Lady Vols Suffer Upset To No. 16 LSU 80-77

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Fifth-ranked Tennessee suffered its first home loss in 15 games as the Lady Vols were upset by #16 LSU, 80-77, in a heartbreaker. The loss marked the first victory for former Lady Vols star and Nikki Caldwell as a head coach against her alma mater.

With the game tied at 55-55 midway through the second half, LSU surged on a 20-4 run to take a 75-59 lead with 4:37 left in the game.

That lead of 16 proved to be too much for the Lady Vols.

On a night that Tennessee retired Candace Parker's jersey No. 3 prior to the game, the Lady Vols made a furious comeback in the final minutes. Tennessee used an 18-3 run to get within one point in the final seconds.

Isabelle Harrison (career-high tying 26 points) hit short jumper to make it a two-point game, 78-76 with 44 seconds left. With a chance to tie the game at 78, Harrison missed the second of two free throws with 15.9 seconds remaining. LSU's Raigyne Moncrief grabbed the rebound and called timeout with 13.9 left.

Moncrief then made a pair of foul shots to regain a three-point Tigers' lead, 80-77 with 12 seconds left. Tennessee had a chance to tie the game but Andraya Carter's 3-point attempt at the buzzer rimmed out.

The Lady Vols (11-2 overall) dropped an SEC opener for the first time in 17 years, winning every lid-lifter since 1996-97. LSU also moved to 11-2.

LSU's Danielle Ballard equalled her career-high with 25 points as four Tigers scored in double-figures. Dashawn Harden keyed the second-half surge with (12) of her 17 points over the final 11 minutes. Theresa Plaisance added 15 points before fouling out while Jeanne Kenney tallied 14.

Senior Meighan Simmons scored 15 while Ariel Massengale had second double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 assists. Jasmine Jones had eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

The game was within seven points for the first 33 minutes prior to a 3-pointer by Harden, which gave LSU the largest lead of the game at 65-56. A minute later Harden added a pair of free throws for the first double-digit margin of the game, 67-57.

LSU continued on a 15-2 run as Harden nailed her fourth 3-pointer of the game with 5:21 left in regulation for a 70-57 lead.

Simmons was called for a technical foul after her fourth personal foul, which disqualified her from the game. Lady Vols head coach Holly Warlick was also whistled for a technical foul and LSU proceeded to make 5-of-6 free throws with 4:37 on the clock to take a commanding 75-59 lead. That burst of points pushed LSU's run to 20-4.

The Lady Vols had tied the game at 55 on a short outback jumper by Jones with 10:46 left in the game. But LSU reeled off the next seven points to lead 62-55 with nine minutes remaining.

The first half saw the Lady Vols' Simmons (15) and LSU's Ballard (17) dual on the scoreboard as Tennessee held a 44-40 lead at intermission. Harrison closed the half in dramatic fashion with a layup as time expired.

Down 28-23, the Lady Vols ripped off 12 points in a row to take a 34-28 on a 3-point play by Harrison and layup by Russell with 4:45 left in the half. During that stretch, LSU missed 11 field goal attempts in a row as the UT defense buckled down.

LSU took a 20-19 lead on a layup by Ballard with 10:37 left in the first half. That was the Lady Tigers' first lead since scoring the first bucket of the game.

Tennessee had won seven straight in the series and now leads the overall series, 44-13.

Prior to the game, Tennessee retired Parker's jersey No. 3. The legendary player ranks third all-time at Tennessee in scoring (2,137) and sixth in rebounding (972). She led the Lady Vols to a pair of National Championships in 2007 and 2008.

The Lady Vols head to Georgia for their first SEC road contest on Sunday at 4 p.m., That game airs on SportSouth and can be heard on the Lady Vol Network. 


Sue Barlow Running Strong Amid Busy Life

Sue Barlow has endured more catastrophic events in her life than any three people should ever have to face, but she’s tougher than a pine knot and keeps moving forward with love in her heart and a smile on her face. Sue and Larry – her husband of 10 years – moved to Chattanooga in June 2005, right after they had lost literally everything in an apartment fire.   ... (click for more)

Thursday Night College Football - SoCon Coaches' Philosophy

For some college football coaches, an opening season Thursday night game is a good way to get the students out on a week night, for others it disrupts the usual game week routine. Fewer games on the national docket (compared to a Saturday schedule) and an upset win can bring good national coverage. During Tuesday’s Conference Call, a few of the coaches ... (click for more)

School Board Unanimously Makes Cuts To Teacher Insurance; Spouses Can Only Stay On If They Have No Other Insurance

The Hamilton County School Board on Thursday night voted to Increase the premium for spouses by $100 - a move officials said would save the schools from $2,040,000 to $3,040,000. Spouses will not continue to be covered if they have insurance available to them on their jobs. School officials said the 1,700 spouses on county school insurance last year had $10 million in claims. ... (click for more)

City Audit Hits Travel Abuses By Top Chattanooga Library Personnel; Report Forwarded To State On Possible Fraud

A report by Internal City Auditor Stan Sewell found travel abuses by top personnel of the Chattanooga Library. The auditor said he found possible instances of fraud and forwarded information to state officials in regard to "reported potential fraudulent activity" by Margaret Backus, Systems Administrator and Nathaniel Hill, Assistant Library Director. The report says, ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)