Nov. 18, 2012
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Bashaara Graves had 20 points, Ariel Massengale hit big free throws at the end and the No. 24/20 Lady Vols survived No. 23 Miami's two big second-half runs to defeat the Hurricanes, 79-67.
With the win, UT ended Miami's 41-game home winning streak.
"A game like that will age you real quick," UT head coach Holly Warlick said. "I'm just pleased with our team. I'm glad to see that we got off to a pretty strong lead. In the first half, our defense was pretty solid. Our offense - we got good looks and then in the second half, I thought Miami adjusted. They started attacking us and we fouled, stopped the clock and they hit big shots. They didn't have a quit to them and, fortunately, we didn't have a quit as well. I'm very pleased with the win and our overall team effort."
After storming out of the gate to a 46-21 halftime advantage thanks to Graves and Andraya Carter, Tennessee (3-1) watched Miami (2-1) mount a huge comeback in the second half as the Hurricanes climbed to within six points.
Graves scored 10 points in each half to lead the Lady Vols with 20 points to go with six rebounds. Carter did much of her work from long distance, totaling 16 points on 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range and 4-of-4 work from the free-throw line.
Massengale added 14 points off the bench, going a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe and dishing out a team-best five assists. Cierra Burdick led UT with 10 rebounds.
Trailing 51-25 three minutes out of halftime, Miami went on 18-7 run climb back into the game. Maria Brown sparked the run on a jumper in the paint at 16:14 and Michelle Woods scored Miami's next nine points.
With 9:35 left in the game and Tennessee's lead at 58-43, the Lady Vols responded by trading baskets with the Hurricanes over the next minute and a half to keep the lead at 16 points. Then, with 6:28 remaining, UM's Morgan Stroman hit a jumper on a fast break that opened a 14-4 run that pulled the Hurricanes to within 71-65 with 2:30 left.
UT closed out the game with an 8-2 run thanks to Massengale's clutch shooting at the line (6-of-6) in the final minute to halt Miami's comeback attempt.
At the half, Tennessee had a 46-21 advantage with Carter (11 points) and Graves (10 points) leading the way. UT never trailed in the first half, but the Hurricanes stayed within six points for the first 16:40 of the game. Up 23-17 with 6:53 until halftime, the Lady Vols broke loose as a layup by Massengale sparked a 23-4 run to close out the period.
Tennessee's defense limited the Hurricanes and minimized their outside game. Miami shot just 31.9 percent from the floor and a 19.0 percent (4-of-21) from beyond the arc. The Canes also struggled from the free-throw line, hitting just 59.4 percent (19-of-32).
UT shot 42.1 percent from the floor and went 6-of-17 from 3-point range. The Lady Vols also shot a crisp 80.6 percent from the stripe (25-of-31).
The Lady Vols return to Thompson-Boling Arena on Nov. 25 to take on Alcorn State at 2 p.m., opening a three-game homestand.