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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

SECrets: Tennessee restores order to the universe

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Shekinna Stricklen enjoyed every minute of Monday’s rout of Kentucky.




By Mike Siroky
Correspondent

Here’s a line that’s never been written before: Tennessee upset Kentucky in women’s basketball.

History reasserted itself Monday night, and not only did the Volunteers roll, the 91-54 rout was over early. Things started badly for the Wildcats when freshman Bria Goss picked up her second foul within the first two minutes, UT went on a 10-2 scoring spree and was 70 percent from the field. UK was hitting a dismal 10 percent and Goss didn’t return until the second half. She finished with 15 points and A’dia Mathies, the league’s best player, scored a dozen, but only two after intermission. They were the only starters in double figures.

But the night belonged to UT sniper Meighan Simmons, who launched two NBA-length threes at the start, and wound up with 25, the second straight game she has led the Vols in scoring. That allowed Shekinna Stricklen to also total 25 (plus seven rebounds), and Tennessee did mange to avoid the unprecedented two losses to a conference team in one season.

“Obviously, we’re thrilled,” said Tennessee assistant coach Holly Warlick. “I thought we came out with great energy. We had confidence. We played hard. We had hustle plays. I come in here and say ‘defense and rebounds’ and I thought our defense allowed us to go to transition points. That’s what we needed. We needed a boost to our defense. It worked. It was effective. It got us great looks.” And outrebounding Kentucky 39-21 didn’t hurt.

Of course, all it accomplished was to pull Tennessee to one game back in the conference loss column. As for the ultimate pecking order for the 2012 season, the only rematch would be in the SEC conference final if UK holds on and wins the top seed, and Tennessee manages to remain No. 2. And that’s saying neither flops in that tournament.

“And they’re ahead of us in the SEC. We’ve sort of dug ourselves a hole and we’re climbing out. Kentucky’s a great basketball team. They force you to play fast. They force you to take care of the ball. I thought we did all those things tonight. We beat a very good basketball team tonight.”

Despite the league’s best crowd for the week just ended, 14,807, it was surprisingly different because UT – as did all SEC home teams – honored the fight against breast cancer with pink uniforms. The home fans had free pink or white T-shirts left on a majority of the seats and most of them were worn, eliminating the mighty orange throng that usually accompanies home games.

At 23-4, it is still UK’s best start, and the Wildcats are at woeful Alabama on Thursday. Tennessee, meanwhile, starts a Mississippi swing at eminently beatable Mississippi State, and if all plays out, the rubber match will be in the SEC Tournament championship game.

Summing Up the SEC Results

Sunday, Feb. 12

  • Vanderbilt 63 @ Georgia 76
  • LSU 51 @  Alabama 46
  • Ole Miss 50 @ Mississippi State 53 (OT)
  • Florida 58 @ No. 25/- South Carolina 62
  • Arkansas 51 @ Auburn 48

Monday, Feb. 13

  • No. 7/8 Kentucky 51 @ No. 13/10 Tennessee 91



Looking Back at the SEC Highlights

Sunday, Feb. 12

  • Vanderbilt 63 @ Georgia 76
  • Georgia, which also had a week off, showed Vanderbilt, recent conquerors of Tennessee, that it is consistency which counts in a 76-63 win on Sunday.

    Anne Marie Armstrong scored a career-high 23 to help drop Vanderbilt out of the Top 25 conversation, just asa when it was ranked earlier this season. Jasmine Hassell had 18 points and 11 rebounds and Jasmine James added 17 for Georgia, 8-4 in the league. The help is nice, but Armstrong is a consensus all-conference player and she played the whole game.

    Christina Foggie had 22 points for Vanderbilt, which ended a five-game winning streak. The Commodores are 7-6.

    Georgia led from wire to wire and was only threatened by 14-1 run that cut the deficit to 52-47 midway through the second half. But the ’Dawgs took off on an 11-3 run that decided it. “Everybody did a nice job,” said coach Andy Landers. “I thought, with a couple of exceptions, we did very well defensively. We drove down the court for too long and that hurt us. We gave up a couple of the threes and that hurt us. But overall, defensively, we were pretty good. We turned over a good basketball team 19 times.

    “When you play hard, things tend to fall your way.”

    Georgia continues a quest for another 10-win season and to win out at South Carolina on Thursday.

  • LSU 51 @  Alabama 46
  • Lousiana State got its third straight win. OK, it was at Alabama, winners of just one league game, but a road win is a road win.

    LaSondra Barrett was the best conference player in this one, scoring a game-high 21 with 12 rebounds as the Tigers pull into a tie for sixth at 7-5. Barrett recorded her 16th career double-double and fourth of the season. She tied a career high with 13 free throws on 20 attempts, one attempt less of the school record.

    “She really set the tone down the stretch again for this team,” said LSU rookie coach Nikki Caldwell. “She got her attempts at the free throw line and played really aggressive off the bounce. We want to establish paint touches and we were able to move her from high to low and set some screens for her.”

    As if things were not bad enough for Alabama, with only eight players to start the game, one of them, Kyra Crosby, was ejected with 16 minutes left. The Tigers got 37 points from their bench. Alabama shot 26.7 percent from the field and was outrebounded, 46-37.

  • Florida 58 @ No. 25/- South Carolina 62
  • South Carolina stayed on the rollercoaster. After besting Tennessee at Knoxville and climbing back into the Top 25. the Gamecocks lost at Arkansas and fell out of one national poll.

    On Sunday, SC remained tied for third at 8-5 by stopping Florida’s three-game streak, 62-58. The Gamecocks are one game shy of a 20-win season, which would be a first in coach Dawn Staley’s four seasons. It was also the first series sweep since joining the conference in 1992.

    Markeshia Grant scored 20, with five 3-pointers. But it was all-conference contender LaKeisha Sutton’s left-handed scoop shot in the final seconds that closed it out.

    Jennifer George led the Gators with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Still, the Gators are one of those teams that could fill out the 64-team bracket.

  • Arkansas 51 @ Auburn 48

  • Arkansas has now has won eight straight in conference, the best current league winning streak and a school record. It was a road win as well, 51-48 at Auburn.

    Junior Sarah Waktins hit a big two and senior Ashley Daniels was clutch from the free throw line. “I’m very proud of this team,” coach Tom Collen said.  “We came in here and won ugly but we won.”

    Watkins finished with a game-high 14 points and eight rebounds.

    Arkansas gained possession with five seconds and Daniels was fouled.  She made both, setting the final score. Arkansas completes the troika at third in conference at 8-5 and will try to stay a game ahead of LSU when the Tigers visit Thursday.

Current SEC Standings

SEC Women’s Basketball Standings
(As of Feb. 14, 2012)
Rank School Conf. Pct. Overall Pct.
1 Kentucky 10-2 .833 21-4 .840
2 Tennessee 9-3 .750 18-7 .720
3 South Carolina 8-4 .667 19-6 .760
4 Georgia 8-4 .667 19-6 .760
5 Arkansas 8-4 .667 19-5 .792
6 Vanderbilt 7-5 .583 19-6 .760
7 (tie) LSU 7-5 .583 17-8 .680
7(tie) Florida 6-6 .500 16-9 .640
9 Mississippi State 4-8 .333 14-11 .560
10 Auburn 3-10 .231 11-15 .423
11 Ole Miss 2-11 .154 12-14 .462
12 Alabama 1-11 .083 11-15 .423
Source: secdigitalnetwork.com

Coming Up Midweek

  • Tennessee @ Mississippi State

    When: Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, 9:00 p.m. EST,Humphrey Coliseum, Starkville, Miss.. (CSS)


  • Florida @ Vanderbilt

    When: Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, 9:00 p.m. EST, Memorial Gymnasium, Nashville, Tenn. (FSN)

  • LSU @ Arkansas

    When: Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, 8:00 p.m. EST Bud Walton Arena, Fayetteville, Ark. (CST)


  • Kentucky @ Alabama

    When: Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, 7:30 p.m. EST, Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, Ala.


  • Georgia @ South Carolina

    When: Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, 7:00 p.m. EST, Colonial Life Arena, Columbus, S.C. (FSN)



 

Originally published Tue, February 14, 2012


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NCAA DIVISION I TOP 25 COACHES' POLL
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Week: February 7, 2012
RANK SCHOOL RECORD LAST WEEK'S RANK PRESEASON RANK AP RANK POINTS
1 Baylor (31) 24-0 1 1 1 775
2 Notre Dame 23-1 2 2 2 743
3 Connecticut 21-2 3 4 3 710
4 Stanford 20-1 4 5 4 685
5 Duke 19-3 6 8 5 650
6 Miami (FL) 20-3 7 7 6 604
7 Kentucky 21-3 5 15 7 584
8 Maryland 20-3 10 10 8 534
9 Wisconsin-Green Bay 20-0 9 24 9 530
10 Ohio State 21-2 11 NR-RV
(61)
10 483
11 Tennessee 17-6 8 3 11 476
12 Delaware 20-1 13 NR 12 434
13 Georgetown 18-5 15 11 14 379
14 Texas A&M 16-5 16 6 15 378
15 Nebraska 19-3 18 NR 13 309
16 Rutgers 17-4 14 12 17 372
17 Louisville 17-6 12 9 20 276
18 Gonzaga 21-3 19 NR-RV
(70)
19 234
19 Purdue 19-5 17 21 16 222
20 Georgia 18-6 20 12 21 202
21 Penn State 18-5 21 14 18 176
22 DePaul 17-7 23 18 NR-RV
(38)
92
23 Georgia Tech 16-6 22 NR-RV
(18)
22 104
24 South Carolina 18-5 NR-RV
(13)
NR 24 46
25 Vanderbilt 18-5 NR-RV
(23)
NR-RV
(19)
NR 45
Dropped Out: No. 24 North Carolina, No. 25 Kansas.
First-place votes: Total first-place votes received (if any) are indicated in parentheses following school name.
Others receiving votes: St. Bonaventure (22-2) 34; North Carolina (17-6) 19; California (17-6) 18; Florida Gulf Coast (21-2) 16; Middle Tennessee (19-5) 15; Texas-El Paso (20-2) 8; Texas Tech (16-6) 5; Brigham Young (21-4) 4; Fresno State (19-4) 4; St. John's (15-8) 4; Princeton (15-4) 3; Oklahoma (15-7) 2; West Virginia (17-6) 2; Kansas State (15-7) 1.
Rank remains unchanged since last week
Ranking has risen since last week.
Ranking has dropped since last week.
Credit: Courtesy Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The weekly Division I Top 25 Coaches' Poll, sponsored by USA Today and ESPN, is based on voting by a Board of Coaches made up of 31 head coaches at Division I institutions all of whom are WBCA members.