Meighan Simmons scores 26 to lead Lady Vols past Auburn, 93-63

Tennessee's Mercedes Russell (21) catches a pass while defended by Auburn's Hasina Muhammad (0) at Thompson-Boling Arena on  Thursday, February 20, 2014. 
  
 (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Saul Young, 2014 Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee's Mercedes Russell (21) catches a pass while defended by Auburn's Hasina Muhammad (0) at Thompson-Boling Arena on Thursday, February 20, 2014. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Meighan Simmons loves her some Auburn.

The feeling’s not mutual.

Not after Tennessee’s senior guard torched the Tigers for 26 points in a 93-63 SEC women’s basketball victory Thursday night before a crowd of 10,111 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Simmons came into the game averaging 18.2 points in five previous games against Auburn. She had 19 by halftime in game No. 6.

She also finished with six rebounds and five assists for No. 10 Tennessee (21-5, 10-3 SEC).

Tyrese Tanner led Auburn (14-12, 5-8) with 15 points.

Simmons got a late start on her scoring. She began by dishing a pass to Isabelle Harrison for an early basket.

Simmons picked up a foul at the 14:46 mark and sat for several minutes to avoid further foul trouble.

Upon returning, the senior guard recorded up a turnover, missing Harrison with a transition pass.

Everything changed, however, beginning with a pull-up jumper off the dribble.

It was the first of four straight baskets by Simmons — part of UT’s 16-point scoring run.

Simmons scoring just twice from long range before the break. Her final two baskets came off turnovers, including her lightning-quick steal against Auburn’s Meagan Tucker.

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Comments » 9

underthehill writes:

Strong performance by the Lady Vols..streamed this game ESPN3..watched TV game S Car bury the Kittens on their home floor..S Car dominated inside..S Car is no fluke..them girls are good..but the Lady Vols are too..gonna be a good matchup..

CaptainPicard writes:

in response to underthehill:

Strong performance by the Lady Vols..streamed this game ESPN3..watched TV game S Car bury the Kittens on their home floor..S Car dominated inside..S Car is no fluke..them girls are good..but the Lady Vols are too..gonna be a good matchup..

I am a LVs fan. However, they cannot matchup with SC. Their defense is not good enough and they are too inconsistent. The truth is the truth.

MaxVolFan writes:

in response to underthehill:

Strong performance by the Lady Vols..streamed this game ESPN3..watched TV game S Car bury the Kittens on their home floor..S Car dominated inside..S Car is no fluke..them girls are good..but the Lady Vols are too..gonna be a good matchup..

The only thing I'm gonna say about this game and this win is the Lady Vols can be scary good if they dont turn the ball over and dominant the boards. Yes this was just Auburn but this team has no dropoff in talent on the bench. I still would like to see less substitutions though. I was getting dizzle trying to keep up who was on the court. Why do we have to sub so much? This was a game where u test your players disciple on not to foul. We are deep enough if someone gets 4 fouls. Let them play it out. One of the commentors said that if Simmons played more than 30 a game on another team she would be averaging 28 pts a game. I have to admit she's the quickest Vol I have ever seen. I too watched the SC game and it looks like they will be the SEC champs . What we need to do is to win out and go in the SEC tournament to win and get a strong #2 seed . Dawn Staley has her team playing with confidence. We are in for a fight.

STLVOLS writes:

Will be rooting for Lady Vols this upcoming Sunday inside Mizzou Arena as they play Missouri. Campus located 90 miles west of St. Louis western burbs.

johnlg00 writes:

For about the middle 25 minutes of the game, Meighan looked like an All-American. Great support from the posts, though they really had to field some hard-to-handle passes in traffic. Nice all-around game from Cierra and Jasmine. Good to see Nia get a little run.

On the downside, there were still the obligatory 8-10 "What the HECK were you THINKING!?!?!" passes, a few too many bricked free-throws, and some really lazy individual post defense.

On the whole, like everybody on here says, when they are good, they're great, but when they're bad, they can really stink. Let's just hope going forward that the next time they stink, they can make the other team stink worse! How's that for a stretch-drive battle cry(;-D)?

RLL59 writes:

I agree with earlier comments about how well the team played. Cierra came out and took and made the first open mid range shot she had. What a positive change from the KY game where she turned down those type of shots and ended up losing the ball. The guards took 14 three point shots, a good mix of playing inside but looking to the 3 point shot if it's available.

Some of the turnovers were caused by high risk passes by Meighan and Cierra with the game well in hand. Andraya for the 2nd consecutive game made 1 turnover. When your point guard has that statistic, let's not have Meighan or Cierra initiate the offense. Meighan, especially, is very effective roaming the court aside to side without having the responsibility of handling the ball at the point position.

The two foul policy was slightly changed in this game. The one foul rule was implemented. One foul and you go to the bench, but you get to come in again later in the half. Not sure what effect that has, but logically it'll make players even more cautious, but less likely to play good defense. Time will tell.

Theo writes:

in response to RLL59:

I agree with earlier comments about how well the team played. Cierra came out and took and made the first open mid range shot she had. What a positive change from the KY game where she turned down those type of shots and ended up losing the ball. The guards took 14 three point shots, a good mix of playing inside but looking to the 3 point shot if it's available.

Some of the turnovers were caused by high risk passes by Meighan and Cierra with the game well in hand. Andraya for the 2nd consecutive game made 1 turnover. When your point guard has that statistic, let's not have Meighan or Cierra initiate the offense. Meighan, especially, is very effective roaming the court aside to side without having the responsibility of handling the ball at the point position.

The two foul policy was slightly changed in this game. The one foul rule was implemented. One foul and you go to the bench, but you get to come in again later in the half. Not sure what effect that has, but logically it'll make players even more cautious, but less likely to play good defense. Time will tell.

Hi RLL, wanted to respond to a post on an earlier strand. I think you wanted to know what I thought the problem was and why I thought the team had progressed.
So, I don't want to spend forever on this but a couple of things -
The problem, I don't know that I think there is a problem. Every team has weaknesses though so if I were to ID a weakness I would ID two:
1) Leadership and confidence. We only have one senior and as talented as she is I don't think she is a big leader. I'm thinking like Nicki Anosicki, Kelly Jolly, CP etc. Kids who when everything went sideways like they sometimes do, would just refuse to lose. I see Cierra or Andraya or maybe Jordan as filling this role in the future. Hard to tell with the Freshmen as they don't want to step on toes. CB is an impressive kid in many ways but seemed to lack confidence early on. She could be the leader next year.
2) Confidence - I believe Holly when she says this is an emotionally delicate team. I think they get down on themselves and early on could not pull out of it mid-game. Looking better but I would like to see more swagger.
I think there has been a lot of progress - here are a couple of my tops:
1) Seem to be playing the whole game with fewer and fewer lapses. End of game when you are up by 30 doesn't count.
2) Much better offensive flow. When Meghan is on we don't just all stand there and watch her. I see a lot better movement without the ball. Kids working to get open. I will be interested to see how that flow goes when AM gets back.
3) Individual improvement - JJ has made huge strides - she is really becoming a stopper and on occasion a scorer. JR is not even the same kid she was 2 months ago. Saw her tell CB where to get to last night - loved it. She can run the offense and again can score on occasion. AC, wow, knew she was going to be good but has she really stepped up. MR, seems like everyone wants to bang on her but come on. 18 and 5'9" is a lot different that 18 and 6'6". Bigs are slower to develop but I think she has started to show good touch around the basket. Has good hands when the defenders aren't draped around her. She could dominate before she leaves here
Lastly, if I could wave a wand and make something better I would improve our passing into the posts. Kind of wild sometimes.
Hope this wasn't too long winded.

ModelMaker writes:

I thought Carter played great along with Simmons, and Burdick. I really like Carter at the point. If your looking for a leader on this team I think Carter is it. She along with Harrison have to play well every game from now on if the Lady Vol's are going to get anywhere. I think Izzy is one of the best center's in the country and the best center the Lady Vol's have had since Parker. I also thought Jones played really well in the man defense. She also is going to have to continue to play well from now on. Holly needs to let Harrison and Carter play allot more together than she has. The more they play together the better they will get.

RLL59 writes:

in response to Theo:

Hi RLL, wanted to respond to a post on an earlier strand. I think you wanted to know what I thought the problem was and why I thought the team had progressed.
So, I don't want to spend forever on this but a couple of things -
The problem, I don't know that I think there is a problem. Every team has weaknesses though so if I were to ID a weakness I would ID two:
1) Leadership and confidence. We only have one senior and as talented as she is I don't think she is a big leader. I'm thinking like Nicki Anosicki, Kelly Jolly, CP etc. Kids who when everything went sideways like they sometimes do, would just refuse to lose. I see Cierra or Andraya or maybe Jordan as filling this role in the future. Hard to tell with the Freshmen as they don't want to step on toes. CB is an impressive kid in many ways but seemed to lack confidence early on. She could be the leader next year.
2) Confidence - I believe Holly when she says this is an emotionally delicate team. I think they get down on themselves and early on could not pull out of it mid-game. Looking better but I would like to see more swagger.
I think there has been a lot of progress - here are a couple of my tops:
1) Seem to be playing the whole game with fewer and fewer lapses. End of game when you are up by 30 doesn't count.
2) Much better offensive flow. When Meghan is on we don't just all stand there and watch her. I see a lot better movement without the ball. Kids working to get open. I will be interested to see how that flow goes when AM gets back.
3) Individual improvement - JJ has made huge strides - she is really becoming a stopper and on occasion a scorer. JR is not even the same kid she was 2 months ago. Saw her tell CB where to get to last night - loved it. She can run the offense and again can score on occasion. AC, wow, knew she was going to be good but has she really stepped up. MR, seems like everyone wants to bang on her but come on. 18 and 5'9" is a lot different that 18 and 6'6". Bigs are slower to develop but I think she has started to show good touch around the basket. Has good hands when the defenders aren't draped around her. She could dominate before she leaves here
Lastly, if I could wave a wand and make something better I would improve our passing into the posts. Kind of wild sometimes.
Hope this wasn't too long winded.

Nice job of speaking to improved areas. I don't disagree with anything you've said here, although I have reservations about Mercedes getting as good as you project. She isn't quick and doesn't jump well. Those are tough to change. She has the hands of a superior athlete, but not the legs of one. As I said on an earlier thread, I hope I'm wrong.

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