LSU spoils Lady Vols' big night, 80-77

LSU's Sheila Boykin and Tennessee's Isabelle Harrison chase after the rebound at Thompson-Boling Arena on Thursday, January 2, 2014. 
  
 (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Saul Young, 2014 Knoxville News Sentinel

LSU's Sheila Boykin and Tennessee's Isabelle Harrison chase after the rebound at Thompson-Boling Arena on Thursday, January 2, 2014. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tennessee honored its past with grace and ease Thursday night.

Despite a valiant comeback, the present turned out to be a different story.

LSU scored an 80-77 SEC women’s basketball victory over the Lady Vols before a crowd of 14,437 at Thompson-Boling Arena, ending a seven-game losing streak in the series.

Led by Danielle Ballard’s career high-tying 25, the No. 16 Lady Tigers (11-2, 1-0 SEC) led by as many as 16 points and scored their most points against UT in the series since a 78-62 victory here in 2008.

No. 3 Tennessee (11-2, 0-1) erased 15 points from that deficit. But Isabelle Harrison, who scored a game-high 26 points, missed a potential tying free throw with 13.9 seconds left. Then Andraya Carter missed a final 3-point try.

Former Lady Vol Candace Parker was honored beforehand as her No. 3 jersey was retired.

LSU set out to spoil Tennessee’s special night by utilizing a lot of rebounding and a lot of Ballard.

The Lady Tigers gathered 13 offensive rebounds in the first half, which translated into a 13-4 edge in second-chance points.

Ballard, a sophomore guard from Memphis, had 17 points and 7 rebounds by the break. She had scored in double figures just once in her previous six games.

Tennessee was hurt by the loss of Bashaara Graves. The sophomore forward departed about seven minutes into the game with an apparent right leg injury. She returned in the second half with her leg wrapped.

LSU was hurt by the early loss of starters Theresa Plaisance and Raigyne Moncrief, who picked up two fouls apiece. After leading by as many as five points, the Lady Tigers trailed at halftime, 44-40.

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Comments » 28

willphill#241787 writes:

Lady Vols try to win on style. No toughness, no hustle, no victory.

UTANDNOBAMA writes:

Late rally can't discount the horrible effort by Lady Vols on Candace Parker night. One team sure looked like a Pat Summitt coached team but it wasn't Tennessee.

underthehill writes:

Credit LSU for playing harder..too many easy inside shots missed by the Lady Vols..one uncontested layup by Graves..great effort by Harrison and Russell the 2nd half rebounding.....the foul call on Simmons was bad but her reaction was worse...throw this tape out Holly....

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

Lady Vols team and coaches should line up and apologize to Candace Parker for their inept pathetic effort. Out hustled, out toughed, out finessed, out shot and generally whipped as their turnover machine lack of any type of offense but chaos just threw away a top ten ranking while having a bunch of slow poorly coached All-Americans from high school embarrassed on their home court by a bunch of hungry excellently coached woman from LSU dominate and expose Tennessee as a mid conference SEC imposter with a silly moniker for the season that is a joke.
Grind for 9 and being in Nashville is a pipe dream thrown away tonight.
Going to be a long season as the LV's have now entered the twilight zone of Tennessee loserville.
Kentucky, Notre Dame and others will eviscerate this team. Were they sleep walking, lazy, non-caring, distracted or arrogant for 16 minutes? Buying season tickets and driving three hours to watch this game and this season was a mistake.
They are lost and not very good.

Allenfan writes:

All of you Holly lovers I hope you can see the writing on the wall. She is NOT the coach for the Lady Vols. We have been beaten twice by teams with much less talent than we have. They were better prepared and coached better throughout the game. I don't think at this point that we are even a top ten team. I am ready for the response to this comment, but regardless, the truth is the truth, and sometimes it hurts.

DroopyDrawers writes:

Holly can't coach. Lott can't either. Lockwood is the only one that I can see as a VOL coach. Pack your bags, Holly! You could not carry Pat's pocket book.

wigmeister writes:

Outplayed, outhustled, outcoached, outtoughed, etc.,etc. Turnover city. We are a decent team, but I don't believe they are ready yet to be a prime time team. Sorry Candace, you deserved to watch better effort.

UTANDNOBAMA writes:

Dern guys... I thought I was going to be the negative one.

no1djkb#278630 writes:

why did they let LSU coach go. why did they pick holly?

UTANDNOBAMA writes:

in response to no1djkb#278630:

why did they let LSU coach go. why did they pick holly?

She had already left. She went to UCLA then came back to LSU... I think everyone just thought Holly was the logical choice. They could have had anyone they wanted... And they got an Asst. coach who had pretty much botched the second half of Pat's last season. She thanked them by losing her first game to UTC. We have had the the best coach in th SEC for the last thirty years.... Now we are about middle of the pack... And it will take about 5 years to get rid of her. Does that answer your question?

oldster writes:

The LVs do NOT lack mental toughness. The way they came back when down by 16 shows that. They did similarly against Stanford. However, they have no enforcer (Glory Johnson) and insufficient outside shooting. When Simmons fouled out, the best outside shooters were Massengale and Carter who do not scare many folks with that aspect of their games.

The big problem with this team is that they only seem to play well when faced with disaster. They cannot manufacture a sense of urgency without being behind. Tonight that sense of urgency was brought about in a great part by as bad an officiating group as I have seen in my 55 years of watching sports. Two of the personal fouls called against Simmons were simply not fouls (if anything a tech should have been called on the LSU player for bad acting on the one where she faked getting poked in the eye). The ref then compounded his error by sticking his ears in the team huddle in order to hear what she said. She was not doing anything to show him up (like she did on the eye poking foul, where a tech could have been called) and was not facing him when he called the T. It is amazing how quickly refs call techs when they know they have made bad calls. Gee, I hate refs. BTW: LSU got 4 points on the Ts. They won by 3. No, Jimmy Hyams, refs never decide games.

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

The officiating was awful and generally is in woman's basketball.
The LV'S lost because they didn't press LSU with a limited bench and foul trouble, can't make lay ups, can't shoot free throws when the game is on the line missing the front end of 1 and 1's, can't box out, can't jump, don't hustle, aren't physical, have chaos for an offense, have no consistent shooters, like to watch others play while on the court, are complacent, have no sense of urgency with the clock when losing, and appear to either be poorly coached or not be coach able to the basics.
The officials didn't cost them the game they earned the loss all by themselves like they have for the last few years of uninspired play losing the big games.
These LV'S are not committed to excellence and effort!!!

johnlg00 writes:

Whooee! Lots of pent-up frustration being vented here just now. I feel your pain. Both teams look like a real roller-coaster ride this season. Both have sufficient talent to beat anybody on their schedules but often seem to lack a certain bold confidence born of constant reinforcement that would allow them to surpass the sum of their parts.

grumpyman writes:

We need a "hard nosed" basketball coach instead of someone who wants to be their "friend".

MaxVolFan writes:

Holly's T and the crowd nearly brought this team back for the win. I give them credit for fighting hard to get back, but it showed that they don't play all out for 40 mins. That last 3 mins was a great defensive effort they should have used the whole game. This has been five very frustrating years . Did Simmons foul out? I don't think she did and needed to be the one to shoot that last shot. I love Draya hustle but she needs to learn to trust her shot and shoot more. That last shot was not hers to shoot. Jasmine also live her defense but does not need to have the ball I'm her hands for more than 5 secs. Feed the post more! Burdick ...God Bless her but she had more TO than pts last night.
When are they gonna learn to face guard the hot shooter? We can't stop anyone . I believe every game we played we had a player score over 20 on us(not counting the gimme games)
We have so much work to do and it doesn't get easier. GA,ND. I wish Holly would have got that T sooner. The ladies needed to wake up. They were clearly under pressure to win for Candace. I saw it in their body language. Tough loss on a bitter cold night in Knoxville. Also the most versatile hs player in the nation (Aja Wilson) was in attendance last night to witness the game . I hope she doesn't look at the loss and look at the passion of the fans and the desire for our team to win.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to MaxVolFan:

Holly's T and the crowd nearly brought this team back for the win. I give them credit for fighting hard to get back, but it showed that they don't play all out for 40 mins. That last 3 mins was a great defensive effort they should have used the whole game. This has been five very frustrating years . Did Simmons foul out? I don't think she did and needed to be the one to shoot that last shot. I love Draya hustle but she needs to learn to trust her shot and shoot more. That last shot was not hers to shoot. Jasmine also live her defense but does not need to have the ball I'm her hands for more than 5 secs. Feed the post more! Burdick ...God Bless her but she had more TO than pts last night.
When are they gonna learn to face guard the hot shooter? We can't stop anyone . I believe every game we played we had a player score over 20 on us(not counting the gimme games)
We have so much work to do and it doesn't get easier. GA,ND. I wish Holly would have got that T sooner. The ladies needed to wake up. They were clearly under pressure to win for Candace. I saw it in their body language. Tough loss on a bitter cold night in Knoxville. Also the most versatile hs player in the nation (Aja Wilson) was in attendance last night to witness the game . I hope she doesn't look at the loss and look at the passion of the fans and the desire for our team to win.

I think what happened to Meighan was that she had three fouls, then was called for a fourth on a call she questioned, for which she was teed up. By rule, a technical foul counts AS a personal foul, so Simmons did indeed foul out.

Can't say enough about Izzy. She was the only post player who really impacted the game, but she darned near made up for all of them. I hope Aja Wilson concluded that Izzy would be nice to play with and that the other posts might have to fight for their spots. On the other hand, it might not be an appealing prospect to be the fourth post behind the Harrison-Graves-Russell trio going in. I will be amazed if Wilson comes to UT, but I would take it if the basketball gods would be so kind!

MaxVolFan writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I think what happened to Meighan was that she had three fouls, then was called for a fourth on a call she questioned, for which she was teed up. By rule, a technical foul counts AS a personal foul, so Simmons did indeed foul out.

Can't say enough about Izzy. She was the only post player who really impacted the game, but she darned near made up for all of them. I hope Aja Wilson concluded that Izzy would be nice to play with and that the other posts might have to fight for their spots. On the other hand, it might not be an appealing prospect to be the fourth post behind the Harrison-Graves-Russell trio going in. I will be amazed if Wilson comes to UT, but I would take it if the basketball gods would be so kind!

Izzy is indeed becoming the life blood of this team. She's a winner and I feel she can score at will if giving a clean pass and touch at the basket. So can Russell . The thing about Aja Wilson is that she wants to play the 3 position. That would be perfect being Russell and Izzy would handle the 5 and Graves at the 4 which would leave Aja to have the 3. I expect greatness from this team and next years team. If theres not another championship produced after these classes then there is something wrong . I go back to Glorys class and the only thing in their way was a 6'8 Griner and a great guard name Skylar.

Allenfan writes:

in response to grumpyman:

We need a "hard nosed" basketball coach instead of someone who wants to be their "friend".

Thank you. I am glad others can see this as I do

oldster writes:

in response to Allenfan:

Thank you. I am glad others can see this as I do

What makes you think that Holly wants to be their friend or is not hard nosed enough?

Allenfan writes:

in response to oldster:

What makes you think that Holly wants to be their friend or is not hard nosed enough?

Well because we haven't been prepared or well coached in a game this year against a team with any talent at all. You have not played a team that has better athletes than you do. I am so tired of hearing about us not being quick or very athletic. We go after the same girls as everyone else does, and look at the other teams and how they bring their girls along. Stanford with one all star, much better that we are, LSU with no player better than ours playing better that us. Notre Dame will do the same thing. Last time I checked the teams with the most talent and still loosing (at home) were not well coached. She never screams at a player just stands on the sideline and whistles, and seldom says anything to an official. You have to be in their ear every time down court. I hope she learns sooner than later.

RLL59 writes:

The talent and potential is there at the point of arrival on campus. The problems begin with an unwillingness of the coaches to adjust as the game and player levels have changed. It became clearer right after Candace left and continues. The lack of team development leads to stagnation at the individual level. Virtually no one gets better after her freshman year. From the beginning of each game when the Lady Vols aimlessly and quickly pass the ball around the perimeter, to the forced passes into the middle that every opponent knows is coming, to the total lack of motion and setting picks, the Lady Vols never look as good as their talent. And the defense is no better. The result is that they lose to teams with, at the most, 1 or 2 players who would be recruited by UT. It's a shame!

Anyone who watched the game last night and found anything that might provide hope for the future has a greater imagination than I.

How long will it be before high school stars begin to recognize that UT is no longer the dynasty that it was, and that Lady Vol players don't develop and its teams always underachieve? The program won't fully recover from that.

oldster writes:

in response to Allenfan:

Well because we haven't been prepared or well coached in a game this year against a team with any talent at all. You have not played a team that has better athletes than you do. I am so tired of hearing about us not being quick or very athletic. We go after the same girls as everyone else does, and look at the other teams and how they bring their girls along. Stanford with one all star, much better that we are, LSU with no player better than ours playing better that us. Notre Dame will do the same thing. Last time I checked the teams with the most talent and still loosing (at home) were not well coached. She never screams at a player just stands on the sideline and whistles, and seldom says anything to an official. You have to be in their ear every time down court. I hope she learns sooner than later.

So, every time a team plays poorly it is because they are poorly coached? I guess that means that Nick Saban is a poor coach since the Crimson Tide looked awful against a team with inferior talent yesterday, too.

And, screaming at a player and talking to officials make one a good coach? Pat rarely screamed (gave nasty looks, but rarely screamed) and she was fairly effective. I also remember a Hall of Fame football coach that UT fired, in part, because people thought that not acting like that jerk at Florida on the sidelines indicated that he lacked intensity.

Holly got a T last night which cost her team 2 points which were just about the difference in the game (the last free throw that Harrison hit would have put UT ahead were it not for these points). Ts rarely help. Trying to intimidate the officials frequently backfires.

Clearly, you have not coached, played, or officiated or you would know these things. Dean Smith, Coach K, John Wooden rarely got or get on the officials or scream at their players during the games.

oldster writes:

in response to RLL59:

The talent and potential is there at the point of arrival on campus. The problems begin with an unwillingness of the coaches to adjust as the game and player levels have changed. It became clearer right after Candace left and continues. The lack of team development leads to stagnation at the individual level. Virtually no one gets better after her freshman year. From the beginning of each game when the Lady Vols aimlessly and quickly pass the ball around the perimeter, to the forced passes into the middle that every opponent knows is coming, to the total lack of motion and setting picks, the Lady Vols never look as good as their talent. And the defense is no better. The result is that they lose to teams with, at the most, 1 or 2 players who would be recruited by UT. It's a shame!

Anyone who watched the game last night and found anything that might provide hope for the future has a greater imagination than I.

How long will it be before high school stars begin to recognize that UT is no longer the dynasty that it was, and that Lady Vol players don't develop and its teams always underachieve? The program won't fully recover from that.

I did see some things that give promise and I have very little imagination. I have played, coached, officiated, and watched a lot of basketball in my 66 years on the planet.

The team did not quit. They showed a tenacity with their backs against the wall that, had they showed it the entire game would have resulted in an easy win. The hope is that they learned that they have it in them and that they can and must do it for the entire game.

I saw Mercedes Russell begin to make some strides in her aggressiveness - though she will never be a Candace Parker.

I saw Isabelle Harrison pick up much of the slack which resulted from Graves being injured and unable to play for much of the game.

This team is a very good team. It is NOT a complete team. It does not have enough shooters. When Simmons is not hitting (which is pretty often), they have no reliable outside shooter. Hopefully, Ms. Tucker will eventually provide that, but probably not until next year. Without that shooter, this is still an elite 8, and, possibly, with a good matchup in the tournament, a Final Four. However, there is zero chance for a championship.

johnlg00 writes:

That's a pretty good estimation of this team's situation right now. They are capable of playing well against elite talent, but right now they are only playing at a fraction of their total team potential. They need to increase the number of minutes in games when they are playing elite-level basketball, i.e., at a level equivalent to their talent and the opposition. They have these unaccountable spells of lackluster play where their execution falls off drastically. If they can fix that, and that's a BIG "if", they can still be standing there at the end, but I surely wouldn't bet the farm on it!

Allenfan writes:

in response to oldster:

So, every time a team plays poorly it is because they are poorly coached? I guess that means that Nick Saban is a poor coach since the Crimson Tide looked awful against a team with inferior talent yesterday, too.

And, screaming at a player and talking to officials make one a good coach? Pat rarely screamed (gave nasty looks, but rarely screamed) and she was fairly effective. I also remember a Hall of Fame football coach that UT fired, in part, because people thought that not acting like that jerk at Florida on the sidelines indicated that he lacked intensity.

Holly got a T last night which cost her team 2 points which were just about the difference in the game (the last free throw that Harrison hit would have put UT ahead were it not for these points). Ts rarely help. Trying to intimidate the officials frequently backfires.

Clearly, you have not coached, played, or officiated or you would know these things. Dean Smith, Coach K, John Wooden rarely got or get on the officials or scream at their players during the games.

Yes she got a T. This may be the first time this year that she has even looked at an official. Oh by the way I have played as well as coached and very successful I might add. Look at the scoreboard, look at the teams above you, look at the talent we have, and you tell me what it is against average teams. How many points did the Stanford girl have against UConn, I think eleven. Do you think the girls from UConn just decided to play defense that game or were they prepared and coached?. Keep dreaming, but before this year is up, I think it will become a nightmare. You have Ky, Sc, Nd that will be better prepared, as well as the upsets that probably will happen against teams like Lsu, Vanderbilt, and maybe even Florida and Georgia. We simply disagree, and I can assure you that you do not like the Lady Vols any more that I do. I will send you a message at the end of the season, and I really hope that I can say I was wrong. That would be the best message that I could write this year, if that is the case.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to MaxVolFan:

Izzy is indeed becoming the life blood of this team. She's a winner and I feel she can score at will if giving a clean pass and touch at the basket. So can Russell . The thing about Aja Wilson is that she wants to play the 3 position. That would be perfect being Russell and Izzy would handle the 5 and Graves at the 4 which would leave Aja to have the 3. I expect greatness from this team and next years team. If theres not another championship produced after these classes then there is something wrong . I go back to Glorys class and the only thing in their way was a 6'8 Griner and a great guard name Skylar.

I agree with most of this. I might be inclined to have Graves and Russell rotating at the low post and Harrison at the 4. Wilson could divide her time between the 3 and a "stretch-4" role. No question but that the addition of Wilson to what they already have make the Lady Vols VERY formidable going forward. Add Tucker to that, and it looks like national champion material to me. I haven't entirely given up on this year's team, but they really DO need to suck it up and get serious. So do the men, but that's a whole...well, maybe not so different an issue after all!

CaptainPicard writes:

in response to Allenfan:

Yes she got a T. This may be the first time this year that she has even looked at an official. Oh by the way I have played as well as coached and very successful I might add. Look at the scoreboard, look at the teams above you, look at the talent we have, and you tell me what it is against average teams. How many points did the Stanford girl have against UConn, I think eleven. Do you think the girls from UConn just decided to play defense that game or were they prepared and coached?. Keep dreaming, but before this year is up, I think it will become a nightmare. You have Ky, Sc, Nd that will be better prepared, as well as the upsets that probably will happen against teams like Lsu, Vanderbilt, and maybe even Florida and Georgia. We simply disagree, and I can assure you that you do not like the Lady Vols any more that I do. I will send you a message at the end of the season, and I really hope that I can say I was wrong. That would be the best message that I could write this year, if that is the case.

Chiney O. scored 16 points in Stanford's loss to UCONN. I believe the LVs problem is CHW lack of experience as a head coach. She recognizes the LVs problems on defense but she and her staff do not know how to solve the problems. Geno knew he had to limit Chiney's point production and he devised a defense to do just that.

DroopyDrawers writes:

in response to no1djkb#278630:

why did they let LSU coach go. why did they pick holly?

I have no idea!

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