No. 3 Lady Vols breeze past Troy 103-64
The only suspense in Tennessee’s 103-64 victory over Troy on
Saturday was whether the third-ranked Lady Vols would set a school
single-game rebounding record.
Tennessee utilized its height advantage to outrebound Troy 74-29
and ended up with the second-highest rebounding total in school
history. Tennessee pulled down 76 rebounds in a 104-51 rout of
Tennessee State on Feb. 27, 1988.
The Lady Vols (9-0) said they didn’t realize they were
approaching a record that has lasted a quarter-century.
”Did we break it?” Tennessee forward Cierra Burdick said.
”We’ll get that before the season’s over. We had no idea.”
Burdick had 15 points and 10 rebounds as one of three Lady Vols
with a double-double. Isabelle Harrison scored 13 points and pulled
down 12 rebounds despite resting most of the second half. Nia
Moore, who didn’t play at all Sunday in Tennessee’s 75-61 victory
over Texas, had 10 points and 13 rebounds to establish career highs
in both categories. This marked the first time since 1996 that
Tennessee had three players post double-doubles in the same
Moore’s big performance came on a big day for her family. Her
twin sister, Annaya Moore, was a member of Troy’s team last season
but didn’t play because of a foot injury that eventually ended her
career. Annaya Moore has since transferred to Tennessee and work as
an equipment manager for the Lady Vols.
”I just knew that I wanted to get everybody some equal playing
time and I wanted to make sure Nia got some time where we could
watch tape on her and try to help her along because I think down
the road we’re going to need Nia,” Tennessee coach Holly Warlick
said. ”I was proud of her. This is a kid who didn’t play (against)
Texas, doesn’t get a lot of playing time and you don’t hear one
negative thing out of this kid. She’s positive. She works every
day, practices hard. When a kid gets rewarded and plays the way she
did, I’m excited for her.”
Bashaara Graves and Meighan Simmons scored 16 points each and
Mercedes Russell added 10 as the Lady Vols recorded their highest
point total of the year despite committing a season-high 28
turnovers. Graves, the 2012-13 Southeastern Conference newcomer of
the year, returned to the starting lineup Saturday after coming off
the bench against Texas.
Ashley Beverly-Kelley scored 22 points and Joanna Harden added
14 for Troy (4-5). Harden entered Saturday’s game ranked third in
the nation in scoring with 26.6 points per game, but the 5-foot-7
senior shot 1 of 10 in the first half Saturday and didn’t score
until 8:07 remained before halftime. Jasmine Jones and Andraya
Carter took turns guarding Harden in the first half.
”I felt like every time I got past the first man, I had another
man to get past,” Harden said. ”They played some tough
Troy’s problems began before the opening tip.
The Trojans received a technical foul when they didn’t provide
their starting lineup in enough time. Tennessee’s Ariel Massengale
made one of two free throws to give the Lady Vols a 1-0 lead before
the two teams tipped off.
Tennessee raced to a 15-2 lead and stayed in front the rest of
the way by dominating the boards. The Lady Vols had more offensive
rebounds (32) than Troy had total rebounds (29). Six of Tennessee’s
10 players are listed as 6-foot-2 or taller. Troy has nobody taller
”Honestly that’s something we struggle with,” Troy coach
Chanda Rigby said. ”As you can see, we don’t have a lot of size on
our team. We try to make it an emphasis rebounding, especially
since we like to push the ball up the court so much and take the
first shot, not the best shot. We know we need good rebounder, so
we need to keep recruiting to that and keep working on that.”
The Lady Vols raced to a 15-2 advantage in the first 5 1/2
minutes and extended the lead once it stopped shooting 3-pointers
and focused on utilizing its height advantage. Tennessee didn’t
attempt a 3-pointer in the second half after going 2 of 12 from
beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes.
”It didn’t take an intelligent person to decide if you’re 2 for
12, you need to stop shooting the 3,” Warlick said. ”I thought we
needed paint points. I said if you shoot a 3-point shot, you’re
coming out. They valued playing more than shooting the 3.”