March 24, 2014
St. John's Notes:
St. John's has a 7-9 all-time record in the NCAA tournament and reached the Round of 32 for the sixth time in school history.
St. John's falls to 1-5 all-time in the NCAA Tournament Second Round
The Red Storm are now 4-2 in neutral-site contests this season.
Aliyyah Handford finished the night with 23 points marking the 11th time this season the sophomore has registered a 20-plus performance.
Danaejah Grant finished with five assists setting a new career high
SERIES & THE WIN
Monday's game marked the second time Tennessee and St. John's have met.
With the win, UT is 2-0 in the all-time series against the Red Storm.
Tennessee will face the winner of the Texas/Maryland game on Sunday in Louisville, Ky.
GRIND FOR 9 This is UT's 33rd appearance in the NCAA Tournament, making it the whole program to be invited to every tournament.
In NCAA Second Round games, the Lady Vols are now 26-0 all-time.
When hosting NCAA Second Round action in Knoxville, Tennessee is now 21-0.
The Big Orange is now 54-0 all-time in home NCAA games.
In the NCAA Tournament, UT moves to 117-24 overall.
The Lady Vols advance to the NCAA regional round for the 31st time, posting a 26-5 record in the Sweet 16.
There are eight schools with both the men's and women's teams alive in March Madness. Tennessee is the third school to have both the men's and women's basketball teams advance to the Sweet 16 (Stanford, Kentucky, Baylor).
Florida, Louisville, Michigan State, and UConn also have a chance to achieve the feat tomorrow night
Today's starters: junior Cierra Burdick, sophomore Bashaara Graves, junior Isabelle Harrison, redshirt freshman Andraya Carter and senior Meighan Simmons.
It was the 15th-straight game Tennessee has utilized the lineup, and the Lady Vols are now 15-1 with the quintet.
Tennessee won the tip for the 31st time this season.
Simmons scored the Lady Vols' first basket with a three. It's the seventh time this season that the senior has scored UT's first points.
Mercedes Russell was first off the bench for Tennessee, the 11th 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), LSU (SEC Tournament - March 7), Texas A&M (SEC Tournament - March 8), Kentucky (SEC Tournament - March 9) and Northwestern State (NCAA First Round - March 22). She also missed at the Missouri (Feb. 23) and LSU (Feb. 27) away games.
SIMMONS SEND OFF
Monday's game marked the final time senior Meighan Simmons played in Thompson-Boling Arena as a Lady Vol.
She earned her 125th start, moving into a tie for fifth with Tamika Catchings on UT's all-time career starts played list. Simmons also has donned the Orange & White in 142 games, moving into sixth on Tennessee's all-time career games played chart. She surpassed Glory Johnson (141), Tasha Butts (141) and Holly Warlick (141).
The Cibolo, Texas native has a 60-8 record in Thompson-Boling Arena, including 6-0 in NCAA Tournament games here.
In all 18 home games this season, Simmons has scored in double figures.
In 68 games over the past two seasons, Simmons has failed to reach double figures in points on only one occasion, scoring nine vs. Davidson on Dec. 28, 2012.
Entering the matchup, "Speedy" was averaging 15.9 points per game at home this season, and was hitting 46.4 percent on field goals, 37.9 percent on threes and 86.0 percent on free throws.
HOLDING THE OPPONENTS
The Lady Vols held the Red Storm to shooting just 35.2 percent (19-54) from the field.
When Tennessee has held its opponents to 40 percent or lower field goal shooting this season, UT has posted a perfect 24-0 record.
UT has only allowed 10 teams to shoot better than 40 percent.
OFF THE GLASS
The Lady Vols out-rebounded SJU, 40-35, with Cierra Burdick and Isabelle Harrison leading all players in the game with 11 boards.
Tennessee has out-rebounded its opponents in every game but two (Stanford, Arkansas).
BURDICK'S BIG NIGHT Cierra Burdick recorded her sixth double-double of the year, and 12th of her career, with 21 points and 11 boards.
Both her 21 points and 11 rebounds are NCAA-bests for the junior.
With her 21 points, she has now scored in double figures in 13 games this season.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE HARRISON Isabelle Harrison recorded her 18th double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
With her 10 points, she has now scored in double figures in 31 of UT's 34 games this season.
Her 11 boards marked the 19th time this season she has notched double figure rebounds.
The Nashville native's points and rebound totals are NCAA highs for the junior.
RUSSELL ON THE REBOUNDS Mercedes Russell was a key defender for the Lady Vols, bringing down nine boards against the Red Storm.
It marked her ninth game this season with five or more rebounds.
HITTING DOUBLE FIGURES
The Lady Vols had three players in double figures: Cierra Burdick (21), Meighan Simmons (17), Isabelle Harrison (10).
Tennessee has had three or more players score in double digits in 33 of its 34 games.
AT THE HALF At the halfway points, UT led 39-35
Cierra Burdick led the team with 13 points, while Isabelle Harrison followed with nine.
It was a battle of the glass as both teams were tied with 17 boards apiece. Burdick and Mercedes Russell had a team-leading five rebounds each.
UT shot 55.6 percent (15-27) from the field compared to St. John's 46.7 percent (14-30).
The Lady Vols held an 18-16 edge in points in the paint during the first 20 minutes of action.
UP NEXT Tennessee will take on the winner of the Texas/Maryland game on Sunday, March 30 in Louisville, Ky.