Dec. 4, 2011
KNOXVILLE — Clutch three-point shooting and powerful rebounding lifted #8 Tennessee to a 73-57 victory over #21/22 Texas on Sunday afternoon.
From three-point range Tennessee shot 52.4 percent, making 11-of-21 while being led by Shekinna Stricklen (20 points) and Meighan Simmons (10 points), who combined to make 8-of-16 from behind the arc. Stricklen was a career-high 5-of-9 from three-point land.
The Lady Vols (4-2) outrebounded the Longhorns (5-2), 49-38, led by Vicki Baugh's 11 boards.
The Longhorns were led by Ashleigh Fontenette and Chassidy Fussell, who tallied 22 and 14 points, respectively.
Stricklen's fifth three-pointer of the game was the final dagger as it put Tennessee up 64-53 with 6:15 to play on a trey as the shot clock was winding down.
The Lady Vols held Texas scoreless for 6:20 late in the game as the Lady Vols went on a 10-0 run while forcing the Longhorns into five turnovers during the spurt. Texas ended the drought on Fontenette's jumper with 2:40 left in the game, as the Longhorns had fallen behind by 16.
Down by as many as 14 early in the second, the Longhorns cut the deficit to six at 59-53 on a three-pointer by Chelsea Bass with 8:50 left in the second half. That would be Texas' final points for more than six minutes. The Lady Vols answered as Johnson scored on a lay-up to start a run of 10 consecutive points. Tennessee forced Texas into a 30-second shot clock violation with 6:41 left in regulation with furious defensive pressure.
The Lady Vols picked up their shooting early in the second half and began to pull away, taking a 52-38 lead on a Baugh lay-up with 15:31 left in the game.
Tennessee led 41-32 at halftime thanks to some strong shooting from three-point range as UT knocked down 7-of-13 (54 percent) from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes. The Big Orange was led by Simmons, who was 3-of-5 with 10 first-half points. Baugh added 11 points in the first half along with five rebounds as the Lady Vols held a 29-18 rebounding edge at intermission.
UT expanded a 27-26 lead with 5:19 left to as big as 11 (38-27) with 1:28 left in the first half. Texas had drawn within one on a three-pointer by Fontenette before the Lady Vols went on an 11-1 spurt.
The Lady Vols return to action next Sunday at Madison Square Garden in New York as Tennessee takes on #22 DePaul in the Maggie Dixon Classic. Tip-off is set for 1:30 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU.