Jan. 31, 2013
THE SERIES With the win over Mississippi State, the Lady Vols improve to 17-4 overall and 8-0 in the SEC, the only remaining undefeated team in the league.
Tennessee extends its win streak over the Bulldogs to 34 as UT is 34-0 all-time against MSU.
Today's attendance was 13,011, the third time this season the Lady Vols have drawn 13,000 or more fans at a home game.
FOR STARTERS Today's starters: freshman Bashaara Graves, senior Taber Spani, sophomore Isabelle Harrison, sophomore Ariel Massengale and junior Meighan Simmons.
Simmons is the only Lady Vol to start every game this season.
It was Williams' first start this season, and seventh of her career. The last time she started was her sophomore year against Mississippi State (1/27/11)
Simmons drained Tennessee's first bucket for the eighth time this year as she swished a jumper to start the game.
Freshman Jasmine Jones was the first off the bench for Tennessee.
GOING STREAKING Tennessee's 34-game win streak over Mississippi State is the seventh longest in-conference win streak in the nation. (34-0 against the Bulldogs)
Only four of the meetings have been decided by five points or less.
MARGINALLY BETTER The 43-point victory over Mississippi State was the fifth-largest margin of victory for the Lady Vols in the 2012-13 season.
(53) 90-37 vs. Alcorn State
(53) 101-48 vs. Rice
(45) 102-57 vs. North Carolina
(45) 84-39 vs. Missouri
(43) 88-45 vs. Mississippi State
The 43-point win was the second largest margin of victory over the Bulldogs in the series history. The biggest win over Mississippi State came on Feb. 9, 1997, a 104-39 (65-point) victory.
SPREADING THE OFFENSE Junior Meighan Simmons led the scoring effort with 21 points, her seventh time this season tallying 20+ points and 17th of her career. Simmons has scored in double-figures in 10 consecutive games.
Along with Simmons, Spani (15), Williams (10) and Graves (10) also hit double digits in scoring. Senior Kamiko Williams led the effort on the boards as she pulled down a career-best 13 rebounds.
Tennessee dished out 18 assists on the night, with Williams leading the team with a career-best six helpers.
UT outscored the Lady Bulldogs 40-18 in the paint, while notching 22 points off fast breaks.
PUTTING UP A DEFENSE The Lady Vols held Mississippi State scoreless for just over three minutes to start the game as the Lady Bulldogs didn't score their first basket until the 16:51 mark.
Tennessee forced 26 turnovers, the most forced in SEC play and third most in the season (Alcorn State-34, UNC-30) while grabbing eight steals from Mississippi State.
The Lady Vols outmuscled and outrebounded the Bulldogs 49-32.
WILLIAMS WINNING WAYS Senior Kamiko Williams notched her seventh career start against Mississippi State. The last time she was in the starting line-up was her sophomore season against the Bulldogs.
She recorded her second career double-double as she tallied 10 points and grabbed a career-best 13 rebounds. The other came against Baylor (12/18/12)
The senior also tallied a career-high six steals, and dished out a team-best and career-high tying six assists, marking her fifth game this year handing out five or more helpers.
BRINGING BURDICK BACK, YUP Sophomore Cierra Burdick made her debut back after a fractured hand kept her out for eight games. She entered the game at the 6:53 mark in the first half.
It was Burdick's first game since Dec. 30 against Rutgers, and her first SEC contest of the year. She played 16 minutes tallying four points in her return.
TABER DRANI With Taber Spani's 15 points against Mississippi State, she has now scored in double-figures in eight of the last nine games.
She has scored in double digits in every league game except Florida, where she had nine.
Spani currently has an 14.3 SEC scoring average and is averaging 5.3 rebounds/game in SEC play.
SIMMONS SHINES IN RECORD BOOK With Meighan Simmons' 21 points against the Bulldogs, she is now 27th on UT's all-time career scoring chart with 1,264 career points passing Latina Davis (1,260).
Simmons has now scored 20 or more points in seven games this year and 17 times in her career.
AT THE HALF At the half, UT lead 42-18 over the Bulldogs. The 24-point lead was the third highest for the Lady Vols this year following Tennessee's 27-point lead over Missouri.
Simmons lead the team in scoring at the half way point as she had 10 points. Bashaara Graves, along with Kamiko Williams and Taber Spani added six points apiece.
Williams led the team on the boards as she brough down eight in the first 20 minutes of action.
The Lady Vols outrebounded Mississippi State 29-20, while also forcing 13 turnovers. UT scored 14 points off those turnovers.
UP NEXT Tennessee travels to the Show-Me State as the Lady Vols face the Missouri Tigers on Sunday, Feb. 3, in a 2 p.m. ET contest. It will be broadcast on Comcast Sports South.
It will Tennessee's first game at Missouri since 1978.¬¬¬