Nov. 12, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, ALA. - After her first week of playing college basketball at Tennessee, Bashaara Graves is already drawing rave reviews. The 6-foot-2 forward/center from Clarksville, Tenn., was named this week's SEC Freshman of the Week, the league announced Monday.
Through two games, the Clarksville High School graduate is averaging a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds, leading the Lady Volunteers in both categories.
Getting her first career start on the road at Georgia Tech on Sunday, Graves helped (then) #20/16 UT topple the (then) #22/20 Yellow Jackets, 71-54, as GT played its first-ever game in McCamish Pavilion. The rookie produced team-leading and career-high totals of 18 points and 12 rebounds (seven of them offensive) in 27 minutes as Tennessee improved to 1-1 on the season.
Graves' early play was key to UT getting off to a good start, as she had totaled 14 points and eight boards in 16 first-half minutes, hitting seven of 12 shots from the field. Graves also added four steals and helped the Big Orange employ an effective 2-3 zone that led to a 45-30 halftime lead and 24-point second-half advantage over a program that went to the Sweet 16 last season.
In her college debut, Graves came off the bench to finish with 14 points and eight rebounds in 29 minutes of play in the 80-71 loss to Chattanooga on Friday night.
Graves and her teammates are preparing for their home opener on Thursday night, as they welcome Rice to town for a 7 p.m. contest at Thompson-Boling Arena. Tickets are available at UTTix.com.