Sharp-Shooting Mizzou Topples Lady Vols

Sunday, February 3, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Kamiko Williams had a big first half and five Lady Vols scored in double figures, but No. 9/10 Tennessee could not overcome Missouri's sharp shooting in a 80-63 loss to the Tigers on Sunday at Mizzou Arena.

Tennessee (17-5, 8-1 SEC) suffered its first conference loss of the season and committed 18 turnovers. Missouri (15-8, 4-5 SEC) used a second-half surge to cap a strong day of shooting and earn its first-ever win against the Lady Vols.

The Tigers shot 52.
7 percent (29-of-55) from the field, 45.8 percent (11-of-24) from 3-point range and 84.6 percent (11-of-13) from the line while dishing out 23 assists to UT's six. The Lady Vols shot 41.8 percent (23-of-55) and struggled from long distance (5-of-14) and at the charity stripe (12-of-20).

Missouri's Morgan Eye led all players with 26 points, including a 6-of-12 effort from beyond the arc. Brianna Kulas added had 20 points, five boards, five assists and three steals in an impressive all-around effort. Liz Smith found points inside for the Tigers and finished with 10 points.

Williams led UT in scoring 14 first-half points on 7-of-9 shooting before an injury sidelined her in the second half. She also amassed six rebounds, two assists, three steals and one block. Taber Spani had 12 points and four rebounds and Meighan Simmons inished with 13 points. Bashaara Graves and Ariel Massengale had 11 points and 10 points, respectively.

Kulas' layup with 6:11 remaining opened a 10-1 Tigers run capped off by two free throws by Lianna Doty with just over four minutes left. Missouri's lead grew to 70-54, its largest of the game until the closing seconds. A two-point jumper by Simmons would bring Tennessee to within nine points at 76-63 with 2:33 remaining, but the Lady Vols would come no closer.

Missouri's attack was efficient and effective as the Tigers used a 10-minute, 21-10 run to climb out to a 58-47 advantage with 9:34 remaining. Eye hit three treys and scored 11 points over that stretch.

Williams came down awkwardly on her right leg at the 17:00 mark of the second half following a layup by Smith. She was helped off the court by the UT athletic training staff and did not return.

Williams has a right ankle injury and is listed as day to day, as is freshman Jasmine Jones, who suffered a right knee injury late in the game.

Both teams came out of the break with the same tenacity that made for a back-and-forth first half. A 3-pointer by MU's Kyley Simmons 15 seconds into the second period knotted the game at 37-37.

Tennessee had a 37-34 lead at halftime after a tightly-contested first period that featured eight lead changes. Williams was dominant on both ends of the floor in the first half, shooting 7-of-9 for 14 points with two assists, six boards and three steals. Eye led the Tigers with 11 points, including nine from long distance.

The Lady Vols held the lead for the final five minutes of the first half. But for every bucket down the stretch, the Tigers had an answer to stay within five points. In the final five minutes before the break, Williams made two jumpers and had an assist on another to keep UT (15-of-32 in the first half) ahead of a strong-shooting Mizzou squad (14-of-28).

Both teams began dialing it up from long distance at the 8:22 mark. Eye, Mizzou's top 3-point shooter, caught fire and scored all eight points of an 8-2 Tigers run, including two shots from beyond the arc to push MU ahead, 24-21. Spani, one of UT's best sharpshooters, answered with a pair of 3-pointers on UT's next two possessions to give the Lady Vols a 27-24 lead with 5:37 left in the half.

During a 1:40 stretch midway through the first half, Williams and Smith began trading baskets in a one-point game. Each scored four points with Smith nailing a turnaround jumper at 9:49 to give the Tigers a 16-15 edge. After a timeout, Williams hit a pull-up jumper from the free-throw line in transition to push Tennessee ahead, 17-16.

Down 6-4 three minutes into the game, Missouri seized early momentum with an 8-2 run sparked by a Liene Priede's 3-pointer at 16:53. Simmons helped Tennessee settled down and climb back with a 3-pointer at the 12:27 mark to draw the Lady Vols to within 12-11. Simmons hit two free throws after a technical foul was called on Mizzou coach Robin Pingeton, giving UT a 13-12 lead.

The Lady Vols will next travel to Baton Rouge, La., to play LSU on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. Tennessee returns to Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday to host Ole Miss at 2 p.m. ET and begin a three-game homestand.

Three Marion Players On 2A Preseason All-State Team

Marion County's Corey Tucker, Christian Stephens and Alex Kirkendoll have been voted to the Star Physical Therapy Class 2A preseason all-state team in Murphy Fair's Tennessee High School Football magazine. Other area players on the team are Tellico Plains' Ryan Bookout, Boyd-Buchanan's Eli Legg and Sweetwater's Bailey Byrum.  Marion County finished as state runner-up ... (click for more)

Three Tied For Lead In Choo Choo Golf

Three players shot 5-under 67 on Monday and share the lead in the Choo-Choo Invitational golf tournament at the Council Fire Club. Local 30-year-old golfer Taylor Lewis, Tennessee junior Jack Smith and UT-Martin sophomore Hunter Richardson finished atop the scoreboard  after the first of three rounds. Lewis shot his 67 despite a double bogey on No. 8 . He had an eagle ... (click for more)

Thousands Line Route For Funeral Procession Of Sailor Slain In Chattanooga Shooting; Wife Sings Song At Funeral She Was Singing When They Met

Thousands of people waving flags and signs again lined the streets and highways of Chattanooga for the second of two local funerals for military personnel slain by a gunman on July 16. And at the funeral service for Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Scott Smith, his wife, Angie, sang the song she was singing the first time they met. She said she was singing "You say it best when ... (click for more)

Body Found Early Tuesday Morning, Foul Play Not Suspected At This Time

Chattanooga Police responded to the 300 block of Cherokee Boulevard on the report of a body found on Tuesday at approximately 12:26 a.m. Investigators have processed the scene and the body was transported to the Hamilton County Medical Examiner’s Office for evaluation and identification. The cause of death is pending the results of the autopsy by the Medical Examiner’s Office. ... (click for more)

Lorri Wyatt Thanks The Community

Over the past 10 days, my life has been a whirlwind. My entire life changed in an instant. My husband, David Wyatt, was an incredible man, father and husband. He was funny, hardworking, honest, kind, loving and devoted to everyone in it. Everyone that knew David, loved him. He had a way of touching lives, without even knowing he was. On July 16, we lost him, and our lives will never ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chanie's Puzzling Poem

Ronnie Joice was in a bar in north London when he spied a poem tacked to the wall. The more he studied it, the more it revealed and, suddenly, he was floored. I don’t need to tell you it has gone viral, cheering people up particularly in England, but it is fun to know it was written by an 11 th -grader at an all-girls school in New York. Chanie Gorkin first posted it on her page ... (click for more)