Dec. 3, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- After its 45-point win over 22nd-ranked North Carolina a day earlier, Tennessee swept the SEC Women's Basketball Player and Freshman of the Week honors on Monday, the league announced.
Scoring a career-high and SEC season-best 33 points in Sunday's 102-57 victory over the Tar Heels, Simmons was selected as the SEC Player of the Week for the first time in her career. She also was chosen as the espnW National Player of the Week in a vote by the network's Charlie Creme, Graham Hays, Michelle Smith and Mechelle Voepel.
Bashaara Graves, meanwhile, was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the second time during this young campaign on a day where the Lady Vols rose two spots from 16th to 14th in the Associated Press Poll.
Simmons and Graves led Tennessee to a 2-0 week and helped improve the team's season mark to 6-1 with victories over RV/RV Middle Tennessee (88-81ot) and UNC.
In addition to scorching the nets for the most points by a Lady Vol since Candace Parker had 34 in March of 2008, Simmons added six rebounds, four assists and three steals vs. the Heels. Against Middle Tennessee, the 5-9 guard from Cibolo, Texas, tossed in 19 points and chipped in four boards, three assists and two steals.
For the week, she shot .475 from the field (19-40), .400 from three-point range (4-10) and 1.000 from the free throw line (10-10).
Simmons' outburst vs. North Carolina boosted her past the 1,000-point mark in her career (1,023) and put her atop the SEC with a 17.9 points per game average. She also ranks first in the league in three throw percentage (.913, 21 of 23) and is seventh in threes made per game (1.7) and ninth in field goal percentage (.451) and steals per game (2.3).
Graves, a 6-2 forward/center from Clarksville, Tenn., averaged a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds per contest for the Lady Vols last week.
She scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds vs. North Carolina, operating against the Tar Heels' 6-foot-6 Waltiea Rolle. Graves had her second double-double of the season vs. Middle Tennessee earlier in the week, scoring 15 points and pulling down 12 caroms to help UT prevail.
With those point totals, Graves now has scored in double figures in all seven of her college games and is Tennessee's second-leading scorer (15.1) and rebounder (7.9).
Through seven games, Graves ranks seventh in the SEC and is the league's top scoring freshman, and she is sixth in rebounding and is the SEC's top rebounding rookie. She also stands fifth in the conference in field goal percentage, first among freshman, at .532.