Simmons Stars In Return Home, A 76-55 Tennessee Win

Sunday, January 26, 2014
In a return to her homestate, senior Meighan Simmons had one of her best games of the season, a 76-55 Tennessee win at Texas A&M. The Cibolo, Texas native scored a game-high 26 points -- the second-most points she scored in a game this season -- as the #11/12 Lady Vols moved to 16-4 overall and 5-2 in the SEC.

Tennessee handed #17/15 Texas A&M its first conference loss of the season after the Aggies opened their second season in the league with six consecutive wins. The Aggies are now 16-5 overall.
The loss ended A&M nine game overall win streak and 10-game home win streak.

The Lady Vols posted their second consecutive wire-to-wire win, on the heels of an 89-69 win over Florida, an seventh of the season.

Playing without starting point guard Ariel Massengale, who did not travel after suffering an injury last Thursday, the Lady Vols jumped out to a 10-2 lead six minutes into the game and never looked back.

Redshirt freshman Andraya Carter, drew the start in Massengale's place and scored 10 points and handed out a team-high six assists.

Bashaara Graves and Isabelle Harrison each scored 10 points. Harrison corralled nine rebounds, one shy of giving her a 10th double-double this season.

Freshman Mercedes Russell had eight points and 11 rebounds, the most of her first college season.

Texas A&M was led by Courtney Walker, who had 20 points. Karla Gilbert had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Simmons went to work early and often with sharp shooting all game. The 2013 SEC Player of the Year racked up 15 first-half points as Tennessee led 36-20 at intermission. Simmons shot 12-of-19 from the floor, tying her most made field goals in a game in her career.

The 36 points were the second-most allowed by Texas A&M this season as Tennessee shot 53.1 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes. Tennessee shot 55.2 in the second half for a 54.1 overall mark in the game.

The Lady Vols' defensive effort was tremendous all afternoon. In the first half, Tennessee held A&M to 29.4 from the floor. The Aggies shot just 33.8 for the game.

Texas A&M was held to just one 3-point field goal on 12 attempts for 8.3 percent.

Also of note, Tennessee was very careful with the ball, as the Lady Vols committed just 10 turnovers -- their fewest of the season.

The Lady Vols led by as many as 22 on a Graves layup with 9:36 left in the second half. Tennessee led by at least 12 for the entire second half.

This was Tennessee's first-ever game at Texas A&M, which joined the league prior to the 2012-13 season.

The Lady Vols return home to host Arkansas on Thursday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. ET. That game airs on SportSouth and can be heard on the Lady Vol Network.

Official Basketball Box Score
Tennessee vs Texas A&M
01/26/14 3 p.m. at College Station, Texas (Reed Arena)

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VISITORS: Tennessee 16-4, 5-2 SEC
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
10 Simmons, Meighan<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/meighan_simmons_712229.html>.... * 12-19   1-4    1-1    0  3  3   1  26  3  1  1  2  39
11 Burdick, Cierra<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/cierra_burdick_760588.html>..... *  3-7    0-0    2-4    4  5  9   2   8  2  0  0  0  35
12 Graves, Bashaara<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/bashaara_graves_817477.html>.... *  5-7    0-0    0-0    0  4  4   2  10  1  1  0  0  21
14 Carter, Andraya<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/andraya_carter_817467.html>..... *  3-8    0-0    4-4    1  1  2   3  10  6  2  0  2  40
20 Harrison, Isabelle<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/isabelle_harrison_760590.html>.. *  5-8    0-0    0-0    1  8  9   3  10  0  0  0  0  21
00 Reynolds, Jordan<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/jordan_reynolds_852206.html>....    1-2    0-1    0-0    0  1  1   0   2  0  2  0  0  14
01 Moore, Nia<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/nia_moore_817482.html>..........    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  1  0   1
02 Jones, Jasmine<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/jasmine_jones_817480.html>......    1-2    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   1   2  0  1  0  0   8
21 Russell, Mercedes<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/mercedes_russell_852208.html>...    3-8    0-0    2-3    7  4 11   1   8  1  3  1  1  21
   TEAM................                         1  2  3
   Totals..............   33-61   1-5    9-12  14 28 42  13  76 13 10  3  5 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 17-32 53.1%   2nd Half: 16-29 55.2%   Game: 54.1%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  1-3  33.3%   2nd Half:  0-2   0.0%   Game: 20.0%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  1-2  50.0%   2nd Half:  8-10 80.0%   Game: 75.0%    1


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HOME TEAM: Texas A&M 16-5, 6-1 SEC
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
01 Courtney Williams... *  5-19   0-4    4-6    1  3  4   2  14  3  2  0  0  31
24 Jordan Jones........ *  0-4    0-3    0-0    0  2  2   1   0  7  2  0  2  32
33 Courtney Walker..... *  9-20   0-1    2-2    1  0  1   1  20  2  2  1  1  40
34 Karla Gilbert....... *  6-11   0-0    2-5    8  3 11   4  14  1  0  1  1  33
35 Achiri Ade.......... *  1-5    0-0    0-0    5  3  8   1   2  1  1  1  1  28
11 Curtyce Knox........    0-1    0-0    0-0    1  0  1   1   0  2  1  0  0   9
13 Chelsea Jennings....    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   1   0  0  0  0  0   2
15 Tori Scott..........    1-6    1-4    0-0    2  2  4   2   3  1  0  0  1  18
23 Rachel Mitchell.....    1-1    0-0    0-0    1  0  1   2   2  0  1  2  0   7
   TEAM................                         2  3  5
   Totals..............   23-68   1-12   8-13  21 16 37  15  55 17  9  5  6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 10-34 29.4%   2nd Half: 13-34 38.2%   Game: 33.8%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  0-9   0.0%   2nd Half:  1-3  33.3%   Game:  8.3%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  0-1   0.0%   2nd Half:  8-12 66.7%   Game: 61.5%    1
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Officials: Dee Kantner, Bryan Enterline, Lisa Mattingly
Technical fouls: Tennessee-None. Texas A&M-None.
Attendance: 7207
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Tennessee.....................   36   40  -   76
Texas A&M.....................   20   35  -   55

Points in the paint-UT 38,TAMU 16. Points off turnovers-UT 11,TAMU 13.
2nd chance points-UT 14,TAMU 18. Fast break points-UT 17,TAMU 0.
Bench points-UT 12,TAMU 5. Score tied-0 times. Lead changed-0 times.
Last FG-UT 2nd-01:40, TAMU 2nd-01:11.
Largest lead-UT by 22 2nd-09:36, TAMU None.

THE SERIES & THE WIN

• The Vols are now 16-4 overall, 5-2 SEC. Texas A&M is 16-5 overall, 6-1 in the SEC.
• Tennessee is now 4-1 in the all-time series against the Aggies.
• Sunday's contest marked the first trip to College Station for the Lady Vols. UT is now 1-0 when playing in Reed Arena
• Tennessee hands Texas A&M its first loss at home this year, and its first SEC loss of the season. This also marked UT's seventh wire-to-wire win of the season.

WE BACK PAT

• The SEC and its 14-member institutions are recognizing the third "We Back Pat" Week, focusing on bringing awareness to the Pat Summitt<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/pat_summitt_54489.html> Foundation.
• Sunday's Tennessee at Texas A&M game marked the finale to "We Back Pat" Week.
• To purchase a "We Back Pat" shirt, as well as autographed and specialty items visit www.patsummitt.org.

FOR STARTERS

• Today's starters: sophomore forward Bashaara Graves<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/bashaara_graves_817477.html>, junior forward Cierra Burdick<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/cierra_burdick_760588.html>, junior center Isabelle Harrison<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/isabelle_harrison_760590.html>, redshirt freshman point guard Andraya Carter<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/andraya_carter_822050.html> and senior point guard Meighan Simmons<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/meighan_simmons_712229.html>.
• Simmons has now made 112 career starts in 128 games. 11th among active NCAA Division I players.
• Massengale's 43 consecutive starts came to an end as the junior didn't travel to the Lone Star State due to precautionary reasons. She suffered a facial injury against Florida in the first half on Jan. 23. Her status is listed as day-to-day. She also saw a streak of 78 games played snapped.
• Carter started in Massengale's absence, registering her sixth start of the season and 11th of her career.
• It is the first time this season UT has utilized the quintet. It is the seventh different lineup for Tennessee this season. The starting five is 1-0 this season.
• Tennessee won the tip for the 18th time this season.
• Junior Isabelle Harrison<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/isabelle_harrison_760590.html> scored UT's first bucket of the game with a layup. It is the eighth time this season she has accounted for Tennessee's first points.
• Sophomore Jasmine Jones<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/jasmine_jones_817480.html> was the first off the bench for UT, the seventh time this season she's been called up first.

TENNESSEE DEFENSE

• UT handed the Aggies their first home loss of the season. Entering Sunday's matchup, the Aggies were 10-0 at home during the 2013-14 campaign.
• The Aggies were allowing 54.5 points per game on the year. Tennessee's 76 points was the second-highest Texas A&M has allowed an opponent this year. Syracuse dropped 78 on the Aggies.
• Freshman Mercedes Russell<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/mercedes_russell_852208.html> pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds
• Cierra Burdick<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/cierra_burdick_760588.html> finished with nine rebounds, including four offensive boards.
• Tennessee started off the game on an 8-0 run, holding the Aggies scoreless until the 14:50 mark. Texas A&M was 0-8 before TAMU's Courtney Walker scored a basket.
• During the first half, UT went on a 13-0 run to go up 25-10 over the course of five minutes, 17 seconds.

DOUBLE FIGURES FOR HARRISON

• With 10 points and nine rebounds Isabelle Harrison<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/isabelle_harrison_760590.html> reached double-figure scoring for the 14th-straight game.

QUIETING THE AGGIES

• The Lady Vols followed a 61.3 % (14-21) second half FG shooting vs. Florida with a 53.1% (17-32) in first half against the Aggies.
• Tennessee's 36 points in the first half were the second-most Texas A&M had an allowed an opponent in the first half this year, following Syracuse's 38 points in the first 20 minutes against the Aggies on Nov. 30, 2013.
• The Lady Vols outscored the Aggies, xxx-xx in the paint, while also holding the advantage on fast break points, 38-16.

TEXAS-BRED SIMMONS IN LONE STAR STATE GAMES

• Entering Sunday's game, in the four games played in Texas during senior Meighan Simmons'<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/meighan_simmons_712229.html> career, UT has gone 2-2 while the Cibolo, Texas, native has averaged 18.5 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1.5 steals.
• Against Texas (when playing in Austin) on 12/12/10, she had 18 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal. On 12/16/12, she notched 18 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals. When playing in Waco against Baylor, Simmons posted 22 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals on 12/14/10. On 12/18/12, she racked up 16 points, five rebounds, one block and one steal.
• The senior finished the game with a team-leading 26 points on 12-of-19 shooting. It was the second-most points for Simmons this year, following her 32-point outing against Virginia in the Junkanoo Jam.
• Simmons also hit the 20+ point mark for the third straight game and fourth time this season.
• She entered the game with 1,757 career points, ranked as UT's No. 10 all-time scorer. With her 26 points on the day, she surpassed Tanya Haave (1,771 points, 1980-84) and moved into sole possession of ninth place in UT's all-time rankings. She is seven points away from catching Sheila Frost (1,790 points, 1985-89) in eighth place.

LEADING POINT GUARDS

• Senior Meighan Simmons<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/meighan_simmons_712229.html> played 39 minutes. Redshirt freshman Andraya Carter<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/andraya_carter_822050.html> played all 40 minutes of the game.
• Carter filled the shoes of point guard Ariel Massengale<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/ariel_massengale_760587.html>, who did not make the trip to College Station due to precautionary reasons after sustaining a facial injury in the first half against Florida.
• Simmons finished the game with 26 points, three rebounds, two steals and three assists.
• Carter ended with 10 points, two rebounds, two steals and six assists.

BASH-ING THE COMPETITION

• Sophomore Bashaara Graves<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/bashaara_graves_817477.html> recorded double figures for the third time in four games with 10 points against the Aggies.
• She finished the game shooting 71.4 percent (5-of-7).

WIRE-TO-WIRE

• After jumping out on an 8-0 run to start the game, the Lady Vols recorded their seventh wire-to-wire victory of the season.
• Tennessee has recorded wire-to-wire wins over SMU, Texas, Troy, Tennessee State, Lipscomb, Florida, and now Texas A&M.

AT THE HALF

• The Lady Vols held a 36-20 lead entering the half. Tennessee's 36 points in the first half are the second-most Texas A&M has allowed an opponent this year in the first half, following Syracuse' 38 points on Nov. 30, 2013.
• Meighan Simmons<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/meighan_simmons_712229.html> led the team with 15 points, shooting 7-of-11 in field goals.
• UT owned the boards in the first 20 minutes of action, 21-19, with Cierra Burdick<http://www.utsports.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/cierra_burdick_760588.html> grabbing a team-best six rebounds.
• The Lady Vols outscored Texas A&M, 20-8 in points in the paint.

UP NEXT

• Tennessee returns to Knoxville to take on Arkansas for a 7 p.m. ET contest on Thursday, Jan. 30.
• The game vs. the Razorbacks airs on SportSouth and can he heard on the Vol Network.

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