March 8, 2014
Box Score |
THE SERIES & THE WIN
Saturday's game marked the sixth all-time meeting between the two programs.
With the win, Tennessee moves to 5-1 in the all-time series against Texas A&M, and 2-0 against the Aggies this season.
When playing at neutral sites, UT is 3-1 vs. TAMU.
In the SEC Tournament, the Lady Vols are 1-1 against the Aggies.
TOURNAMENT TIME FOR TENNESSEE
Tennessee now has a 72-18 all-time record in the SEC Tournament.
When playing in the semifinal game, UT is 22-9.
Tennessee is 7-2 all-time in games played at Gwinnett Center.
Tennessee advances to the SEC Championship game for the 22nd time in the 35-year history of the tournament. The Lady Vols are seeking their 17th SEC Tournament Championship. The Lady Vols will take on Kentucky, the fourth-seed, an upset winner over #1 seed South Carolina, 68-58. Tennessee has won the last six championship games it has played in, dating to 2005.
Tennessee has finished second in SEC regular season eight times and on all eight occasions has bounced back to win the SEC Tournament championship.
Today's starters: junior Cierra Burdick, sophomore Bashaara Graves, junior Isabelle Harrison, redshirt freshmanAndraya Carter and senior Meighan Simmons.
It was the 12th-straight game Tennessee has utilized the lineup, and the Lady Vols are now 11-1 with the quintet.
Tennessee won the tip for the 28th time this season.
Carter scored the Lady Vols' first basket with a jumper. It's the first time this season that the redshirt freshman has scored UT's first points.
Jordan Reynolds was first off the bench for Tennessee, the second time this season the freshman has been called upon first.
Junior point guard Ariel Massengale was on the bench. She suffered a facial injury during that game and missed Texas A&M (Jan. 26), Arkansas (Jan. 30), Alabama (Feb. 2), Ole Miss (Feb. 6) and Vanderbilt (Feb. 10). She was on the bench, but did not play against Kentucky (Feb. 16), Auburn (Feb. 20), South Carolina (March 2) and LSU (SEC Tournament - March 7). She also missed at the Missouri (Feb. 23) and LSU (Feb. 27) away games.
FRESHMEN FIRED UP
The Oregon freshmen duo of Jordan Reynolds and Mercedes Russell were instrumental in UT's win.
The previous best scoring game for both players was against Chattanooga when Russell had 15 points and Reynolds scored nine.
Reynolds stepped up at point guard, scoring nine points, going 4-of-5, including making her only shot from the 3-point range.
Russell was a perfect 4-for-4 with 11 points in 14 minutes. She was 3-of-3 in free throws, while bringing down six boards.
BURDICK BRINGING ENERGY
Cierra Burdick took her second charge of the season, igniting a 9-0 run for Tennessee in the first half.
The junior took her third charge of the year in the second half with a little more than 11 minutes remaining.
Burdick brought down 10 rebounds, while scoring nine points. It's the third time in four games, Burdick had double-figue rebounds.
Tennessee trailed by as many as 10 points, 21-11, in the first half.
UT took back the lead, starting with a charge from Burdick who igniting energy causing a 9-0 run. Thanks to a bucket from Mercedes Russell with 1:09 left in the first half, UT led again for the first time since 18:32 when the Lady Vols were up 4-2.
It is the sixth come-from-behind win for Tennessee this year. UT trailed by: 15 at Alabama; 15 vs. LSU (SEC Tournament); 14 at MTSU; 10 to Virginia; 8 to Arkansas.
There were a total of 10 lead changes throughout the game and 11 ties.
With Isabelle Harrison's 20 points, she recorded her 28th game (of 31) this season, and 47th of her career scoring in double digits.
She added 13 rebounds to earn her 17th double-double this season, which is now the most double-doubles ever by a UT junior. She surpassed Chamique Holdsclaw (16).
Tennessee outrebounded TAMU, 48-26, with Harrison's 13 leading all players in the game with xxx boards.
HITTING DOUBLE FIGURES
The Lady Vols had four players in double figures: Isabelle Harrison (20), Meighan Simmons (15), Bashaara Graves (14) and Mercedes Russell (11)
Tennessee has had three or more players score in double digits in 30 of its 31 games.
AT THE HALF
Tennessee led the Aggies, 39-38, at the halfway point, with Harrison leading the team with 10 points.
UT outrebounded TAMU, 24-15, in the first 20 minutes of action with Harrison and Graves pulling down a first-half best five boards apiece.
UT shot 44.4 percent (16-36) compared to Texas A&M's 45.7 percent (16-35) in the opening half.
Tennessee outscored the Aggies in the paint, 20-16.
Tennessee will face Kentucky in the SEC Championship game on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on ESPN. UT will be playing for its 17th tournament title in its 22nd appearance in the SEC Final.