Lady Vols collect composure just in time to beat LSU

LSU guard Rina Hill, left, fights Tennessee center Mercedes Russell (21) for a loose ball in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Baton Rouge, La., Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Tim Mueller)

Photo by Tim Mueller

LSU guard Rina Hill, left, fights Tennessee center Mercedes Russell (21) for a loose ball in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Baton Rouge, La., Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Tim Mueller)

BATON ROUGE, La. — A 21-point halftime lead wasn’t the beginning of a rout for Tennessee on Thursday night.

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Comments » 21

HoneyBadgersWife writes:

Proud the Lady Vols held on and won. Turnovers were excessive. The officiating was possibly the worst this year. Jesse Dickson and Lara Morris are fair, at best. Carla Fountain had might as well flip a coin on block/charges. She would have a better chance of getting it right.

broleb44#1437447 writes:

in response to HoneyBadgersWife:

Proud the Lady Vols held on and won. Turnovers were excessive. The officiating was possibly the worst this year. Jesse Dickson and Lara Morris are fair, at best. Carla Fountain had might as well flip a coin on block/charges. She would have a better chance of getting it right.

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

broleb44#1437447 writes:

Dan, you and Mike, are the two best columnist on KNS, but may I ask you this, does KNS have a muzzle on you guys concerning inept officiating? If you "tell it like it is", there was at least a 15 point swing in this game due to the sorry "3 blind Mice" official's, also at least 8 of the T/O's were caused by bad calls. Please try a little harder to be a homie, and support our girls, and "tell it like it is".

1volk-nowi-tall writes:

in response to broleb44#1437447:

Dan, you and Mike, are the two best columnist on KNS, but may I ask you this, does KNS have a muzzle on you guys concerning inept officiating? If you "tell it like it is", there was at least a 15 point swing in this game due to the sorry "3 blind Mice" official's, also at least 8 of the T/O's were caused by bad calls. Please try a little harder to be a homie, and support our girls, and "tell it like it is".

Could not agree more. Officiating is a real momentum swinger in women's basketball. The one charge call on Izzy late in second half showed true ineptness on the part of the underneath(lead) official. Make the right call and UT gets an "and one" and probably goes back to a comfortable lead. UT constantly gets foul calls for standing still, having arms perpendicular to the floor (straight up) and not moving into the offensive player at all. They pick on Izzy just as they picked on Glory several years back. Holly needs to send some of these replays to the SEC office and help provide a better understanding of the rules to these nit-wits. The foul call on the late drive and lay-up by Simmons on another UT player was a case of the official looking for some way to negate a good play by UT. LSU was smart in that while they had the ball they would just run into an opposing player to cause contact and get a foul call. Opponents are just setting up Russell for possible foul calls away from the ball by sorta hiding behind her and getting in her way as she tries to move around the floor. Not really basketball. I call it Got'cha ball. When Carter was knocked to the floor late while having the ball no foul was called- instead a walk was called for falling to the floor in possession of the ball, yet the very next call was a really picky foul on UT for perhaps? touching an LSU player. So KNS writers if the Lady Vols have to face homies on the road, please support our team by being objective in your coverage of the game. Several times last night(probably 5-6 times) the announcers were stunned by the calls against our ladies.

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

Big win on the road against a dangerous LSU team in a tailspin with 5 straight losses three at home.
However, if the LV's expect to beat SC Sunday and have a chance in the next two tournaments they need scoring from the guards, zero last night, and they must limit turnovers to 10 or less and stop making brain dead passes in the zone or trying to dribble through a double-team.

jmtellico#1438721 writes:

Wow, what a night. I almost never blame officials for close or lost games. You take care of business yourself but last night was absolutely the worst called game in lady basketball I have ever watched. It certainly did affect the outcome. Other posters have correctly pointed out some of the worst calls as well as the announcers did. What it did though was to make the LVols tenative and took away the confidence and momentum they showed in the 1st half. One other point that is still the same is the number of times the LVols lob a pass into the middle when there is no one open. I remember 4 passes that were picked off easily. The turnovers are still a killer and will be against USC if they are that excessive. I've said it before, they win or lose on what kind of game Simmons brings to the court. Well, she brought one of her very best. She played with speed, control and sure made her shots. I think she was out of gas on the 2 foul shots she missed late. It didn't hurt for Burdick to have her career game. What a display of shooting from her. Carter couldn't get a shot to drop but I thought her 2nd half defense was quite an effort. It will take their best game to beat USC but they have shown it's in them.

MaxVolFan writes:

Totally agreed with you all on the bad calls on our girls. Especially the one against Izzy Geessh she had already went up in the air before the defender even got her feet set if she even did before contact. Horrible! They really tried to influence the game.
Anyway we will need to bring it against a stingy SC defense.

RLL59 writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

Big win on the road against a dangerous LSU team in a tailspin with 5 straight losses three at home.
However, if the LV's expect to beat SC Sunday and have a chance in the next two tournaments they need scoring from the guards, zero last night, and they must limit turnovers to 10 or less and stop making brain dead passes in the zone or trying to dribble through a double-team.

Agreed. But you mean 'point' guards, I presume. Meighan scored 31.

RLL59 writes:

in response to 1volk-nowi-tall:

Could not agree more. Officiating is a real momentum swinger in women's basketball. The one charge call on Izzy late in second half showed true ineptness on the part of the underneath(lead) official. Make the right call and UT gets an "and one" and probably goes back to a comfortable lead. UT constantly gets foul calls for standing still, having arms perpendicular to the floor (straight up) and not moving into the offensive player at all. They pick on Izzy just as they picked on Glory several years back. Holly needs to send some of these replays to the SEC office and help provide a better understanding of the rules to these nit-wits. The foul call on the late drive and lay-up by Simmons on another UT player was a case of the official looking for some way to negate a good play by UT. LSU was smart in that while they had the ball they would just run into an opposing player to cause contact and get a foul call. Opponents are just setting up Russell for possible foul calls away from the ball by sorta hiding behind her and getting in her way as she tries to move around the floor. Not really basketball. I call it Got'cha ball. When Carter was knocked to the floor late while having the ball no foul was called- instead a walk was called for falling to the floor in possession of the ball, yet the very next call was a really picky foul on UT for perhaps? touching an LSU player. So KNS writers if the Lady Vols have to face homies on the road, please support our team by being objective in your coverage of the game. Several times last night(probably 5-6 times) the announcers were stunned by the calls against our ladies.

Good examples of bad calls. Agree with everything except the criticism of the call on Izzy on Meighan's layup. Watching the rerun, she was running interference for Meighan and the ref rightly called a moving screen.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to MaxVolFan:

Totally agreed with you all on the bad calls on our girls. Especially the one against Izzy Geessh she had already went up in the air before the defender even got her feet set if she even did before contact. Horrible! They really tried to influence the game.
Anyway we will need to bring it against a stingy SC defense.

One more thing about that foul call on Izzy: I think the rule changed recently, but in the past at least, if the offensive player released the ball before contact, the basket would be allowed even if the charge was called. Even if the rule is different now, Izzy was well into her shooting motion before the defender set up and I wasn't convinced after seeing three or four replays that the LSU player wasn't still moving. The game announcers seemed to agree. I hope that call among many others in the game prevents that crew from refereeing any games in the SEC or NCAA tournaments.

CaptainPicard writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

Big win on the road against a dangerous LSU team in a tailspin with 5 straight losses three at home.
However, if the LV's expect to beat SC Sunday and have a chance in the next two tournaments they need scoring from the guards, zero last night, and they must limit turnovers to 10 or less and stop making brain dead passes in the zone or trying to dribble through a double-team.

Correction, one guard scored 31 points. This is a response to: "if the LV's expect to beat SC Sunday and have a chance in the next two tournaments they need scoring from the guards, zero last night". I think you meant one quard went scoreless.

CaptainPicard writes:

A commenter on another message board made the comment that the LSU post players were scoring at will over Mercedes in the paint. He said, at 6'6", she should be a domineering stopper like B. Griner. I agree with this assessment, but I can not detect why Mercedes is coming up short of this kind of defensive stopper.

Benionsopinion writes:

in response to CaptainPicard:

A commenter on another message board made the comment that the LSU post players were scoring at will over Mercedes in the paint. He said, at 6'6", she should be a domineering stopper like B. Griner. I agree with this assessment, but I can not detect why Mercedes is coming up short of this kind of defensive stopper.

Mercedes makes herself the equivalent of a 5feet 9inch player by keeping her arms and hands at her shoulder level.She needs to raise them high to accentuate her height.Remember,Griner looked like a windmill at times.

Allenfan writes:

in response to jmtellico#1438721:

Wow, what a night. I almost never blame officials for close or lost games. You take care of business yourself but last night was absolutely the worst called game in lady basketball I have ever watched. It certainly did affect the outcome. Other posters have correctly pointed out some of the worst calls as well as the announcers did. What it did though was to make the LVols tenative and took away the confidence and momentum they showed in the 1st half. One other point that is still the same is the number of times the LVols lob a pass into the middle when there is no one open. I remember 4 passes that were picked off easily. The turnovers are still a killer and will be against USC if they are that excessive. I've said it before, they win or lose on what kind of game Simmons brings to the court. Well, she brought one of her very best. She played with speed, control and sure made her shots. I think she was out of gas on the 2 foul shots she missed late. It didn't hurt for Burdick to have her career game. What a display of shooting from her. Carter couldn't get a shot to drop but I thought her 2nd half defense was quite an effort. It will take their best game to beat USC but they have shown it's in them.

I agree with you 100% on the officials. The one thing that you notice in the games, is that every time an official comes across half court, the opposing coach is in their ear. I think you have to ride the officials as much as possible, to get your share of questionable calls, as well as some calls that aren't even questionable. Great win on the road with 5 against 8.

CaptainPicard writes:

in response to Benionsopinion:

Mercedes makes herself the equivalent of a 5feet 9inch player by keeping her arms and hands at her shoulder level.She needs to raise them high to accentuate her height.Remember,Griner looked like a windmill at times.

Thank you for your comment. You are 100 percent correct. I wish Holly and/or her staff could correct this problem with Mercedes.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Benionsopinion:

Mercedes makes herself the equivalent of a 5feet 9inch player by keeping her arms and hands at her shoulder level.She needs to raise them high to accentuate her height.Remember,Griner looked like a windmill at times.

That is certainly part of it, but the other part is that she stands with her knees locked so she can't move laterally to stay in front of the offensive player. They just tuck a shoulder and go around her.

As for the hands being high and active, the LVs are much better about that than the Vol men are, though they could be better still. Every time I see a player with their hands down at their sides, I remember an old martial-arts movie I saw. In order to strengthen the students' shoulders, the masters had them carry a bucket of water in each hand while they walked up a long flight of steps. In order to "encourage" the students to keep their arms out, they had knife blades attached to the inside of their upper arms so that if their arms dropped, the knives would poke them in the ribs. I guess the NCAA would frown on using a technique like that, but it WOULD make the point! So to speak(;-D).

RLL59 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

That is certainly part of it, but the other part is that she stands with her knees locked so she can't move laterally to stay in front of the offensive player. They just tuck a shoulder and go around her.

As for the hands being high and active, the LVs are much better about that than the Vol men are, though they could be better still. Every time I see a player with their hands down at their sides, I remember an old martial-arts movie I saw. In order to strengthen the students' shoulders, the masters had them carry a bucket of water in each hand while they walked up a long flight of steps. In order to "encourage" the students to keep their arms out, they had knife blades attached to the inside of their upper arms so that if their arms dropped, the knives would poke them in the ribs. I guess the NCAA would frown on using a technique like that, but it WOULD make the point! So to speak(;-D).

Unfortunately, the 'hands up' requirement as a defensive technique disappeared a long time ago. Regarding Mercedes, I agree and don't understand why coaches, from elementary to college, either don't correct these type problems or that players who are obviously dedicated to the game, do not listen to their coaches and make the adjustments. Some are so fundamental that could have been easily addressed early on.

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

in response to RLL59:

Agreed. But you mean 'point' guards, I presume. Meighan scored 31.

I stand corrected, you are correct, Reynolds and Carter shot blanks, Meighan saved the night. I should have said point guards.

1volk-nowi-tall writes:

in response to Allenfan:

I agree with you 100% on the officials. The one thing that you notice in the games, is that every time an official comes across half court, the opposing coach is in their ear. I think you have to ride the officials as much as possible, to get your share of questionable calls, as well as some calls that aren't even questionable. Great win on the road with 5 against 8.

If you watched the KY game you saw Mitchell in the ref's ear all night. I have noticed that male coaches get in the ears and faces of officials more than the female coaches do. Mitchell is a cry baby who is so lucky he game to UT as a grad assistant. Hollie could learn something from Patricia here. The constant banter with the officials should be eliminated. Any good official will not stand there and have that constant exchange or hear that constant banter. There are other places on the floor they could stand. Officials should not have to explain calls to these coaches either. The coach never accepts the explanation anyway.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to 1volk-nowi-tall:

If you watched the KY game you saw Mitchell in the ref's ear all night. I have noticed that male coaches get in the ears and faces of officials more than the female coaches do. Mitchell is a cry baby who is so lucky he game to UT as a grad assistant. Hollie could learn something from Patricia here. The constant banter with the officials should be eliminated. Any good official will not stand there and have that constant exchange or hear that constant banter. There are other places on the floor they could stand. Officials should not have to explain calls to these coaches either. The coach never accepts the explanation anyway.

Not sure what position you are taking here. You seem to be saying that Holly (with a "y", not an "ie") should be more like Mitchell and Pat in working the refs and then you say the "constant banter with the officials should be eliminated." Maybe I missed your point.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to RLL59:

Unfortunately, the 'hands up' requirement as a defensive technique disappeared a long time ago. Regarding Mercedes, I agree and don't understand why coaches, from elementary to college, either don't correct these type problems or that players who are obviously dedicated to the game, do not listen to their coaches and make the adjustments. Some are so fundamental that could have been easily addressed early on.

You would seem to be right about coaches not insisting that players keep their hands up, but I just can't imagine why this ISN'T a point of constant emphasis. It only stands to reason that if the hands are always up and moving, it obscures the vision of the ball-handlers and you can get deflections, force bad passes, and get "hesitation" turnovers just by accident.

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