Tennessee’s varied and balanced attack outweighed a career-high
31 points from Texas’ Chassidy Fussell, as six players scored in
double figures for the 13th-ranked Lady Vols in a 94-75 romp over
18th-ranked Texas on Sunday.
Fussell, who is from Troy, Tenn., racked up the points on the
team she grew up rooting for, but it was not enough for the
”I had a rough start but just kept after it and kept playing
hard,” Fussell said.
Meighan Simmons, from the San Antonio suburb of Cibolo, Texas,
poured in 18 points to lead Tennessee. Ariel Massengale and Taber
Spani had 15 points apiece for Tennessee and Cierra Burdick and
Bashaara Graves scored 14 each. Graves also had 10 rebounds.
Jasmine Jones added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Lady Vols
Tennessee shot 46.8 percent from the floor and held the
Longhorns to 34.3 shooting in winning for the fourth straight year
The Longhorns (6-2) stayed within reach until the final minutes
thanks to Fussell and by hitting 24 of their 28 free throws.
Nneka Enemkpali was the only other Longhorn player in double
figures with 15 points and eight rebounds. Texas had 17 turnovers
to Tennessee’s 12.
Fussell had missed the last two games with a head injury. She
was 10 of 10 from the free-throw line on Sunday and recorded the
third 30-plus performance of her career and the first for a
Longhorn this season.
Texas shot 25 percent and trailed 45-27 at halftime.
”In the first four or five minutes, we played great defense but
then we didn’t rebound when we made them take bad shots,” Texas
coach Karan Aston said. ”If we had been able to make a couple of
critical stops, things might have been a little different.”
The Longhorns cut the Tennessee lead to 78-68 on a Fussell
3-pointer with 6:57 to play before the Lady Vols finished the game
with a 16-7 run.
”We quit playing hard there for a while in the second half, and
we fouled too much,” Tennessee first-year coach Holly Warlick
said. ”That not only put them on the line but it gave Texas a
chance to rest. I wanted a faster game; we controlled the tempo,
but not necessarily in the way we wanted to.”
Simmons showed the nerves associated with playing before her
friends and family in the opening 10 minutes but settled down and
spurred the Lady Vols at the end of the first half and the
beginning of the second.
”Meighan was a little excited with so many of her people here,
but we found a way to calm her down and she played big for us
beginning at the end of the first half,” Massengale said.
Tennessee leads the series against Texas 22-12 and the Lady Vols
are 52-17 all-time against Big 12 teams. They are 4-0 against
ranked teams, with three of those wins on the road.
This was the Lady Vols’ first game in two weeks and was
Tennessee’s seventh consecutive win after a season-opening loss to
Texas has lost two of three after starting the season 4-0.
”I don’t like to lose, but we saw a lot of positives about the
way we played,” Aston said. ”We kept fighting the whole game, and
I didn’t see that a week ago (in a loss to against UCLA). We shot
too quickly in the first half when we had them in foul trouble and
we needed to slow down.”
Spani came off the bench to lead the Lady Vols in the first
half, scoring all 15 of her points helped by a 3-for-3 showing from
the behind the 3-point line.