Nov. 4, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A 20-0 run to start the 2013-14 season sealed a dominating 115-31 victory for the No. 4 Lady Vols over Carson-Newman in the team's lone exhibition on Monday night in front of 10,507 at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Led by sophomore forward Bashaara Graves, Tennessee had six double-digit scorers and all nine Lady Vols that saw the floor registered a bucket.
Graves - last season's SEC Freshman/Newcomer of the Year - led UT with a 21-point, 11-rebound double-double. She hit nine points from the free throw line, finishing the night 9-of-10 from the stripe. The 6-foot-2 Clarksville, Tenn., native was 6-of-8 from the floor and added five steals.
Making their Lady Vol debuts, freshmen Jordan Reynolds and Mercedes Russell scored 17 and 16 points, respectively, while shooting a combined 13-of-23 from the floor. Reynolds added six rebounds and four steals and the 6-foot-6 Russell finished with a game-high four blocks.
Tennessee was superior in all areas of the game, dominating the Lady Eagles on points off turnovers, 49-0, and points in the paint, 60-8. UT forced 33 Carson-Newman turnovers on the night.
The Lady Vols also captured the rebounding battle, 58-32, and outshot Carson-Newman 51.9 percent to 15.8 percent.
The Lady Vols held the Division II Lady Eagles without a field goal for the opening 10:56 of the game en route to a 51-17 halftime score. In addition to the 20-0 run after tip-off, UT used a 16-0 stretch to turn a 34-10 lead into a 40-point, 50-10 advantage with 2:37 to go in the period.
Tennessee shot 45 percent in the half, while holding Carson-Newman to just 10.7 percent from the field and forcing 18 Lady Eagle turnovers in the half.
Simmons, a Co-SEC Player of the Year last season, extended the lead to 30 points at 40-10 with a fastbreak layup with 4:41 remaining in the first half. The Lady Vols hit the 50-point mark with 2:37 to go in the period, as Graves converted a fastbreak layup to give UT a 40-point lead. The Lady Eagles closed the gap with a 7-1 run over the final 2:14.
It was more of the same in the second stanza as Tennessee used early runs of 12-0 and 15-1 to build an 80-24 lead with 12:46 to go. A layup from Russell with 6:14 on the clock put the Lady Vols over the 100-point mark. The Orange and White extended its advantage to its biggest of the contest at the final 84-point margin of 115-31.
Tennessee officially opens the 2013-14 regular season on Friday, Nov. 8 at Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m. ET at the 11,520-seat Murphy Center. The Lady Vols came out on top in an overtime battle in Knoxville a year ago, topping the Blue Raiders 88-81 on Nov. 28, 2012.