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UT Tops UF, 89-69, On 'We Back Pat Night'

Jan. 23, 2014

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- On `We Back Pat' Night, Tennessee took care of business posting a 89-69 victory over Florida.

Five Lady Vols scored in double-figures as #11/12 Tennessee never trailed in the contest to move to 15-4 overall and 4-2 in the SEC. Meighan Simmons knocked down five 3-pointers on the way to a game-high 21 points.

Bashaara Graves netted 17 to equal her most points since the fourth game of the campaign. Jasmine Jones tallied 13, one shy of her career high. Andraya Carter tied her season-best with 14 and Isabelle Harrison added 12.

Tennessee had a remarkable 27 assists on 33 baskets led by Carter, who had a career-high eight. Cierra Burdick, handed out seven. The accomplishment is even noteworthy as starting point guard Ariel Massengale suffered a facial injury in the first half when she was accident hit in the face while going for a ball. Massengale had four helpers in 14 minutes.

The Lady Vols assisted their first 18 baskets of the game spanning the game's first 25 minutes.

Florida was led by Kayla Lewis, who scored 14 for the Gators (13-6, 3-3 SEC). Ronni Williams scored 12 while Jaterra Bonds and Antoinette Bannister each had 10.

Up by 13 at halftime, Tennessee continued to hold a lead of at least eight points in the second half.

Florida cut their deficit to eight (56-48) on seven consecutive points with 11:20 left in the game. But Tennessee retaliated with some long-range shooting as Carter and Jasmine Jones connected on 3-pointers to regain the lead of a baker's dozen at 66-53 with nine minutes to go.

Tennessee celebrated the third-annual "We Back Pat" game as part of a Southeastern Conference-wide effort to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer's research in partnership with the Pat Summitt Foundation.

Both teams wore "We Back Pat" warmup shirts, as every SEC team is doing for games this week, and both coaching staffs wore the same shirts during the game.

Prior to tip-off, three groups made presentations to the Foundation in honor of We Back Pat night.

Chief Executive Officer of CCM Graphic Solutions, Don Cayo, presented a check for $5,000 to the Pat Summitt Foundation from sales of the photo book commemorating the dedication of the Pat Summitt Plaza in November.

Darryl Whitehead, General Manager of the Pinnacle at Turkey Creek, along with Kiley Fleenor, Marketing Consultant, presented a check for $10,000 to the Pat Summitt Foundation from the annual "Taste of Turkey Creek event in September. Whitehead also announced that this year's event will take place on September 12th at the Pinnacle at Turkey Creek.

Volunteer Coordinators of the Forget Me Not 5K events in Lenoir City, including Angela Wampler, Steve Harrelson and Pam Lee, presented a check of $15,000 to the Pat Summitt Foundation from money raised through the event. The 2014 race will be held on April 5th on the streets of Lenior City.

The Pat Summitt Foundation is grateful to each of these organizations for their generous support and for joining Coach Summitt in the fight against Alzheimer's Disease. Please visit http://www.patsummitt.org, to learn more about the Pat Summitt Foundation, as well as these three initiatives.

- Brian Rice

Jones' second 3-pointer of the game, put UT ahead by 20 for the first time with 4:50 left in the game as Tennessee sealed the victory.

The Lady Vols led 40-27 at halftime with 36 of the points coming from Graves (11), Harrison (9), Simmons (8) and Carter (8).

Tennessee jumped out to a double-figure lead less than six minutes into the game as the Lady Vols showed off their passing skills. UT assisted each of its first nine field goals in taking a 22-10 lead on a Harrison layup with 12 minutes left in the first half.

The Lady Vols took their largest lead of the first half at 15 on a Harrison layup with 2:40 left, as UT led, 40-25.

`We Back Pat" Week an SEC initiative focused on bringing awareness and recognition to the Pat Summitt Foundation, a fund of East Tennessee Foundation, and its fight against Alzheimer's disease.

Prior to the game, $30,000 was donated to the Pat Summitt Foundation by three separate entities.

Tennessee returns to action on Sunday, as the Lady Vols travel to College Station, Texas for the first time in history. The game tips off at 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT and airs on ESPN2 and can be heard on the Lady Vol Network.


 

 

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