No. 13 Tennessee 57, Mississippi St. 41
Road wins are never an easy proposition, but this one was
No. 13 Tennessee overcame 19 turnovers and shot only 38.7
percent (24 of 62) from the field, but still managed to beat
Mississippi State 57-41 on Thursday night.
”We didn’t get a lot of transition looks because we were
turning the ball over,” Tennessee associate head coach Holly
Warlick said. ”If we learned anything it’s that we’ve got to take
care of the ball more.”
Shekinna Stricklen scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to
lead the Lady Vols (19-7, 10-3 Southeastern Conference). Stricklen
was 8-for-18 from the field and 5 of 6 from the free-throw line
after a slow start.
”I didn’t have my composure,” Stricklen said. ”I was rushing
and playing at a fast pace, not my own pace. My teammates really
helped me get it back under control.”
The win pulls Tennessee even with No. 7 Kentucky atop the SEC
standings after the Wildcats’ loss tonight to Alabama.
Tennessee has won three of its last four games and five of its
Cierra Burdick added 10 points and Glory Johnson grabbed 15
rebounds for Tennessee.
”It wasn’t the prettiest game,” Warlick said. ”It was a grind
for us and we found a way to win.”
As poorly as Tennessee shot, Mississippi State (14-12, 4-9) shot
The Bulldogs shot only 24.2 percent (16 of 66) from the floor
and trailed by double digits the entire second half.
”We forced enough turnovers and I felt like we really
scrapped,” Mississippi State coach Sharon Fanning-Otis said. ”But
we missed some shots and you have to rebound the ball defensively.
You’ve got to get some put-backs and some and-ones, and we’re just
not there yet.”
The Bulldogs are now 0-33 all-time versus the Lady Vols.
”Our defense played hard enough for us to win the ballgame,”
Fanning-Otis said. ”They have awfully good athletes, with great
size, at all positions.”
Both teams struggled to find offense, starting the game a
combined 1-of-21 from the floor. The Lady Vols led 22-13 at the
”We played rushed,” Warlick said. ”Once we settled down and
got into a rhythm I thought we did well.”
Kendra Grant scored a career-high 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting
to lead Mississippi State and Porsha Porter added 15 points.
Diamber Johnson, Mississippi State’s leading scorer this season,
finished with three points on 1-of-15 shooting.
”Tennessee’s always been known as the top team in the SEC, but
tonight they escaped with a win,” Johnson said. ”They hit shots
and we didn’t, but I think this proves that we are a good