No. 4 Lady Vols breeze past Oral Roberts 91-39
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee junior Nia Moore didn’t expect the spotlight this season, but her play so far has garnered it.
Moore continued her strong start to the season, leading the No. 4 Lady Volunteers to a 91-39 win Monday night over Oral Roberts with 20 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.
”I just try to go out there and play hard,” Moore said. ”I’m not focused on how many points I score or whatever stat there is.”
Senior point guard Ariel Massengale scored a game-high 21 points for Tennessee to end a long layoff. Massengale missed the final 16 games of the 2013-14 season with a head injury and was suspended from Friday’s season-opening victory over Penn due to missing a class.
Bashaara Graves had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Kortney Dunbar added 10 points.
The Lady Vols (2-0) played without senior center Isabelle Harrison, senior forward Cierra Burdick and junior forward Jasmine Jones. Burdick served the final half of a two-game suspension for missing curfew. Harrison and Jones had both left the Penn game with injuries.
Tennessee coach Holly Warlick said Harrison had a mild knee sprain and Jones had a mild concussion. Neither player is expected to be out for long.
”I don’t have a set date,” Warlick said. ”It looks very positive for both to be back soon.”
Their absences didn’t matter much Monday.
Oral Roberts (0-2) shot just 25 percent overall and was 1 of 16 from 3-point range. Tennessee also forced 30 turnovers.
Moore, who shot 9 of 15, spurred a 16-2 close to the first half with eight points in that span, including a steal and transition layup with eight seconds left in the half.
Moore averaged 2.5 points and 2.0 rebounds her first two seasons for Tennessee. She has averaged 22 points, 11.5 rebounds and 4.0 blocks through the first two games this season.
”I wouldn’t say anything has changed (for me mentally),” said Moore. ”I still have the same focus, so when my name gets called I just try to go out there and help my teammates out and coaches any way possible. Just try to get a win.”
Oral Roberts center Vicky McIntyre had 10 points and 13 rebounds. She scored the first six points for the Golden Eagles, but that sixth point didn’t come until the 10:01 mark of the first half.
Oral Roberts didn’t record its 10th point until 8:27 remained in the first half.
”We’re just turning the ball over too much,” Oral Roberts coach Misti Cussen said. ”We had the same story line happen 72 hours ago when we were in Waco (against No. 8 Baylor).”
Oral Roberts: The Golden Eagles’ last win over a ranked opponent remains a 78-75 victory over No. 25 Kansas State on Jan. 8, 1986. Oral Roberts has lost all three of its meetings with Tennessee.
Tennessee: The Lady Volunteers scored 41 points off Oral Roberts turnovers, while Oral Roberts did not score off 13 Tennessee turnovers. Andraya Carter, a redshirt sophomore guard who missed the season opener after missing a curfew, had eight points, six steals, four assists and four rebounds.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Cussen on facing Baylor and Tennessee to start the regular season: ”I’ve been questioned several times on our sanity for doing that. But the way it turned out, the scouting report was very similar for both teams.” Oral Roberts lost 101-60 to Baylor on Friday,
Oral Roberts: Faces local rival Tulsa on Friday.
Tennessee: Hosts Winthrop on Friday.