There's a big reason why Vanderbilt hasn't suffered terribly from the loss of All-SEC forward Ashley Earley.
Liz Sherwood, a 6-foot-5 transfer from Connecticut, has debuted with a team-leading 14.4 points-per-game scoring average. Her 66.7 field-goal percentage is among the nation's leaders. In Vanderbilt's last home game, last week versus Mississippi State, Sherwood made her first six shots.
She'll be a big problem for Tennessee in Thursday night's SEC women's basketball game at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville. UT coach Pat Summitt plans to rotate three or four players on Sherwood.
"She has the size and skill to put a lot of pressure on the defense,'' Summitt said. "It's a tough matchup.
Sherwood's productivity doesn't cover for Earley and her 18.4 points-per-game average last season. But that wasn't the intention.
"We didn't want to put so much pressure on Liz,'' Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb said. "She can't replace what Ashley did by her senior year."
Instead, the plan has been for Sherwood to do her thing and serve as a magnet for defenders.
"She's a force inside,'' Balcomb said. "She's big enough where more than one player has to guard her.''
Moss Update: An X-ray and a CT scan offered conflicting reports on the injured nose of Lady Vols guard Lindsey Moss.
She will be re-examined on Friday. In the meantime, Moss will wear a splint and play Thursday.
Personnel Dept.: Lady Vol Sybil Dosty scored eight points Sunday against Mississippi State, matching her second-highest scoring output of the season. Yet, afterward, the backup center said, "Now when I go in, scoring is one of the last things on my mind, as funny as it sounds.''
Dosty's five rebounds were just as important, given the renewed emphasis on doing the dirty work.
Fellow backup Alex Fuller shot 1-for-4 from the floor Sunday. Still, the 6-3 redshirt forward showed some ability to defend on the perimeter, locking down 5-10 Miayorka Johnson on one possession to force a turnover.
"It was a good time for us to show Coach we can step up and play and not take anything away from the team,'' Dosty said.
Not Good Enough: UT's Dominique Redding hurt her status with her effort on Sunday. In 13 minutes, her most noticeable accomplishments were three turnovers and three fouls.
"With her play in Starkville, it's clear you can't depend on her,'' Summitt said. "We can't take the risk if she's (not) going to come to play every night.
"... I'm not going to reward people for not showing up ready to practice or play.''
Notebook: The Lady Vols' athletic department said $332,683 was generated by the home game against Connecticut on Jan. 7.
The breakdown was $218,782 for tickets, $72,590 for concessions, $28,781 for souvenirs and $12,530 for parking.
The game drew a crowd of 22,415, with 24,653 tickets sold.