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Jan. 15, 2012

Tennessee's track and field teams began their indoor seasons in fine fashion, and the basketball teams split a pair of home tilts in front of nearly 40,000 fans combined to headline the Big Orange athletics weekend.

J.J. Clark, UT's Director of Track & Field, said it was a good start for his teams at the Kentucky Invitational. The Vols earned victories in the long jump by Desmond Brown, the shot put by Matthew Hoty and the pole vault by Chase Brannon. The Lady Vols added wins by Annie Alexander in the shot put and Nijgia Snapp in the 800 meter run.

Tennessee improved to 4-1 in the SEC and 13-4 overall thanks to Sunday's 87-64 women's basketball win over Vanderbilt. Four Lady Vols scored in double figures, led by Shekinna Stricklen's 20. Glory Johnson added a game-high 13 rebounds and Ariel Massengale set a freshman mark with her dozen assists.

The Vols led Kentucky for much of the game Saturday before losing 65-62 to the No. 2-ranked Wildcats at sold-out Thompson-Boling Arena. Cameron Tatum scored 16 points and Jeronne Maymon added a double-double with 15 and 10, but it was the collegiate debut of Jarnell Stokes that drew most of the attention.

Stokes scored nine points after connecting on his first three field-goal attempts and added four rebounds.

The weekend crowds were the largest this season for both the men's and women's basketball teams.

Women's Basketball (1-0 for the weekend)
Lady Vols 87, Vanderbilt 64
A 21-4 run over a six-minute span midway through the second half helped lift the No. 6/7 Lady Vols to a 87-64 victory over No. 25/24 Vanderbilt on Saturday before 17,879 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Shekinna Stricklen led the way with 20 points and Glory Johnson posted her sixth double-double in the last seven games with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Vicki Baugh contributed 16 points and seven rebounds for the Lady Vols, who rebounded from a 61-60 loss at No. 9 Kentucky on Thursday night. Tennessee improved to 13-4 overall, 4-1 in the SEC.

Meighan Simmons chipped in with 10 points and Ariel Massengale set her career-high in assists with 12 to go along with six points. The 12 assists tie for the fifth-most in Tennessee history. That mark was first accomplished by associate head coach Holly Warlick in 1980.

Next: Thursday vs. LSU, 7 p.m. // FULL SCHEDULE

Men's Basketball (0-1 for the weekend)
Kentucky 65, Vols 62
The Vols gave it their all and freshman Jarnell Stokes impressed in his debut, but it wasn't enough as No. 2 Kentucky outlasted Tennessee 65-62 before a sellout of 21,678 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The Wildcats withstood the Vols' intensity and used an 8-0 run over 4:50 late in the game to pull off the victory and move to 17-1 overall, 3-0 in the SEC. Tennessee dropped to 8-9 overall and 1-2 in the league finishing a stretch of three conference games against Top 20 foes in the last eight days. The run started a week ago with a stunning victory over No. 13 Florida in Knoxville.

Cameron Tatum tallied 16 points to lead UT. Jeronne Maymon had his fifth double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds. In his debut, Jarnell Stokes played 17 minutes and made a major impact with nine points, making his first four shots along with four rebounds.

Next: Wednesday at Georgia, 8 p.m.; Saturday vs. Connecticut, 4 p.m. // FULL SCHEDULE

Men's Indoor Track and Field (Kentucky Invitational)
Kentucky Invitational (Day 1)
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Junior Desmond Brown and freshman Tyler Anderson went one-two in the men's long jump to pace the Tennessee men's track & field team as it opened the 2012 indoor campaign Friday night in the Kentucky Invitational at Nutter Field House.

Brown picked up his first indoor victory and fourth overall long jump win of his career with a leap of 24 feet, 4¼ inches on his fourth attempt of the competition. He won by more than a foot over teammate Anderson, who launched himself to a measurement of 23-2 on jump number three in his first college meet.

Junior Drew Thomas placed fourth in the men's weight throw at 55-11¾. Redshirt freshman Deon McAdoo was seventh at 50-2, while freshman Carson Frost came in eighth at 46-6. Former Vol Garland Porter, who trains with Vol throws coach John Frazier, won the competition at 73-2¾.

Kentucky Invitational (Day 2)
LEXINGTON, Ky. --The Tennessee track & field teams produced five event wins on the weekend, including four on the final day of the Kentucky Invitational on Saturday at Nutter Field House.

Vol redshirt freshman Matthew Hoty and Lady Vol senior Annie Alexander gave the Big Orange an impressive sweep of shot put titles at the meet. Hoty won the competition on his first throw, but his 58 feet, 7½-inch mark of record came on attempt number five, giving him a victory in his first collegiate competition. The performance topped Chip Kell's 1968 UT freshman record heave of 58-7 and was the No. 12 all-time indoor mark in school history.

"It was outstanding for Matthew to break a freshman record that had stood that long," UT Director of Track & Field J.J. Clark said. "After he redshirted last season, we wanted to see Matt come into this meet and throw far. We're excited about what he can contribute to our team this season and in the years to come."

Next: Friday-Saturday at Auburn Invitational, Birmingham, Ala. // FULL SCHEDULE

Women's Indoor Track and Field (Kentucky Invitational)
Kentucky Invitational (Day 1)
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Junior Jessie Harrison took second in the women's weight throw to pace the Tennessee women's track & field team as it opened the 2012 indoor campaign Friday night in the Kentucky Invitational at Nutter Field House.

Harrison had the top showing of the evening for the Lady Vols, producing a runner-up finish in the weight throw with a mark of 59 feet, 2 inches. Her best-ever opening-meet mark left her second behind the 63-10¼ effort by Kendall Amashi-Ali of Louisville. UT's Aslynn Halvorson was eighth at 50-4¾.

Senior Ellen Wortham carded a sixth-place mark of 18-8½ in the women's long jump, while freshman Erin Champion and sophomore Linda Hadfield wound up eighth and 10th, respectively, in the pole vault with identical clearances of 12-2½. Champion got the higher placing by clearing her final two bars one attempt.

Kentucky Invitational (Day 2)
LEXINGTON, Ky. --The Tennessee track & field teams produced five event wins on the weekend, including four on the final day of the Kentucky Invitational on Saturday at Nutter Field House.

Vol redshirt freshman Matthew Hoty and Lady Vol senior Annie Alexander gave the Big Orange an impressive sweep of shot put titles at the meet. Alexander, the SEC champion outdoors last season, easily won the women's battle, tossing the ball 52-9¼ for the ninth indoor shot triumph of her career. Sophomore teammate Aslynn Halvorson was fifth at 47-10.

"Annie is a proven champion, and we know what she can do," UT Director of Track & Field J.J. Clark said. "She's just getting started, and we look forward to watching her build upon that as the year progresses."

Next: Friday-Saturday at Auburn Invitational, Birmingham, Ala. // FULL SCHEDULE

Upcoming This Week in Other UT Sports
Men's Tennis vs. Memphis and Eastern Kentucky, Friday, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.; vs. Georgia Tech, Sunday, 1 p.m.
Men's and Women's Swimming and Diving at Georgia, Saturday, 2 p.m.
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