that. Well maybe that is why we have gotten beat in every big game. I don't count Vanderbilt because they lost again today to Miss State I believe. When are you going to open your eyes, we have better talent, we are playing at home, we should win. She is 0 and 3 against Kentucky, so tell me who is the better coach. We are even struggling with ordinary teams at home, so maybe it is you who doesn't know a lot about the game, just saying.

IndianOutlaw writes:

Not acceptable. But until you relieve Susan Martin and Jimmy Cheek of their responsibilities nothing can happen. Don't truly believe that Dave and Butch like working with them. They just have to play nice or be shot in the back of the head.

underthehill writes:

in response to oldster:

Much of what you said is accurate. The Lady Vols played hard. I think they almost always do in close games. However, they do not always play smart or focused. No smart or focused team would commit 22 turnovers.

I agree the Lady Vols did play hard..and I agree about the turnovers..the worst one was by Simmons late in the game with the Vols leading by one..Simmons should not have had the ball at the point at crunch time..a time out could have been called when this was a disaster in the making..15 of the turnovers was by 3 players..and in spite of all of this..the Lady Vols had a good chance to tie with 5 sec left in the game..

underthehill writes:

in response to Allenfan:

I don't think the zone gave them any chance to win. UK was open for shot after shot, in the first half and if they could have hit at all, it would have been out of reach at half time. It certainly was not good coaching, saving all of the time outs, (she had 4 with 43 seconds left) while we were struggling, is stupid. No other coach in America does that. Well maybe that is why we have gotten beat in every big game. I don't count Vanderbilt because they lost again today to Miss State I believe. When are you going to open your eyes, we have better talent, we are playing at home, we should win. She is 0 and 3 against Kentucky, so tell me who is the better coach. We are even struggling with ordinary teams at home, so maybe it is you who doesn't know a lot about the game, just saying.

The college game today demands a coach has their team prepared to play variations of man and zone defenses..Holly and her staff have done an excellent job mixing defenses..who is the better coach..Fla has beat Ky two times this year and has virtually no chance to win the SEC..at this point..Holly and her staff are doing a better job than Mitchell ..even tho they lost this barn burner..

rbromley7#1423785 writes:

Two years ago, Coach Carolyn Peck was suggested as a strong candidate, but probably didn't have Coach Pat's support.

ModelMaker writes:

I don't see a lot of difference between the Derek Dooley hire and Holly Warlick hire. They hired Dooley solely on the reputation of his father and not on his proven head coaching success at a major university. Holly Warlick had no head coaching experience whatsoever. She got the job because she was Pat Summitt's assistant coach. To me that is a stupid way to hire someone. While I think Holly would make someone a good assistant coach I do not think she is head coaching material. I think she is unsure of herself and I think the team is unsure of themselves. I can name you at least four players that lost confidence in themselves this year. I am very disappointed that Russell hasn't come along further than she has. Frankly I thought she would be more of a difference maker by now. Maybe she to needs more confidence. I think it is just a question of time and Holly will be replaced. I hope I'm wrong but my experience tells me otherwise.

frank#220902 writes:

Well at least John Adams is happy.

digthevols writes:

The Lady Vols play great defense, in fact they exhaust themselves . . . up until the other team gets ready to take a shot . . . then there's no one around. It's hectic, helter-skelter, then the shot comes and the Lady Vols take a stomp toward the shooter or push their hand forward toward their body . . . maybe. No hand in the face, nothing. It's really a shame . . . tough defense for 90% of the play, then the last 10% it disappears.

jmtellico#1438721 writes:

underthehill....Sorry but I played in Europe and do see the difference between good and bad coaching. The game time coaching is just terrible. We use the wrong defense at the wrong time...even the announcers focused on that. "Throw away" passes by a team with vets on the floor. Is that good coaching or just bad players? You know, it has to be one or the other. A coach who claps alot and saves timeouts for the post game interview. We "have turned the corner". Is that reality? I remember Holly saying at the beginning of the year that they were going to play an up tempo game. Did she mean that they were going to let their bodies play faster than their eyes and brain? Too often they are just playing out of control. Sorry, I've given Holly time to show what she's got and she sure has... To bad for the Lady Vols.

Allenfan writes:

in response to jmtellico#1438721:

underthehill....Sorry but I played in Europe and do see the difference between good and bad coaching. The game time coaching is just terrible. We use the wrong defense at the wrong time...even the announcers focused on that. "Throw away" passes by a team with vets on the floor. Is that good coaching or just bad players? You know, it has to be one or the other. A coach who claps alot and saves timeouts for the post game interview. We "have turned the corner". Is that reality? I remember Holly saying at the beginning of the year that they were going to play an up tempo game. Did she mean that they were going to let their bodies play faster than their eyes and brain? Too often they are just playing out of control. Sorry, I've given Holly time to show what she's got and she sure has... To bad for the Lady Vols.

I agree. I agree. I agree. It has to be one or two things with those time outs, either she does not have a clue as to what to change, or she can't recognize when one is needed.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to jmtellico#1438721:

Boy, most of the comments are right on. I guess the pink jerseys were a little too close in color bucause the Lady Vols sure made a lot of crisp passes to the darker jerseys. I never heard anouncers so often call LVol passes "throw aways" but it says it right. They make so many passes that are unbelievably bad. Simmons is in the group too. Her passes are great or just terrible. Also the LVols play so out of control, in addition to the TO's, they also commit too many offensive fouls, again....out of control. The times O'Neil was wide open was unbelievable also. Did the LVols forget the top scorer or is just like in the ND game...they have no player who can defend a fast guard...no matter what their size is. They can't shoot, handle the ball or defend. That about says it all when we feel the pain watching them. I also would like less hand clapping by Holly. What does she see to clap about. She needs Pat's stare or a lound voice directed at the player who lets her body get ahead of her brain. Bad year and it won't get better. They have one good game and "have turned the corner"....boy, that's a far cry from reality.

That pretty much says it all. For some reason, lots of young players these days, and they're ALL young from the point of view of this old man, seem to think there are "five-point plays", as if they get extra points for pulling off a 10% move. Meighan's last turnover came when she was driving the middle, took off gliding toward the basket, and tried to drop off a waist-high pass to a post player five feet away. If she had just come to a stop, seen what the defense did, and then either pulled up for the short jumper or put down a short bounce pass to the post player, it would have been two points instead of giving up a runout bucket that stifled the last LV push.

oldster writes:

in response to johnlg00:

That pretty much says it all. For some reason, lots of young players these days, and they're ALL young from the point of view of this old man, seem to think there are "five-point plays", as if they get extra points for pulling off a 10% move. Meighan's last turnover came when she was driving the middle, took off gliding toward the basket, and tried to drop off a waist-high pass to a post player five feet away. If she had just come to a stop, seen what the defense did, and then either pulled up for the short jumper or put down a short bounce pass to the post player, it would have been two points instead of giving up a runout bucket that stifled the last LV push.

Even kids seem to think SportsCenter is watching. They look to make the spectacular play rather than the smart one. They usually end up looking spectacularly stupid.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to oldster:

Even kids seem to think SportsCenter is watching. They look to make the spectacular play rather than the smart one. They usually end up looking spectacularly stupid.

With all the smart phones around, anybody can shoot a game video and, if they catch some spectacular play, upload it to YouTube and make everybody famous. Nobody's gonna do that for making a couple of clutch free throws!

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