The #8 Lady Vols won their fifth game in a row with a 77-65 victory at Ole Miss on Thursday night. Tennessee improved to 19-4 overall and 8-2 in the SEC.
Tennessee used two 11-0 runs, one in each half, to take control and secure its 26th win in a row in the series. The Lady Vols have won 11 consecutive games at the `Tad Pad.'
Meighan Simmons won her 100th career game as a Lady Vol with the victory. Tennessee is now 100-31 in her 131 career games.
Simmons tallied a team-high 20 points including three consecutive 3-pointers in in the middle of the second half to regain a double-figure lead for the Tennessee. The Lady Vols led by at least 10 points for the remainder of the game.
Isabelle Harrison posted her 11th double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Harrison has scored in double-figures in 17 consecutive games.
Cierra Burdick also added 12 points for her third game in a row in double-figures.
Ole Miss (10-14, 1-9 SEC) was led by Tia Faleru, who had a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds.
After being ahead 37-28 at halftime, Tennessee saw its lead sliced to five points early in the second half on two occasions. After regaining a 10-point lead, Tennessee saw its advantage dwindle back to six on a 3-pointers by Gracie Frizzell with 12:18 left in the game, 54-48.
But Simmons, who had a rough shooting night to that point, connected on three trifectas in a row to put the Lady Vols ahead, 63-48 with 9:52 left. Harrison's layup a minute later usher the lead to 17 at 65-48 -- the largest of the night.
In the first half, Tennessee was up three with seven minutes left after a Faleru layup, 24-21. The Lady Vols put together their first 11-0 spurt of the night to take control of the contest. A free throw by Burdick with 2:08 left in the half, but Tennessee up 35-21.
Ole Miss was held without a point for more than five minutes.
Tennessee's bench was superior all night, outscoring the Rebels, 18-2, led by freshman Jordan Reynolds' seven points.
The Lady Vols return to action with their first home game in 10 days as Tennessee hosts in-state foe Vanderbilt on ESPN's Big Monday, Feb. 10 at 9 p.m. The game airs on ESPN2 and can be heard on the Lady Vol Network.
THE SERIES & THE WIN
• Thursday's game marked the 49th all-time meeting between the two programs, and second this season. Tennessee defeated the Rebels in Knoxville, 94-70, on Jan. 9.
• With the win, Tennessee is now 42-7 in the all-time series against Mississippi, with a 26-game winning streak.
• When playing in Oxford, UT is 18-3 against the Ole Miss.
• Holly Warlick has a 3-0 head coaching record against the Rebels.
• Today's starters: junior Cierra Burdick, sophomore Bashaara Graves, junior Isabelle Harrison, redshirt freshman Andraya Carter and senior Meighan Simmons.
• It was the fourth-straight game Tennessee has utilized the lineup, and the Lady Vols are now 4-0 with the quintet.
• Tennessee won the tip for the 21st time this season.
• Simmons scored the Lady Vols' first basket, two free throws with 18:19 on the clock. It's the fourth time this season that she has scored UT's first points.
• Mercedes Russell was first off the bench for Tennessee, the fifth time this season the freshman has been called upon first.
• Massengale was not in attendance 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 missed the Texas A&M game on Sunday, Jan. 26, he Arkansas game on Thursday, Jan. 30, and the Alabama game on Sunday, Feb. 2.
CENTURY MARK FOR SIMMONS
• With Tennessee's victory, Meighan Simmons earned her 100th win donning the Orange and White.
• Simmons notched 20 points, hitting double figures for the 18th time this season, out of 23 games, and for the 97th time in her career. It also marked the fifth time this season she has scored 20 or more points.
• The senior hit three back-to-back 3-pointers from the 11:24 to 9:52 mark for Tennessee. She notched her eighth game this season with three or more treys.
BURDICK CONTINUES STRONG PLAY
• Coming off of two big games last week against Arkansas and Alabama, and earning SEC Player of the Week, Cierra Burdick recorded her ninth game this season in double figures with 12 points. She was a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
• It is her third straight contest in double figures, marking the second three-game stint this season the junior has hit double figures (Also vs. Texas (10 points), Troy (15 points) and Tenn. State (12 points) from Dec. 8 to Dec. 17).
• Burdick also grabbed eight boards.
• Isabelle Harrison recorded her 11th double-double this season with 18 points and 11 rebounds. It is the 17th double-double of her career.
• It also marked the 21st game of 23 this season in double figures. She has hit double digits in 17 consecutive games.
• Harrison's 18 points is the first time since Jan. 9 that she has scored more than 15 points when she had 16 against the Rebels in Knoxville.
FRESHMEN HELPING OUT
• Freshmen Jordan Reynolds and Mercedes Russell's efforts helped UT to its 19th win this season.
• Reynolds recorded seven points, tying her SEC high which she also recorded against the Rebels on Jan. 9.
• Russell notched six points with seven boards.
AT THE HALF
• Tennessee led the Rebels, 37-28, at the halfway point.
• UT barely outrebounded Ole Miss in the first 20 minutes of action, 20-19, with Cierra Burdick leading the team with five boards.
• Meighan Simmons led UT with nine points, while Isabelle Harrison followed with eight.
• Tennessee's bench outscored the Rebel reserves, 12-2, in the first half.
• Tennessee returns to Thompson-Boling Arena for Big Monday on Feb. 10 when the Lady Vols take on Vanderbilt.
• The game vs. the Lady Commodores will be aired on ESPN2 and can be heard on the Lady Vol Network.