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

game.

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

defense.”

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

than 6-1.

”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.”