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#9 Lady Vols Throttle Missouri, 84-39

Jan. 10, 2013

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The #9 Tennessee Lady Vols routed Missouri, 84-39, in the first meeting between the teams as SEC foes before 10,967 at Thompson-Boling Arena on Thursday night. The win was UT's fifth wire-to-wire win this season as the Lady Vols moved to 12-3 overall and 3-0 in the SEC. Missouri dropped to 12-5, 1-2 in the SEC.

The win by 45 points was the largest for the Lady Vols in a conference game since UT thumped Alabama by 65 points, 110-45 on Jan. 6, 2011.

Meighan Simmons led the Lady Vols in scoring with 18 points.

Isabelle Harrison posted her sixth double-double of the season with 12 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.

Bashaara Graves tallied 16 points for her 12th game this season in double-figures. Taber Spani chipped in 11.

Tennessee limited Missouri to just 19.7 percent from the floor. That is the best defensive effort for the Lady Vols since holding Arkansas to 18.2 percent last season.

The Lady Vols forced 22 turnovers while committing just six.

Missouri made just four 2-point shots in the game on 30 attempts. The Tigers' 36 3-point attempts set a Thompson-Boling Arena record for a women's game.

Some huge advantages for Tennessee came in the following categories: points in the paint (40-6), points off turnovers (24-5), second-chance points (22-0) and fast break points (21-2).

After building a 27-point halftime lead, the second half was more of the same for Tennessee. The lead continued to grow throughout the final 20 minutes as the double-figure scorers piled up.

Ariel Massengale facilitated Tennessee's offense to help UT win against SEC-opponent Missouri. The point guard steered the Lady Vols' offense to a 28-point lead in the first half, with most of their points coming from her or assisted by her.

After logging 16 minutes in the first half, the Bolingbrook, Ill., native finished with eight points, five assists and two 3-pointers. She also added three rebounds in each half.

"I thought we had a great first half tonight," Massengale said. "The coaches warned us about playing lackadaisical in the second. Being such a young team, we have to learn how to stay at it and not let our guard down when we get big leads."

On UT's first offensive possession, Massengale assisted Meighan Simmons on a 3-point shot to give the Lady Vols the first basket of the game. Halfway through the first half, she made her second three-pointer to give the Lady Vols a 26-point lead, 39-13.

"My teammates and coaches just keep being aggressive and take my shot," Massengale said. "I've got to stay a threat, so they can't double down on the post. I've just got to let the game come to me and be ready to make plays."

With just over 13 minutes left in the second, Massengale fed a high pass to Bashaara Graves in the post. Graves made a layup despite contact and made her foul shot for an old-fashioned 3-point play.

- Ryan Howard

Graves' 3-point play with 13:25 left put UT ahead 59-26. A 14-2 run by the Lady Vols put UT ahead 65-28 on a layup by Harrison with nine minutes left.

A gorgeous fastbreak from Ariel Massengale to Simmons with 7:35 left put UT up 69-31.

The lead hit 40 with just under seven minutes left.

Missouri was led by Morgan Eye, who tallied 18 points. She set a Thompson-Boling Arena with 17 3-point field goal attempts as she made six. She broke the record of Tennessee's Angie Bjorklund, who attempted 16 in 2008.

Tennessee led 48-21 at intermission as Harrison nearly had a double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds. The point total of 48 and margin of +27 were the largest for the Lady Vols in an SEC game since leading Alabama 58-22 (+36) on Jan. 6, 2011.

Tennessee limited Missouri to just 19.4 percent from the floor in the first half including 1-of-17 on 2-point field goals.

The Lady Vols took control early building a 12-3 lead less than seven minutes into the game. The lead ballooned to 18 points at 26-8 on a lay-up by Taber Spani with less than 12 minutes in the first half.

The lead moved to 20 at 33-13 on a Kamiko Williams bucket with 9:18 left in the first half.

The margin continued to grow as Tennessee took a 40-13 lead on a Simmons free throw with 7:17 left in the half. Simmons layup with less than five minutes left made it 44-16.

The Lady Vols are a perfect 4-0 against the Tigers, winning twice in 1978 and once in 2010 prior to Thursday.

Tennessee heads to Florida for a Sunday morning matchup at 11:30 a.m. That game will air on ESPNU and can be heard on the Lady Vol Network.


 

 

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