Friday, July 04, 2014

Pat Summitt Still Head Coach Emeritus

Pat Summitt will remain the Tennessee women's basketball head coach emeritus next season and can continue holding the position as long as she wants it.

That's according to a new contract signed in May and obtained Thursday night through a public records request. It states that Summitt will have the title head coach emeritus "in perpetuity, or until she chooses to relinquish it."

Summitt will make $75,000 under terms of the contract, which runs through April 30. She had been paid $85,000 last year.

Summitt has served as head coach emeritus since ending her 38-season tenure as the Lady Vols' coach in April 2012. That came one year after announcing she had early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Lady Vols #Chillin4Charity

Holly Warlick and Pat Summitt are chillin' for charity in support of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Bobby Maze to Host 2nd Annual Celebrity Basketball Game

Former University of Tennessee basketball player, Bobby Maze, will host the 2nd the Annual BMaze Celebrity Game on June 28, 2014 at the Knoxville Convention Center. Proceeds will benefit the Pat Summitt Foundation. The game will feature the Tennessee “All-Stars” vs. the “Pros.” Tennessee “All-Stars scheduled to attend include Chris Lofton, Tobias Harris, Eric Berry, Arian Foster, Albert Haynesworth and Meighan Simmons. Simmons will be the first female participant in the event. The “Pros” squad will feature Dez Bryant, Michael Beasley, Ty Lawson, Greg Oden, Ahmad Bradshaw and Rapper Wale. Other special guests will include Ice JJ Fish and Lil Terrio.

The Pat Summitt Foundation, a fund of East Tennessee Foundation, was established by Pat and Tyler Summitt in November 2011. Pat Summitt, her family and friends have chosen East Tennessee Foundation to receive and manage contributions to Pat’s fund, and to facilitate their grant-making in support of the mission. To learn more visit the website at www.patsummitt.org.

Doors will open at noon and the game will begin at 2:00 PM. A special area for fans will include interactive games such as bounce houses and basketball contests. Fans also will have special opportunities presented from various local and national vendors. Halftime of the game will feature a 3-point and slam dunk contest that will include 2007 NBA All-Star Dunk Contest winner Gerald Green.

Tickets can be purchased at bmazegame.eventbrite.com. There are general admission and VIP ticket options available for purchase. Tickets will also be available on the day of the event at the Knoxville Convention Center.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Diamond DeShields to join Lady Vols

Former North Carolina guard Diamond DeShields is transferring to Tennessee, joining the school where her mother starred in a different sport.

Tennessee announced Thursday that the 2013-14 Atlantic Coast Conference freshman of the year would be continuing her career with the Lady Vols. Under NCAA rules, DeShields must sit out a year before being eligible to play for the Lady Vols in the 2015-16 season, though she will begin attending classes at Tennessee next month. She will have three years of eligibility remaining.

"This is the place I've dreamt of since I was a little girl, just being here and playing here at Tennessee," DeShields said in a university release. "God sometimes has strange ways of working, and now I just feel like I am where I am supposed to be. I will give everything I have to make sure those dreams I had as a kid are fulfilled. This is not about me. It's about we. I'm here to help this program win games and win championships."

DeShields helped North Carolina go 27-10 and reach a regional final this past season. DeShields averaged 18 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game. She scored a total of 648 points, the most ever by an Atlantic Coast Conference freshman.

DeShields' mother, Tisha DeShields, was an All-America heptathlete for the Tennessee women's track team in 1991, when she was known as Tisha Milligan. DeShields' father is Delino DeShields, a former second baseman who played for five major league teams from 1990 to 2002.

The decision by DeShields comes as a late birthday present for Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick, who turned 56 years old on Wednesday.

"I didn't want to force my agenda on her (when she made her original college choice), and I knew that was her decision and one she would have to be happy with," Tisha DeShields said in a university release." As a parent, I needed to support her, even though I joked with her that I was going to buy her orange briefs to wear underneath her uniform. Now I just feel like she's in the right place."

Diamond DeShields tweeted out a link to an Instagram post late Thursday afternoon in which she thanked Tennessee fans "who have welcomed me into this family" and included a picture of herself in a Lady Vols uniform. DeShields said on her Instagram post that she knew her arrival at Tennessee had been a long time coming, but "I'm finally here."

"Soooo am I allowed to say, 'Grind for 9' now???'" DeShields asked on her Instagram post.

Tennessee used "Grind for 9" as its motto this past season in its unsuccessful bid for a ninth national championship. The Lady Vols went 29-6 and lost to Maryland in an NCAA regional semifinal.

North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell announced April 17 that the 6-foot-1 guard from Norcross, Georgia, planned to transfer after only one season with the Tar Heels. At the time, Hatchell said she did not know "or understand" why DeShields was leaving.

DeShields posted a statement on Twitter the following week addressing her decision to leave North Carolina. She didn't explain why she was leaving but said she had a "very detailed and emotional" conversation with Hatchell and that they were parting on good terms.

DeShields' choice of Tennessee comes one week after guard Te'a Cooper, a 2015 prospect from Powder Springs, Georgia, verbally committed to the LadY Vols. Cooper, who is friends with DeShields, had been committed to North Carolina before re-opening her recruitment last fall. Cooper is expected to sign with the Lady Vols in November.

DeShields adds star power to a storied Tennessee program that hasn't produced a first-team or second-team Associated Press All-American since Candace Parker led the Lady Vols to their eighth national title in 2008. That also marks the last time Tennessee reached the Final Four.

This won't be the first time a highly touted guard transferred to Tennessee after one season. Michelle Marciniak spent the 1991-92 season at Notre Dame before joining the Lady Vols. She capped her career by helping Tennessee win the 1996 national title as the Final Four most valuable player.

DeShields is leaving behind a North Carolina team that seemed on the verge of big things.

DeShields arrived at North Carolina as the biggest star in a highly touted recruiting class that also included Allisha Gray, Stephanie Mavunga and Jessica Washington. That freshman class helped the Tar Heels advance to a regional final with a roster that didn't have a single senior.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Te'a Cooper Gives Verbal to Tennessee

Te'a Cooper, a 5-foot-8 point guard at McEachern High (Powder Springs, Georgia) and the No. 12 prospect in the espnW HoopGurlz Super 60 for the 2015 class, gave a verbal commitment to the Tennessee Lady Volunteers on Thursday night.

"I loved my experience when I visited there," Cooper said in a phone interview. "I like the coaching staff and the traditions."

Cooper had previously committed to North Carolina when she was in eighth grade, but she reopened her recruitment in September. At that time, she named 10 finalists, including Tennessee, South Carolina, Louisville, Duke and Notre Dame.

Cooper, who averaged 19.6 points per game last season as a junior and led McEachern to a Georgia state title, is the second player from the 2015 class to commit to Tennessee. She joins MeMe Jackson, a 5-11 wing from Blackman High (Murfreesboro, Tennessee), which won the national title this past season. The Lady Vols' 2014 recruiting class was ranked sixth in the nation and features Jaime Nared, Alexa Middleton and Kortney Dunbar.

Cooper's longtime friend and AAU teammate, Diamond DeShields, attended Cooper's announcement ceremony. DeShields -- the espnW freshman of the year this past season who led North Carolina to the Elite Eight -- was granted an unconditional release by the Tar Heels in April. She has yet to announce where she will be transferring.

DeShields, who grew up in the Atlanta area with Cooper, has spoken publicly about her admiration for the latest Lady Vol.

"I've learned a lot about working hard from watching her -- and she's younger than I am," DeShields said last summer. "I've seen her work out four times a day. She's helped me develop mental strength and helped me push through things."

As for Cooper's immediate future, she was one of 12 players selected last month for the USA Basketball U17 world championship team that will compete in the FIBA U17 World Championship from June 28-July 6 in the Czech Republic. Training camp opens in Colorado Springs, Colorado, next Thursday. The team leaves for France on June 18 for exhibition play that starts June 20.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pat Summitt Having Knee Replacement Surgery

Please say a prayer for Pat Summitt. She's having knee replacement surgery today. I wish her the best of luck with the surgery and rehab. May she have an easy time and recover fully.

Fierce Courage.

Adam Waller of the Pat Summitt Foundation confirmed that Summitt would be undergoing replacement surgery on her right knee in Knoxville and would remain in a hospital through the weekend as a precautionary measure to make sure her rehabilitation starts correctly.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Pat Summitt and Kristin Chenoweth to Receive Annie Oakley Society Honors at National Cowboy Museum

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum has named Pat Summitt the Lifetime Achievement Award honoree and Broken Arrow native Kristin Chenoweth as The Annie Oakley Society Award honoree at the fourth annual luncheon and fundraiser on June 12 in the Sam Noble Special Events Center.

The society gathers to celebrate women who demonstrate leadership and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Great American West, according to a news release.

Summitt was the head coach of the University of Tennessee Lady Volunteer basketball team and is now head coach emeritus. At the helm for 38 seasons, she is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history for men’s and women’s teams. Summitt is known for being forthright, well-respected, ethical and a winner who serves as a shining example in the sport of collegiate basketball. She was voted the 11th best coach of all-time by The Sporting News and was the only woman on the list.

On Aug. 22, 2011, Summitt raised the bar on courage as she bravely revealed the toughest opponent she will ever have to battle, early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type.

Unable to be in attendance, she will be represented by Sherri Coale, current head coach of The University of Oklahoma Sooners women’s basketball team.

Chenoweth, an Emmy and Tony Award winner and Oklahoma Hall of Fame inductee, effortlessly transitions between stage, television, film and an accomplished singing career with the captivating grace that only she can project. Her New York Times best-selling book “A Little Bit Wicke,” told the story of her hard work and determination to succeed with the memorable quote “Life’s too short, I’m not!” In addition to these accomplishments, she formed a charity partnership with the Broken Arrow Performing Arts Center Foundation. Its mission is to bring the world of visual and performing arts to her hometown.

Chenoweth will be represented by Jane Jayroe Gamble at the event.

“In harmony with Annie Oakley’s tradition of cherishing families and helping others, proceeds through membership in The Annie Oakley Society are combined to fund the renovation of the children’s area of the museum,” said Oklahoma’s former First Lady Cathy Keating in the release. “Future plans to support improvements in other areas of the museum will ensure its future as a place where families can learn and cherish the West, as well as honor Annie’s lifelong commitment to her family and education.”

The Annie Oakley Society, co-founded by Keating and Lynn Friess, has added a new dimension to the museum by honoring and raising awareness of outstanding women. The society has raised more than $2.5 million to date to be used for educational improvements.

Presenting sponsors for the event are Hobby Lobby and The Chickasaw Nation. Additional sponsors include Eventures Corporate Event Productions, Express Employment Professionals and Express Ranches, American Energy Partners, Petroleum Club, Oklahoma City University and New Leaf Floral.

Membership into The Annie Oakley Society includes seating at this luncheon, and nonmembers are invited to attend for $150 each. With multiple levels of membership starting at $250 annually, The Annie Oakley Society has a niche for all women, including a special category for those younger than 40.

For reservations or to inquire about membership into The Annie Oakley Society, call the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum at (405) 478-2250, Ext. 219 or go to www.nationalcowboymuseum.org.

Friday, April 25, 2014

National Basketball Retired Players Association to Honor Pat Summitt

The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA), the only alumni association comprised of former NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA players, will hold a philanthropic fundraiser – the Legends of Basketball Fantasy Weekend – at the sparkling Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino, April 24-27, 2014. For full details and purchase information, please visit: LegendsofBasketball.com/FantasyWeekend

The NBRPA and basketball legends Bill Russell, Rick Barry, Otis Birdsong, Jim Calhoun, Dave Cowens, Darryl Dawkins, Alex English, George Gervin, Spencer Haywood, Robert Horry, Nancy Lieberman, Micheal Ray Richardson, Pat Summitt and many more are set to converge on Mohegan Sun for a weekend of exciting events Thursday, April 24 through Sunday, April 27 as part of the Legends of Basketball Fantasy Weekend.

Three days of basketball action begins Thursday, April 24 with the start of the Legends of Basketball Fantasy Camp. From Friday through Sunday, fantasy campers have a chance to rub shoulders with the greatest players of all-time and compete on-the-court in an all-inclusive fantasy camp at Mohegan Sun Arena with basketball legends Barry, Cowens, English, Gervin, Dawkins, Birdsong and Richardson.

On Friday, April 25 the Legends of Basketball Fantasy Weekend will see the Legends step off of the court and into the casino to compete with guests for a $50,000 prize pool during the Mohegan Sun Blackjack Tournament. On the evening of Saturday, April 26, Mohegan Sun will host the Legends of Basketball Philanthropy Awards Gala honoring 11-time NBA Champion Russell, 3-time NCAA men’s basketball champion Jim Calhoun, 8-time NCAA women’s basketball champion Pat Summitt and sports philanthropist Dr. Richard Lapchick for their legacies on and off the court.

The Legends of Basketball Fantasy Weekend is a charitable event to raise funds for the NBRPA’s Dave DeBusschere Scholarship Fund and other charitable partners. As part of the philanthropic weekend, the NBRPA’s Legends of Basketball will also conduct a free youth basketball and life skills clinic for the local community.

All-inclusive fantasy camp spots are just $2500 and include a ticket to the black-tie Gala honoring Bill Russell. Call 407-797-2432 to register for the Legends of Basketball Fantasy Camp today!

For non-campers, tournament slots for the Mohegan Sun Blackjack Tournament start at $100 and tickets for the black-tie Gala are available starting at $300 with VIP packages and sponsorships also available. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster and the Mohegan Sun Box Office.

About the National Basketball Retired Players Association
The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) is comprised of former professional basketball players from the NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA. It is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization with a two-pronged mission to assist former NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters and WNBA players in their transition from the playing court into life after the game, while also positively impacting communities and youth through basketball. The NBRPA was founded in 1992 by basketball legends Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Archie Clark, Dave Cowens and Oscar Robertson. The NBRPA works in direct partnerships with the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. Arnie D. Fielkow is the President & CEO, and the NBRPA Board of Directors includes Chairman of the Board Otis Birdsong, Vice Chairman Thurl Bailey, Treasurer Marvin Roberts, Secretary Steve Hayes, Past Chairman Robert A. (Bob) Elliott, Past Chairman George Tinsley, Rick Barry, Dwight Davis, Spencer Haywood, Johnny Newman and Eldridge Recasner.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Holly Warlick to Keynote "Hoops for Hope" Event

Winning games is not the only tradition of University of Tennessee athletic coaches.

So is helping victims of child abuse and neglect.

Lady Vols head basketball coach Holly Warlick will be the keynote speaker May 7 for the 12th annual “Kids First” dinner and auction that raises money for the Child Advocacy Center of the 9th Judicial District

“Hoops for Hope” is the theme for this year’s event.

Warlick follows in the footsteps of previous big names in UT athletics that the Child Advocacy Center has called on to keynote the event: Pat Summitt, Bruce Pearl, Phillip Fulmer and David Cutcliffe.

CAC was formed in 2002 to provide a comprehensive approach to support child abuse victims ages 3 to 17 in Loudon, Meigs, Morgan and Roane counties.

CAC services, all of which are free, include therapy for children who have been abused, a program that provides abuse prevention and safety information to schoolchildren, and a program that teaches adults to be alert for signs that a child is being abused.

All money raised from the $100 per plate dinner goes to support those programs, not for administrative expenses, according to CAC.

The “Kids First” event will be at Rothchild Conference Center, 8807 Kingston Pike. An auction begins at 5:30 p.m. Dinner will be at 7 p.m. Reservations should be received no later than April 30.

Tables for groups of 10 may also be reserved.

Make checks payable to Child Advocacy Center, P.O. Box 928, Lenoir City, TN 37771. Payment may be made by credit card, which requires a 3 percent fee.

For more information, contact Denise Dubrule at 865-986-1505, or visit http://www.kidsfirsttn.org.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Pat Summitt's Dog, Sally Sue, Dies

Pat Summitt's yellow lab, Sally Sue, had to be euthanized Monday because of a brain tumor.

Katie Wynn, Summitt's secretary, said Tuesday the tumor was inoperable.

The 13-year-old dog was featured in the ESPN film "XO" and was seen comforting Summitt when she broke down while talking about her coaching career coming to an end.

Summitt's official biography on UTSports.com mentions Sally Sue twice: "(Summitt) has always been an intense, demanding, focused, bright-blue-steely-eyed competitor who is also a very caring, family-oriented person who enjoys a great walk on the beach with the family dogs, Sally Sue and Sadie."

Monday, April 14, 2014

New York Picks Tennessee's Meighan Simmons In WNBA Draft

The New York Liberty got the steal of the night at Mohegan Sun Arena, snagging Tennessee's Meighan Simmons, the 2014 Associated Press SEC Player of the Year, with the 26th overall selection of the WNBA Draft.

Simmons, who lasted until the second pick of the third round, continued Tennessee's rich history in the WNBA Draft, becoming the 38th player to join the league.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Ask Congress To Honor Alzheimer's Advocate, Pat Summitt

Ever since her diagnosis with early-onset Alzheimer's in 2011, legendary NCAA women's basketball coach, Pat Summitt, has taken on the disease with her signature game plan. She started the Pat Summitt Foundation with her son to help speed progress towards a cure and she's devoted her life to raising awareness and fighting the needless stigma associated with the disease.

Help honor her efforts and raise awareness of the growing prevalence of Alzheimer's by asking Congress to co-sponsor the Pat Summitt Congressional Gold Medal Act.

Click here to ask your congressional representatives to co-sponsor the Pat Summitt Congressional Gold Medal Act (H.R.3836 and S.1910).

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Pat and Tyler

Tyler and I are honored by the recent exhibit. It's beautiful!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Pat Summitt: A Legendary Lady

Because of her early-onset dementia Pat Summitt admitted in her book released last year there are times when she is unable to remember the many milestones and accomplishments of her career.

Her multitude of fans will never forget.

The Clarksville native who grew up in Henrietta and played basketball at Cheatham County High, won 1,098 games, 32 SEC championships and eight national championships in her 38 years as Tennessee's women's basketball coach.

Those are the highlights. The feats that roll off the tongues of diehard Lady Vols fans.

There are no categories or lists, however, which illustrate the positive impact Summitt, 61, had on the young women who played for her or the inspiration she provided for the countless little girls who attended her summer basketball camps or watched UT play.

Then there was the enormous competition she placed on her counterparts, unmeasurable pressure that forced them to elevate their game and in the process improve women's college basketball across the board.

Her legacy will not only be the seven times she was named NCAA Coach of the Year or the six halls of fame in which she has been inducted. But also her high personal standards like the bold and conscientious stand she took against girls high school players having to play the six-on-six style after most states had moved away from it.

Three players played offense and three on defense because it was deemed it was too strenuous for any to actually run the full length of the floor.

Summitt thought that was foolish and didn't hesitate to let the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association know it.

In just her second year as the coach at UT (1976), she testified in a lawsuit that challenged the six-on-six rule in court. Gil Gideon, executive director of the TSSAA at the time, testified that girls could better develop their skills if they didn't have to endure the "strain" it takes to run the full court.

While not issuing an injunction, the judge did direct the TSSAA to change to five-on-five for girls.

The TSSAA appealed and Summitt, not being one to back down from a challenge, became even more adamant with her stance. She let it be known that she would not sign another in-state high school player as long as the TSSAA continued playing six-on-six.

Two years later the TSSAA buckled and voted to approve the five-on-five style.

"Even then, Pat was a force," former Knoxville Journal sports writer Randy Moore wrote. "Single-handedly banishing six-girl basketball from Tennessee high schools is just one example of Pat's devotion to elevating her sport."

Summitt's career winning percentage was .844, but she always deflected the credit to her players.

"I remind people that I've never scored a basket for the University of Tennessee," she told the New York Times as she approached her 1,000th victory.

The recognition Summitt has received through the years spanned beyond basketball.

In 1997 she was honored by Working Mother magazine at the White House and named one of "25 Most Influential Working Mothers."

In 2007 U.S. News & World Report named her one of "Americas Best Leaders," and in 2012 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

A mind-boggling 74 former Lady Vols players, assistants and graduate assistants followed in her footsteps and became coaches. Seventeen are currently college head coaches.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

UT Signee's 15 Leads West to McDonald's Win

The Tennessee women's basketball program had a pair of future players in action Wednesday night in the McDonald's All America Game at the United Center, and both made plays to help their teams.

After Alexa Middleton starred on Monday night by winning the skills competition and three-point shootout at the Powerade Jam Fest, Jaime Nared stepped into the spotlight on Wednesday by leading the West to victory over Middleton's East squad, 80-78.

Nared, a 6-foot-1 wing who hails from Westview High School in Portland, Ore., followed in the footsteps of her future Lady Vol teammates and fellow Oregonians Mercedes Russell (Springfield H.S.) and Jordan Reynolds (Portland Central Catholic H.S.). For the night, Nared (pronounced Nard) scored a team-leading 15 points in 17 minutes and finished six-of-11 from the field, went three-of-three from the charity stripe and snared four rebounds.

A year ago, Russell earned game MVP honors with 16 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks, while Reynolds contributed 10 points, 11 boards, three assists and a steal in the West's victory.

Middleton, a 5-9 guard from Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Riverdale H.S.) became the first McDonald's All-American to win two events in the Powerade Jam Fest. Two days later, she capped a 16-4 run for the East by draining a three-pointer from the left wing to lift her team into the lead, 37-36, during the first half after trailing 32-25 at one point. She finished with three points, five assists and four rebounds in 20 minutes of action.

Tennessee expects to open the 2014-15 campaign with no fewer than seven McDonald's All-Americans on its roster. In addition to Middleton, Nared, Reynolds and Russell, the Lady Vols also have Cierra Burdick, Bashaara Graves and Ariel Massengale returning. UT's third fall 2013 signee, 6-1 wing Kortney Dunbar from Edwardsville, Ill., was a McDonald's nominee for her state and will be playing in the first-ever SchollyMe All-World Game along with Middleton on April 19 in Irvine, Calif.

Annual Forget Me Not 5K Benefits Those with Alzheimer's

The fifth annual Forget Me Not 5K will take place Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. at the Loudon County Visitor Center in Lenoir City. Proceeds from the race will benefit The Pat Summitt Foundation and Alzheimer's research.

Although the race has boomed from 100 runners in its first year to an expected 800 at this year's event, the Forget Me Not 5K's origin story is somewhat "unconventional," race director Angela Wampler said.

"My daughter, while home from college for summer, had a dream," Wampler said. "In her dream, she and I were running a 5K – which we often do. She looked at my shirt and it said 'The Forget Me Not 5K for Alzheimer's.' My mom has the disease. So we decided to act on her dream."

Before joining forces with Summitt, the race took place twice and donated proceeds to the Cole Neuroscience Center, a research institute for Alzheimer's research. But upon hearing of Summitt's early onset dementia, the race gained a new focus.

"After Pat was diagnosed, we thought it was a perfect partnership to work with her foundation to fight this dreaded disease," Steve Harrelson, another of the race's coordinators, said.

On race day, there will be a pre-race party as runners arrive and sign in. Refreshments will be provided both before and after the race. Wampler said the event is followed by a party including a disk jockey and door prizes such as signed basketballs.

"Fingers crossed Pat will be there," Wampler said. "She is our hero and needs our help to fight this fight against such a fierce opponent."

For more information and to register for the race, www.forgetmenot5k.com.

Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Opens Pat Summitt Exhibit

The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, located inside the Bridgestone Arena, has announced a new, permanent Pat Summitt Exhibit that will open on Friday, the first day of activities at the 2014 NCAA Women's Final Four.

The Nashville Local Organizing Committee (NLOC) is providing free admission to the Pat Summitt Exhibit from April 4th-8th, allowing basketball fans to experience the new exhibit during their time in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Pat Summitt Exhibit will feature memorabilia, photos, videos and interactive displays highlighting the former women’s college basketball coach.
Now serving as head coach emeritus of the Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team, Coach Summitt holds the most all-time wins for a coach in NCAA basketball history of either a men’s or women’s team in any division.

She coached from 1974 to 2012, all with the Lady Vols, winning eight NCAA national championships, second only to the record 10 titles won by UCLA men’s coach John Wooden.

She is the only coach in NCAA history, and one of three college coaches overall, with at least 1,000 victories.

“Pat Summitt has been the single most influential person in women’s sports,” said Bill Emendorfer, executive director, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. “As a native Tennessean, her roots and values run deep with the heritage of this great state. It seems fitting to open the Pat Summitt Exhibit during the Women’s Final Four. The exhibit offers a unique opportunity to follow this Tennessee legend from her youth to her career as both a player and coach. It will be an opportunity to catch a glimpse of how Coach Summitt rose from a Tennessee farm girl to a national legend.”

The Pat Summitt Exhibit at the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame will open to the public on Friday, April 4th from 10:00am to 5:00pm.

The exhibit will also be open; Saturday, April 5th, 9:00am to 5:00pm, Sunday April 6th, 10:00am to 9:30pm. (Game Night), Monday April 7th, 10:00am to 5:00pm, and Tuesday, April 8th, 10:00am to 10:00pm. (Game Night).

“Our NLOC decided early in the process that we needed to leave our community with a lasting legacy of celebrating women’s basketball and women’s athletics. Working closely with the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, we committed to opening this Pat Summitt exhibit in Nashville during Final Four week. What better way to celebrate Tennessee’s own Coach Pat Summitt than with 30,000 basketball fans,” said Margaret Behm, co-chair, Nashville Local Organizing Committee. “Coach Summitt changed women’s basketball in this state and in our country and we are proud to be a part of this living legacy that celebrates her amazing career.”

The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame is located inside the Bridgestone Arena, 501 Broadway in Nashville. For more information, visit www.tshf.net.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Tyler Summitt Names Mickie DeMoss Associate Head Coach

Mickie DeMoss

RUSTON, La. - It didn't take Tyler Summitt long to make a splash as the sixth head coach of the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters.

During the noontime press conference at the Jarrell Room of the Charles Wyly Athletic Center, Summitt announced that he has hired former Lady Techster Mickie DeMoss as his associate head coach.

With the hire, Summitt adds a 35-year veteran of the collegiate coaching ranks and someone that he is very familiar with from her 20 years as an assistant and associate head coach at the University of Tennessee.

“I am very excited to have Mickie as our associate head coach,” Summitt said. “Mickie has always been family to me so it is only fitting that she joins us back here with the Louisiana Tech family. I respect Mickie and see her not only as a friend but a mentor, and I will be relying on her expertise moving forward.”

DeMoss is widely known by the Louisiana Tech faithful as she was a player on the inaugural Lady Techster team in 1974 and lettered for the first three years of the program’s existence.

“I am very excited about coming back to Louisiana Tech, particularly coming with Tyler,” DeMoss said. “I believe in his ability to get things going again at Tech and re-establish the tradition. I believe in the program at Tech and what has been accomplished in the past. In my heart I believe that we can get a very competitive program back at Louisiana Tech. I am also very excited about being back close to my family.”

DeMoss spent the past two years as an assistant coach with the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, helping guide the franchise to the 2012 WNBA championship. She was a part of six national championships and 12 Final Four teams at Tennessee before reviving the Kentucky Wildcats program where she was named the 2006 SEC Coach of the Year during her four years as the head coach.

Her coaching career also includes a three-year stint as an assistant coach to Gail Goestenkors at Texas.

During a span from 1985-86 to 2002-03, DeMoss helped lead the Lady Vols to six national titles and 12 trips to the Final Four. DeMoss took the coaching reins at Kentucky for the 2003-04 season and later spent time at Texas before returning to Rocky Top in 2010-11.

During her first 18 seasons at UT, the Lady Vols amassed a 554-77 (.878) overall record. DeMoss was promoted to associate head coach in 2000, but stepped aside three years later to lead her own program.

In four seasons at Kentucky, she guided the Wildcats to a 71-56 record including consecutive 20-win seasons and three postseason appearances (one NCAA and two WNIT).

The 2006 SEC Coach of the Year honor was a first for a UK coach, as she guided the 22-9 Wildcats to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven seasons and punctuated the trip with an NCAA win. The breakout year also included a victory over No. 1-ranked Tennessee, 66-63, in front of a school-record crowd of 13,689 at Rupp Arena. It marked the first win over a top-ranked team in UK history. In 2006-07, Kentucky was 20-14 and advanced to the WNIT. That season, DeMoss' Cats attracted a school record attendance of 5,863 fans per game.

She elected to step aside as head coach at Kentucky in April 2007, but her coaching hiatus ended when she accepted an assistant coaching position at the University of Texas in the summer of 2007. She was the Longhorns' top recruiter while also coaching the post game.

Over the past three decades, DeMoss has cemented a reputation as one of the country’s most elite coaches. A survey of the nation's NCAA Division I women's head basketball coaches tabbed her as the top assistant in the country in 2000. She also garnered that distinction from a 1998 The Women's Basketball Journal poll.

While at UT, DeMoss was considered a great technical mind, floor coach and entertainer. Off the court, she was regarded as one of the best recruiters in the college game, year after year recruiting future All-SEC and All-America award-winners, while stockpiling rosters with the kind of players essential to winning national championships.

Some of DeMoss' most notable recruits at Tennessee include: Tonya Edwards, the 1987 Final Four MVP, Dena Head, the 1992 SEC Player of the Year, Chamique Holdsclaw, the 1996 and 1997 Final Four MVP, and Tamika Catchings, a four-time All-American and current star of the Fever.

Noted for her success coaching post players, DeMoss protégés have represented Team USA in every Olympic Games since 1992.

Prior to joining the Tennessee staff in 1985, DeMoss had been an assistant coach at Auburn University (1983-85), a head coach at the University of Florida (1979-83) and an assistant at Memphis State (1977-79).

DeMoss received her undergraduate degree in physical education from Louisiana Tech University in 1977, where she starred at point guard. She then received her master's degree in education at Memphis State University in 1979. She is a native of Tallulah, La.

For complete coverage of Lady Techster Basketball, please follow @LATechWBB on Twitter and visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.

Tyler Summitt Introduced as Louisiana Tech Head Coach

Summitt becomes 6th head coach in program history



RUSTON, La. - When Tyler Summitt was introduced Wednesday as the sixth head coach in Louisiana Tech women's basketball history, it wasn't the first time that the 23-year-old had been to Ruston.

Tyler, the son of legendary Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt, followed the Tennessee Lady Vols and his mother to the Thomas Assembly Center numerous times during the course of one of the greatest rivalries in the history of the women's game.

"As I grew up as a part of the Tennessee Lady Vols program, everything on and off the floor was geared towards competing against Louisiana Tech," Tyler said. "The Lady Techsters were the standard in which excellence in women's basketball was measured for so long. I am proud to be a part of this storied program."

Louisiana Tech Athletics Director Tommy McClelland made a bold hire that could pay huge dividends for a Lady Techster program that ranks second all-time in wins (1,043), trailing only Tennessee.

Tyler's challenge is to rebuild the storied program back into a conference contender and annual NCAA Tournament participant. Tech's 27 NCAA Tournament appearances ranks fourth all-time although the Lady Techsters have not made an appearance since 2011.

"Tyler represents our philosophy of developing champions in the classroom, on the court and in life," McClelland said. "He grew up in that championship culture, and it is all he knows. His reputation as a great recruiter, a rising young star in the coaching business and a passionate leader is known throughout the nation. We are fortunate to have him lead our women's basketball program into the future."

He replaces Teresa Weatherspoon, who recorded a 99-71 record over the past five-plus seasons. Weatherspoon guided Tech to postseason appearances during her first three seasons, including a pair of NCAA Tournaments, before failing to qualify for the postseason over the past three years.

"(My wife) AnDe and I are grateful and humbled for the opportunity to become a part of the Louisiana Tech Family," Tyler said. "I am honored to lead our women's basketball team, which is an absolute gem in the women's game with an incredible tradition. To our Lady Techster fans, AnDe and I look forward to getting to know you all very soon. I am excited to help every member of our program be the best that they can be through our five standards: belief, family, character, competition, toughness."

Tyler spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Marquette University under head coach Terri Mitchell where he oversaw the team's offense while overseeing skill development for every position. He also served as the scouting coordinator.

"Tyler Summitt is an amazingly talented individual with tremendous character and leadership skills that will unquestionably propel him to success in life," said Louisiana Tech President Les Guice. "I am absolutely thrilled to have him leading our Lady Techsters basketball program and am confident that he can return our program to national prominence."

His hiring has already brought positive reaction from some of those closest to the Lady Techster program.

"I really respect and appreciate the commitment that President (Les) Guice and Tommy McClelland have shown to this program with this hire," said Louisiana Tech head coach emeritus Leon Barmore. "They have put the Lady Techster program in the forefront. I met with Tyler. What I found out in the 45 minutes we spent together was that he truly respects this program. We certainly respect him and his family. In time he will prove to be an outstanding head coach. I know he is 23 years old, but he has been coaching since he was one. I really like the direction we have gone. I think this is a really good hire. I am fired up about it."

In addition to his coaching duties in the collegiate ranks, Tyler is also a co-founder and board member of The Pat Summitt Foundation, participates in public speaking engagements and is active in church with his wife.

"It is a special day for our family, and especially for Tyler, as he is given the reigns to one of the most storied programs in women's basketball," said Pat Summitt. "We are excited about the opportunity he has been given and are grateful to Tommy McClelland and Dr. Leslie Guice for having faith in Tyler. He has been preparing for this day since he was a little boy, and I can assure you he will work very hard and will represent Louisiana Tech University with class. I'm sure Tyler is ready to get busy, and I know he and AnDe look forward to becoming part of the Louisiana Tech family and the Ruston community."

He graduated from the University of Tennessee Chancellor's Honors Program where he was a member of the Tennessee men's basketball team for two seasons, learning from Cuonzo Martin and Bruce Pearl.

"Tyler is one of the brightest young minds in college basketball," said Pearl, who recently accepted the head men's job at Auburn. "Tyler is so wise beyond his years, understands the game and has a proven system. I would hire him at Auburn if it weren't for this head coaching opportunity at LA Tech."

Tyler also served as a student assistant coach for his mother and the Tennessee women's basketball program. He was actively involved in the 2007 through 2009 seasons for the Tennessee women, two of which resulted in national championships.

He was the head coach of numerous AAU teams in Tennessee, including the Tennessee Fury 17U who went on to win the State Championship. He has also been a head coach at the Pat Summitt, Cuonzo Martin and Bruce Pearl Summer Camps from 2005-2011.

"Tyler told me, `There's only one environment I know. That is a championship environment, and I will bring that to practice, to work and to games every single day,'" said Mitchell, his former head coach at Marquette. "He absolutely delivered on that promise. He's going to be a star in our profession."

Tyler married his high school sweetheart, Anne Dennis ("AnDe") Ragsdale Summitt, on June 1, 2013.

His hiring is pending the approval of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.

For complete coverage of Lady Techster Basketball, please follow @LATechWBB on Twitter and visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.

What Others are Saying about Tyler Summitt

Tommy McClelland, Athletics Director at Louisiana Tech

"Tyler represents our philosophy of developing champions in the classroom, on the court and in life. He grew up in that championship culture and it is all he knows. His reputation as a great recruiter, a rising young star in the coaching business and a passionate leader is known throughout the nation. We are fortunate to have him lead our women's basketball program into the future."

Dr. Les Guice, Louisiana Tech President

"Tyler Summitt is an amazingly talented individual with tremendous character and leadership skills that will unquestionably propel him to success in life. I am absolutely thrilled to have him leading our Lady Techsters basketball program and am confident that he can return our program to national prominence."

Pat Summitt, Tennessee Lady Vols Head Coach Emeritus (and Tyler's mom)

"It is a special day for our family, and especially for Tyler, as he is given the reigns to one of the most storied programs in women's basketball. We are excited about the opportunity he has been given and are grateful to Athletic Director Tommy McClelland and University President Dr. Leslie Guice for having faith in Tyler. He has been preparing for this day since he was a little boy, and I can assure you he will work very hard and will represent Louisiana Tech University with class. I'm sure Tyler is ready to get busy, and I know he and AnDe look forward to becoming part of the Louisiana Tech family and the Ruston community."

R.B. Summitt II, Tyler's Dad

"It is such a humbling but exciting moment. We are proud for Tyler and for Louisiana Tech. I think we can mark down this day as exceptional, a date to be remembered, sort of like your child's birthday: the emotions, the expectations, the hopes of a new beginning. Tyler has been praying, planning and building for just such a wonderful opportunity. There aren't enough words to thank Louisiana Tech University and all the loyal fans. I know you have hired a winner and great days are ahead.

Leon Barmore, Louisiana Tech Lady Techster Head Coach Emeritus

"I really respect and appreciate the commitment that President (Les) Guice and (Athletics Director) Tommy McClelland have shown to this program with this hire. They have put the Lady Techster program in the forefront. I met with Tyler (Monday). What I found out in the 45 minutes we spent together was that he truly respects this program. We certainly respect him and his family. In time he will prove to be an outstanding head coach. I know he is 23 years old, but he has been coaching since he was one. I really like the direction we have gone. I think this is a really good hire. I am fired up about it."

Joan Cronan (Women's Athletic Director Emeritus for the University of Tennessee)

"When combining the tradition of LA Tech with the potential of Tyler Summitt, I think you have a winning combination. I have literally known Tyler since birth, and I have been impressed with his maturity and work ethic from an early age. Tyler possesses many wonderful qualities, but the three I most admire are his character, communication skills and Christian values. This hire reflects the tradition of excellence of women's basketball at LA Tech."

Bruce Pearl (Head Coach for Auburn Men's Basketball)

"Tyler is one of the brightest young minds in college basketball. Tyler is so wise beyond his years, understands the game and has a proven system. I would hire him at Auburn if it weren't for this head coaching opportunity at LA Tech."

Billie Moore (Former Head Coach for US Olympic Team, UCLA, Cal. State-Fullerton)

"Tyler has a special gift. He has a talent for teaching, a unique perspective of seeing and understanding the concepts and strategies of the game. Tyler is great with people; he is a tremendous communicator and a natural leader - things that have nothing to do with age. Quite simply, he has `it' and there is absolutely no question in my mind that he will be a successful head coach."

Cuonzo Marton (Head Coach for Tennessee Men's Basketball)

"Tyler has a tremendous work ethic and has the basketball knowledge. All his life he's been around the best that ever coached the game so he understands what it takes."

Terri Mitchell (Head Coach for Marquette Women's Basketball)

"Tyler told me, `There's only one environment I know. That is a championship environment, and I will bring that to practice, to work and to games every single day.' He absolutely delivered on that promise. He's going to be a star in our profession."

Danielle Donehew (Associate Commissioner for Women's Basketball at The American Athletic Conference)

"Tyler Summitt has a talent that is rare to find at any age. His basketball IQ includes lessons from many of our game's legends. He is committed to the student-athlete, excellence, discipline and his family. Tyler is a born leader and will be a successful head coach. I am certain Tyler will leave his fingerprints on our game in his own special way."

Dave Hart (Athletic Director for University of Tennessee)

"Tyler Summitt is a rising star in the coaching profession. He is mature well beyond his years as a young professional. He has superb knowledge of the game of basketball, is a tireless recruiter who connects with prospects and players alike and his passion will galvanize every key University constituent."

Click here to watch the press conference.

Listen to the press conference.




Photos from the press conference. Click to view larger image.




  


  


  


  


  


  

Pat Summitt in Finals of ESPN Radio Coaches Bracket Contest

The Vols and Lady Vols may be out of the NCAA Tournament, but now you can help at least one Vol legend top a national bracket.

Pat Summitt is in the finals of ESPN Radio's "Coaches Bracket" contest.

She's matched up against Penn State football legend Joe Paterno, but as of Wednesday afternoon, Coach Summitt is trailing.

Click here to cast your vote.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Coach Pat Summitt Honored at Great Ladies Luncheon

Celeb: The Lady Vol and winningest coach in NCAA history took time out from March Madness to visit Washington on Tuesday, where she lunched with some of the city’s most fashionable donors.

Cause: Prevention and a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation honored Summitt, calling her “an inspiration to us all,” for her work with her own foundation, which she founded in 2011 after announcing she had been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s.

The Scene: The elegant ballroom of the Ritz Carlton in Foggy Bottom. Lunching ladies wearing Chanel and Dior spring coats tasted avocado gazpacho before watching a fashion show featuring the feminine creations of London-based designer Erdem Moralioglu, who flew in for the event, which was co-sponsored by Saks. The fourth annual luncheon, held in honor of philanthropist Estelle Gelman who died from the disease, featured favorite touches of the George Washington University benefactor: orchid centerpieces and fine chocolates. Pearls from former First Lady Barbara Bush and a nine-week-old Shih-Tzu puppy (another love of Gelman’s) were two of the dozen door prizes that inspired checkbooks to fly out of designer purses, helping meet the foundation’s goal of raising $50,000.

Sound bite: Summitt, who rarely makes appearances as her condition has progressed, greeted the crowd with her former player, Michelle Marciniak, at her side. “I believe that God’s plan for this amazing woman was only half realized at the end of her coaching career.” Marciniak told the crowd. “And this time she has a much bigger stage, from impacting hundreds of thousands on the sidelines, to now influencing millions through Alzheimer’s. The thing I admire the most about my coach is the public way that she is dealing with this incredibly life threatening disease.” Summitt followed the heart-felt praise, saying “every day is a day that I want to be there.”

La Tech Hires Tyler Summitt as Women's Basketball Coach

Louisiana Tech has hired Tyler Summitt, the son of former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, to take over the Lady Techsters.

The university has scheduled the formal introduction for the 23-year-old Summitt on Wednesday at noon.

Summitt will become only the sixth coach of Louisiana Tech's storied women's basketball program.

He'll succeed Teresa Weatherspoon, who was fired after this season, her fifth at the helm.

Summitt, who'll turn 24 in September, has not yet been a head coach in his fledgling career. He's spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Marquette.

He does have pedigree on his side, though. His mother coached Tennessee for 38 seasons, led the Lady Vols to eight national titles and is in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Middleton, Nared at McDonald's All-American Game

For the third-straight season, the Tennessee women's basketball program is being represented by a pair of signees competing in the McDonald's All-American Game.

Alexa Middleton of Murfreesboro, Tenn., will wear No. 23 for the East, and Jaime Nared of Portland, Ore., will don No. 30 for the West, as the 13th-annual girls game is contested Wednesday night at the home of the Chicago Bulls, the United Center. Tip is 7 p.m. Eastern/6 Central on ESPNU.

Current UT freshmen Mercedes Russell and Jordan Reynolds played for the victorious West squad in 2013, with Russell collecting the game's MVP honors. The addition of Middleton and Nared to the Big Orange roster next season will give head coach Holly Warlick seven McDonald's All-Americans in a 13-player lineup that also includes 6-1 wing signee Kortney Dunbar of Edwardsville, Ill. (Edwardsville H.S.), a MAAG nominee from her state.

Middleton, a 5-foot-9 guard from Riverdale High School, already turned heads in Chicago on Monday night, becoming the first player in the history of the event to win both the three-point shootout and the skills competition.

In the skills competition, Middleton successfully made every pass and the jump shot on her first attempt to finish the course in 27.9 seconds. She won by 4.3 seconds over Duke signee Sierra Calhoun.

The TSSAA Class AAA Miss Basketball winner and nation's No. 28 player according to espnW HoopGurlz, Middleton then won the three-point shooting competition over UCLA signee Recee' Caldwell and Texas signee Brooke McCarty. Middleton drained nine treys in a row at one point during the shootout.

Besides the four players previously mentioned as McDonald's All-Americans, Cierra Burdick, Bashaara Graves and Ariel Massengale are veterans of the game. Tennessee's departing senior, Meighan Simmons, also played in the contest prior to coming to Rocky Top.

Including the newest participants, Tennessee has had 25 all-time McDonald's All-Americans.

AP Names Simmons, Harrison To Honorable Mention All-America Team

Tennessee women's basketball players Meighan Simmons and Isabelle Harrison were named to the All-America Honorable Mention Team by the Associated Press on Tuesday.

Simmons, a 5-9 senior from Cibolo, Texas, picked up her third national accolade from AP. She was a third-team selection a year ago and honorable mention as a freshman. Harrison, a 6-3 junior from Nashville, Tenn., received the first national recognition of her career.

In her final season as a Lady Vol, Simmons averaged 16.5 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.2 steals per contest in helping lead the Lady Vols to a 29-6 record, SEC Tournament title and NCAA Sweet 16 appearance. She was named 2014 SEC Player of the Year by Associated Press after earning it from the coaches the year before and was chosen All-SEC First Team by both AP and the league's coaches for the second season in a row.

Simmons also added Louisville Regional All-Tournament accolades on Tuesday night. She scored 31 points in UT's contest vs. Maryland on Sunday afternoon.

Simmons shot 41.6% from the field, 36.0% from the three-point line and 83.2% from the free throw stripe. She scored 20 or more points on 10 occasions in 2013-14, 30 or more three times and has led Tennessee in scoring on 15 occasions. She finished fifth in career scoring at UT with 2,064 points.

Harrison averaged 13.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per contest and shot 57.7% from the field. The center recorded 18 double-doubles this season to rank first in the league, and that total places her No. 1 all-time among Lady Vol juniors and No. 2 among all Lady Vols in any class behind Candace Parker (21 as sophomore).

She set a UT record with seven consecutive games of posting double-doubles and also had another stretch with four in a row. Harrison scored in double figures in 31 of 35 games and had 20 contests with 10 or more rebounds. With her final 2013-14 numbers, she ranked ninth in single-season rebound average and her 326 rebounds ranked as the eighth-best single-season total in school history.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Plans Pat Summitt Exhibit

The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame announced a permanent Pat Summitt
exhibit that will open Friday, the first day of activities for the
2014 NCAA Women's Final Four.

The Pat Summitt exhibit will feature memorabilia, photos, videos and
interactive displays highlighting the former women's college
basketball coach.

The Nashville Local Organizing Committee is providing free admission
to the exhibit, which is located inside Bridgestone Arena, from Friday
through April 8.

Now the head coach emeritus of the Lady Vols, Summitt is the all-time
winningest coach -- men's or women's -- in NCAA basketball history. Her
eight NCAA national championships are second-most only to the record
10 titles by UCLA men's coach John Wooden. She is the only coach in
NCAA history, and one of three college coaches overall, with at least
1,000 victories.

"Pat Summitt has been the single most influential person in women's
sports," said Bill Emendorfer, executive director of the Tennessee
Sports Hall of Fame. "As a native Tennessean, her roots and values run
deep with the heritage of this great state. It seems fitting to open
the Pat Summitt Exhibit during the Women's Final Four. The exhibit
offers a unique opportunity to follow this Tennessee legend from her
youth to her career as both a player and coach. It will be an
opportunity to catch a glimpse of how Coach Summitt rose from a
Tennessee farm girl to a national legend."

The exhibit will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday; and
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. April 8.

"Our NLOC decided early in the process that we needed to leave our
community with a lasting legacy of celebrating women's basketball and
women's athletics. Working closely with the Tennessee Sports Hall of
Fame, we committed to opening this Pat Summitt exhibit in Nashville
during Final Four week. What better way to celebrate Tennessee's own
Coach Pat Summitt than with 30,000 basketball fans," said Margaret
Behm, co-chairwoman of the Nashville Local Organizing Committee.
"Coach Summitt changed women's basketball in this state and in our
country and we are proud to be a part of this living legacy that
celebrates her amazing career."

Sunday, March 30, 2014

NCAA Tourney Regional Semifinal (Sweet 16): 4 Seed Maryland 73, 1 Seed Tennessee 62

Alyssa Thomas scored a career-high 33 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as fourth-seeded Maryland upset No. 1 seed Tennessee 73-62 on Sunday in the Louisville Region semifinal.

The Terrapins (27-6) reached their ninth regional final and first since 2012. They did it against a program the Terps had beaten only four times previously and never before in the NCAA tournament. Maryland improved to 5-10 against Tennessee (29-6) with a little revenge for their previous tournament loss in the 1989 Final Four.

The Lady Vols' self-titled "GrindFor9" in their chase for a ninth national championship is over. They will miss the Final Four for a sixth straight season. This hurts even more with the national championship game being played April 8 in Nashville just 179 miles from their home in Knoxville.

Meighan Simmons scored 31 points for Tennessee.

Thomas scored the most points allowed to a single player by Tennessee this season, and she also extended her school record with her 65th career double-double. Lexie Brown added 14 points, Laurin Mincy had 11 and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough 10.

Maryland will face either Louisville or LSU on Tuesday night with a trip to the Final Four at stake. The Terps haven't been back there since winning the national championship in 2006.

Jasmine Jones also had 11 points for Tennessee, which had won 15 of its last 16 games. Andraya Carter covered her face with her jersey, while another Lady Vol walked off with a towel over her head.

Maryland coach Brenda Frese waved to the pep band as she went to the locker room with a couple of hugs along the way in celebration.

The Terrapins trailed only once at 3-2 before taking control for good using a 13-2 spurt. Maryland dominated inside with a 38-28 scoring edge in the paint, and the Terrapins also outrebounded Tennessee 38-28. The only place the Lady Vols dominated was at the free-throw line, hitting more there (20 of 27) than from the floor (19 of 53).

Maryland led 41-27 at halftime, the biggest deficit Tennessee had faced all season. The Lady Vols rallied from double digits in each of their games to win the Southeastern Conference tournament title, but they found themselves needing the biggest comeback for this program since Jan. 3, 2009, when they beat Rutgers after trailing by 23.

The Terrapins pushed their lead to as much as 18 when Thomas scored to put the Terrapins up 51-33 with 12:11 left. Tennessee finally put together its best stretch of the game but couldn't get closer than eight with Simmons scoring 17 in the second half trying to spark the rally. Each time the Lady Vols scored, Maryland, or rather Thomas, responded with bucket after bucket.

When Thomas didn't score, she had the assist on a nice pass to Mincy for a big 3-pointer with 5:16 remaining to put Maryland back up 65-53.

The Lady Vols can blame themselves though for a sloppy game with 22 turnovers, too many of them unforced mistakes where they simply lost the ball. Maryland turned those into 19 points.

Monday, March 24, 2014

NCAA Tourney Second Round: 1 Seed Tennessee 67, 8 Seed St. John's 51

The type of scoring drought that bothered St. John's much of the season ended up knocking the Red Storm out of the NCAA tournament.

After tying the game early in the second half, St. John's sputtered the rest of the way and fell 67-51 to Tennessee in a second-round game Monday night. St. John's shot 5-of-24 overall and 5-of-11 from the free throw line and committed 13 turnovers in the second half.

"This has been a thing all year," St. John's coach Joe Tartamella said. "We struggle. We go through droughts. We couldn't have big droughts in these types of games. Unfortunately they did a nice job of creating some of those droughts for us in the second half."

Tennessee, the top seed in the Louisville Regional, advanced to a regional semifinal Sunday against the winner of Tuesday's game between No. 4 seed Maryland and No. 5 seed Texas. St. John's (23-11) was seeking to reach the regional semifinals for the second time in three years.

Cierra Burdick had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Lady Vols (29-5). Meighan Simmons scored 17 points as Tennessee won for the 15th time in their past 16 games. Isabelle Harrison had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Aliyyah Handford scored 23 points for the eighth-seeded Red Storm.

Burdick credited Tennessee's defensive intensity in the second half for allowing the Lady Vols to take over the game.

"I think in the beginning of the season, we let our offense dictate our defense," Burdick said. "That's why we weren't successful sometimes. I think we've really become smarter. We know that defense and rebounding are going to win us basketball games. At first, we just would say it because it was the right thing to say, but now we actually believe it."

Tennessee has followed a similar formula in each of its first two NCAA tournament victories. The Lady Vols were tied with Northwestern State early in the second half Saturday before rolling to a 70-46 victory.

"It's always a dogfight for us, and I really don't know why," Tennessee coach Holly Warlick said. "It could be so much easier."

St. John's stayed close much of the way thanks largely to Handford, a sophomore All-Big East guard. The Red Storm erased an early 11-point deficit and tied the game at 39 when Handford sank a pair of free throws with 16:59 left.

"She's going to continue to grow," Tartamella said. "She's got a chance to probably be one of the most talented players -- if not the most -- that we've ever had in our program."

Tennessee regained the lead 36 seconds later on a Burdick putback, and the game slowed to a crawl from there. The two teams combined for 10 points in the first 9 minutes, 22 seconds of the second half, as neither offense could get out of its own way.

But the Lady Vols gradually took control by relying on their superior size and stifling defense. Tennessee outscored St. John's 14-5 in second-chance points and 36-22 in points in the paint.

"It's frustrating because we worked so hard all season to put ourselves in this position," St. John's guard Danaejah Grant said. "Then, to get kind of quote-unquote bullied in the post is frustrating because we feel like we have just as much talent as they do, but not as much height."

Simmons scored eight points during a 16-2 spurt that turned a 43-41 advantage into a 59-43 runaway. Nobody other than Handford scored for St. John's in the second half until Amber Thompson finally made a basket with 5:20 left in the game.

"They were basically doing what they were doing in the first half," Grant said. "We just got a little lackadaisical in our passes, which led to easy steals, a couple of turnovers that they were able to convert on. They were able to get a couple offensive rebounds with easy putbacks. That's really where the game changed. We limited their offensive rebounds in the first half, but in the second half we weren't able to shut them down."

Saturday, March 22, 2014

NCAA Tourney First Round: 1 Seed Tennessee 70, 16 Seed Northwestern State 46

Isabelle Harrison scored 12 points and sparked a game-changing 12-0 run as No. 1 seed Tennessee withstood an ailing head coach and a lethargic first-half performance to beat Northwestern State 70-46 in its NCAA tournament opener.

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick missed the Lady Vols' morning shootaround with what school officials described as a case of food poisoning. Warlick rejoined the team for the game, but she had an IV port in her left hand during the first half and sat on an orange stool while assistant coach Kyra Elzy stood and shouted instructions.

Warlick stood throughout the second half and was much more animated as Tennessee gradually pulled away for its 14th win in its last 15 games.

Northwestern State (21-13), trying to become the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed since Harvard stunned Stanford in 1998, forced a 22-22 tie early in the second half before the Lady Vols (28-5) scored 12 straight points to seize control.

After shooting just 22.6 percent (7 of 31) in the first half, Tennessee shot 58.1 percent (18 of 31) the rest of the way.

Meighan Simmons and Mercedes Russell each scored 12 points for Tennessee, which utilized its prohibitive size advantage to outrebound Northwestern State 47-27. Trudy Armstead had 12 points and Beatrice Attura had 11 for Northwestern State.

Tennessee, the only team to reach the tournament every year since the NCAA started running the event in 1982, improved its record in NCAA tournament home games to 53-0.

The only time the Lady Vols haven't advanced beyond the second round of the tournament was 2009, when they fell to Ball State in a first-round game. But the Lady Vols will have to play better than they did in the first half of Saturday's game to assure they get past the second round this year.

After making five of their first six shots to grab an 11-2 lead, the Lady Vols went 2 of 25 the rest of the first half and were clinging to a 22-20 lead at the intermission. Tennessee made just two baskets in the last 16 minutes of the first half. The Lady Vols had no baskets and four total points in the final eight minutes of the half.

This continued a recent pattern of slow starts by Tennessee. The Lady Vols won the Southeastern Conference tournament title only after erasing double-digit deficits in each of their three games.

Northwestern State never led Saturday, but the Lady Demons did tie the game 22-22 on a basket from 5-foot-2 guard Janelle Perez with 18:43 left. Tennessee responded with its 12-0 run and never trailed again.

Cierra Burdick started the spurt by sinking a jumper with 18:18 remaining. Harrison scored six points later in the run as Tennessee held Northwestern State scoreless for nearly five minutes.

The Lady Vols were wearing white uniforms with neon orange lettering (which I hated - hideous) for the first time this season. The Tennessee men's team had worn similar uniforms for its regular-season finale against Missouri and for an SEC tournament victory over South Carolina this season.

Legend Pat Summitt Becomes Honorary Founder of WomenAgainstAlzheimer's

WomenAgainstAlzheimer's – the first national network of women in leadership positions working to speed the pace of research and build real momentum to end Alzheimer's disease – today announced that Pat Summitt, head coach emeritus of the University Tennessee Lady Volunteer basketball team, will be joining the organization as an honorary founder.

"Who better to join this battle than Pat Summitt, an outspoken Alzheimer's advocate and incredible woman who knows a thing or two about winning?" said Trish Vradenburg, Founder of WomenAgainstAlzheimer's. "We are thrilled and grateful that Pat will be a member of our team, which is working hard to bring Alzheimer's out of the shadows and on to the national stage."

Alzheimer's has a disproportionate effect on women, who represent nearly two-thirds of Americans with the disease and 70 percent of caregivers.

"I am excited to stand with WomenAgainstAlzheimer's and humbled to serve as an honorary founder. My son, Tyler, and I founded The Pat Summitt Foundation to fight Alzheimer's disease shortly after my diagnosis in 2011. My fight is not only a personal one, but one for all those battling Alzheimer's disease…recognizing the majority fighting this disease are women," said Pat Summitt. "Working together strengthens our efforts to find a cure. Together We Will Win!"

One in three seniors in the United States is impacted by Alzheimer's or some form of dementia, and ten percent of victims are between the ages of 40 and 65. This disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, and the only one in the top ten with no known preventative treatment or cure. The number of Americans with the disease is projected to triple by 2050 – from 5.2 million to more than 13 million – unless we find a treatment or cure.

"Pat's contributions to Alzheimer's advocacy in Tennessee and nationwide have been impressive and meaningful," said Betty Ann Tanner, Trustee with the University of Tennessee System, which includes the UT Health Science Center in Memphis, and WomenAgainstAlzheimer's Founder. "The joint force of the committed female advocates in our network and The Pat Summitt Foundation's tireless efforts in the fight against Alzheimer's will continue to drive this movement forward."

Sunday, March 09, 2014

SEC Tournament Final: No. 6 Tennessee 71, No. 12 Kentucky 70

Meighan Simmons scored 17 points, including two go-ahead free throws
with 1:45 remaining, and No. 6 Tennessee edged 12th-ranked Kentucky
71-70 on Sunday to win another SEC tournament championship.

Simmons, who struggled with her shooting from the field throughout the
tournament, made the two free throws to snap a 63-63 tie. The free
throws gave the Lady Vols (27-5) only their second lead of the second
half, and they didn't trail again as Simmons added a layup and two
more free throws in the final 22 seconds.

Isabelle Harrison had 16 points as Tennessee claimed its record 17th
Southeastern Conference tournament title, including four in the last
five years.

Kentucky (24-8) played in its fourth final in the last five years but
still hasn't won the tournament since 1982. DeNesha Stallworth led the
Wildcats with 21 points.

The Wildcats trailed by four before Jennifer O'Neill sank three free
throws with 0.7 seconds remaining to cut Tennessee's lead to one
point. The Lady Vols' only had to pass the ball inbounds before
launching their celebration with hugs at midcourt.

Simmons, the senior guard who ranked sixth in the SEC with her average
of 16.2 points in the regular season, struggled in the Lady Vols'
first two games in the tournament, making only 8 of 36 shots from the
field (22.2 percent). She made only six of 18 shots against Kentucky.

Jordan Reynolds had 11 points for Tennessee.

Tennessee needed yet another comeback to continue its dominance in the
tournament.

The Lady Vols rallied from a 15-point deficit in Friday's 77-65 win
over LSU in the quarterfinals and then trailed by 10 points early in
Saturday's 86-77 semifinal win over No. 15 Texas A&M.

Tennessee again faced a double-digit deficit after another slow start
against the Wildcats, who led 18-8.

Linnae Harper, who had 12 points, scored nine of the Wildcats' 11
points in a 12-2 run that built the 10-point lead.

Kentucky led 38-32 at halftime. Tennessee cut the lead to one point
four times in the first 10 minutes of the second half before finally
taking a 52-51 lead on two free throws by Harrison, following a hard
foul by Kentucky's Samarie Walker. Tennessee fans howled in protest
after Walker pushed Harrison to the floor.

The Wildcats quickly reclaimed the lead when Stallworth, left alone at
the top of the circle, hit a rare 3-pointer. Stallworth, the 6-foot-3
forward, made only four 3s during the regular season.

Tennessee pulled even at 59-all on Reynolds' three-point play.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

SEC Tourney Semi: No. 6 Tennessee 86, No. 15 Texas A&M 77



For the second game in a row, Tennessee rallied from a double-digit first half deficit to comeback for a victory in the SEC Tournament. On Saturday, the second-seeded Lady Vols trailed by as many as 10, but came away with a 86-77 victory over third seed Texas A&M at The Arena at Gwinnett Center.

Tennessee advances to the SEC Championship game for the 22nd time in the 35-year history of the tournament. The Lady Vols are seeking their 17th SEC Tournament Championship. The Lady Vols will take on Kentucky, the fourth-seed, an upset winner over #1 seed South Carolina, 68-58. Tennessee has won the last six championship games it has played in, dating to 2005.

This is also the eighth time Tennessee has finished second in the SEC regular-season standings and in all eight instances, Tennessee won the SEC Tournament Championship.

Sunday's Championship game will tip at 3:30 p.m., and air on ESPN and the Lady Vol Network.

In Saturday's comeback win, the Lady Vols (26-5) were down by 10 twice in the first half. But they showed similar grit and hustle with that `we will not be denied' attitude, which was on display Friday, when they rallied from down 15 to beat LSU by 12 in the SEC Quarterfinals.

Isabelle Harrison led the Lady Vols with 20 points and 13 rebounds for her 17th double-double of the season. Meghan Simmons notched 15 points as she made 8-of-10 from the foul line to clinch the game. Bashaara Graves tallied 14 points. Cierra Burdick added nine points and 10 rebounds for her third game in fourth with double-figure rebounds.

Freshmen Mercedes Russell (11 points and 6 rebounds) and Jordan Reynolds (9 points) had major impacts off the bench in the second half.

Texas A&M's `Courtneys' headed up the Aggies' offense as Courtney Walker (26) and Courtney Williams (22) combined for 48 points. Texas A&M is now 24-8.

The game featured 11 ties and 10 lead changes.

The second half was a back-and-fourth affair. With the score tied at 75 with less than four minutes to go, Tennessee scored seven consecutive points to take an 82-75 lead as A&M missed five consecutive shots. Harrison put Tennessee up 77-75 with 3:04 remaining. Graves knocked home a jumper 40 seconds later. Simmons nailed three free throws to put the Lady Vols up 82-75 with 1:21 left in the game.

Tennessee finished the game scoring 11 of the game's final 13 points to return to the title game.

The Lady Vols dominated the glass, outrebounding the Aggies, 48-26.

Tennessee rallied in the first half to lead, 39-38, at intermission in a fast-paced first half. Williams (13) and Walker (10) combined for 23 first-half points for the Aggies. Harrison topped the Lady Vols' scoring chart with 10.

Down 23-13 after a Williams' jumper with 10 minutes left in the half, Tennessee used a 13-3 run to tie the game at 26 all on a layup by Graves with 5:19 prior to halftime.

Five consecutive points by Tennessee gave the Lady Vols a 36-33 lead on a 3-point play by Mercedes Russell and a Harrison jumper in the final minutes as UT took the lead into intermission.

Friday, March 07, 2014

No. 6 Tennessee 77, LSU 65

Isabelle Harrison scored 21 points, Meighan Simmons and Bashaara
Graves each added 14 and No. 6 Tennessee used an overpowering late run
to beat LSU 77-65 in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference
tournament on Friday night.

The second-seeded Lady Vols (25-5) have won five straight and 11 of
12. Tennessee will face the Texas A&M-Auburn winner in the semifinals.

Theresa Plaisance finished with 21 points and Danielle Ballard scored
15 for LSU (19-12). The Lady Tigers, seeded 10th, have lost seven of
eight.

Tennessee's 19-0 run late in the second half made it 70-55 lead on
Simmons' two free throws, but the game's first 35 minutes were tough
on the fifth-leading scorer in school history.

Simmons, who had averaged over 22 points in the previous three games,
was just 3 for 16 from the field before her reverse layup from the
baseline ended a fast break to force a 55-all tie.

Harrison followed with a runner over Plaisance to make it 57-55 and
give the Lady Vols their first lead since 4-3 and bring the large
contingent of cheering Tennessee fans to their feet at the Gwinnett
Arena.

With 12 rebounds, Harrison recorded her 16th double-double this season.

Tennessee finished second in the SEC regular season to No. 5 and
top-seeded South Carolina, a 67-48 winner over Georgia.

Trailing 4-0, LSU went on a 27-8 run, ending with Jeanne Kenney's
third 3-pointer, to take a 15-point lead with 9:29 left in the first
half.

Plaisance had 14 points to help the Lady Tigers take a 34-22 lead, but
Tennessee closed to within six at halftime.

The Lady Vols chipped away at the lead before Cierra Burdick's layup
forced a 43-all tie.

LSU coach Nikki Caldwell called timeout to try and settle down her
team, and Plaisance followed with a 15-footer on the ensuing
possession and a straightaway 3 that made it 48-43 with 11:54
remaining.

But the Lady Tigers couldn't overcome getting outscored 52-18 in the
paint and 25-5 on turnovers.

LSU also struggled with inconsistent shooting. After beginning the
game 10 for 16, the Lady Tigers missed 27 of their next 37 shots.

Tennessee junior point Ariel Massengale missed her 11th straight game
since getting hit in the face during a 20-point win over Florida on
Jan. 23. She sat on the bench, but was not expected to play this
weekend.

Burdick had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Award to be Named for Pat Summitt

The WBCA National Coach of the Year Award has been named in honor of former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt.

Summitt retired in April 2012 after winning a career-best 1,098 games and leading the Lady Vols to eight national titles and 18 Final Four appearances in 38 seasons.

The 61-year-old Summitt stepped down after announcing her diagnosis of early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. She still serves as Tennessee's head coach emeritus.

Summitt was named National Coach of the Year by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association in 1983, '95 and '98. The Lady Vols won 16 Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament titles under Summitt.

The SEC tournament began Wednesday night at the Gwinnett Arena. No. 6 Tennessee, the tournament's second seed, will play the Alabama-LSU winner on Friday.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

2014 SEC Women’s Basketball Awards Announced

The Southeastern Conference announced its 2014 women’s basketball postseason awards Tuesday.

Coach of the Year: Dawn Staley, South Carolina
Player of the Year: Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina
Freshman of the Year: Alaina Coates, South Carolina
Co-Defensive Players of the Year: Martha Alwal, Mississippi State / Jordan Jones, Texas A&M
Co-6th Players of the Year: Jennifer O’Neill, Kentucky / Alaina Coates, South Carolina
Scholar- Athlete of the Year: Lianna Doty, Missouri

First Team All-SEC
Tyrese Tanner, Auburn
Jaterra Bonds, Florida
Theresa Plaisance, LSU
Martha Alwal, Mississippi State
Bri Kulas, Missouri
Aleighsa Welch, South Carolina
Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina
Meighan Simmons, Tennessee
Isabelle Harrison, Tennessee

Courtney Walker, Texas A&M

Second Team All-SEC
Jessica Jackson, Arkansas
Shacobia Barbee, Georgia
Jennifer O’Neill, Kentucky
DeNesha Stallworth, Kentucky
Tia Faleru, Ole Miss
Valencia McFarland, Ole Miss
Alaina Coates, South Carolina
Courtney Williams, Texas A&M
Jasmine Lister, Vanderbilt
Christina Foggie, Vanderbilt

All-Freshman
Ashley Williams, Alabama
Jessica Jackson, Arkansas
Brandy Montgomery, Auburn
Ronni Williams, Florida
Linnae Harper, Kentucky
Raigyne Moncrief, LSU
Breanna Richardson, Mississippi State
Alaina Coates, South Carolina
Andraya Carter, Tennessee

All-Defensive
Tyrese Tanner, Auburn
Hasina Muhammad, Auburn
Shacobia Barbee, Georgia
Martha Alwal, Mississippi State
Elem Ibiam, South Carolina
Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina
Jordan Jones, Texas A&M

Sunday, March 02, 2014

No. 9 Lady Vols 73, No. 4 South Carolina 61

Meighan Simmons' final regular-season home game in Knoxville was a success as the #9 Lady Vols topped #4 South Carolina, 73-61.

Tennessee clinched the No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament with the victory over the regular-season champion Gamecocks, who will have the No. 1 seed in Duluth later this week.

The Lady Vols finish the regular-season 24-5 overall and 13-3 in the league while the Gamecocks head to the postseason after suffering their third loss (26-3) and their second conference defeat (14-2).

Tennessee will play on Friday at 6 p.m., against the winner of the Seed 7 vs. Seed 10 game, which will be played on Thursday.

The Lady Vols' lone senior, Simmons, tallied 16 points as Tennessee posted the wire-to-wire victory -- their 11th of the season.

Isabelle Harrison notched her 15th double-double of the season with a game-high 20 points and game-best 15 rebounds.

Redshirt freshman Andraya Carter also scored in double-figures with 14 points.

South Carolina was led by Aleighsa Welch, who had 16 points and nine rebounds. Tiffany Mitchell added 11 points and Alaina Coates chipped in with 10.

The Lady Vols committed just seven turnovers and out-rebounding South Carolina, 48-39, led by Harrison's monster game.

Harrison scored the game's first six points and Tennessee maintained the lead the rest of the way. The Lady Vols led by as many as 11 in the first half on a Harrison layup with two minutes left. Tennessee held a 38-30 advantage at halftime.

In the second half, Tennessee continued to hold South Carolina at bay. The closest the Gamecocks got was within six points on a Coates jumper with 8:42 left in the game, making it 53-47.

After SC, cut it to a two possession game, the Lady Vols scored the next six points and held a double-figure lead for the final eight minutes of the game.

Simmons knocked down a pair of jumpers to put Tennessee up 59-47 with 6:28 left and the game was never in doubt from there.

Tennessee overcame a 2-of-10 day from 3-point range and a rough start at the foul line. The Lady Vols missed all four of their first-half free throws and started 5-of-12 before making their final eight from the charity stripe to seal the game.

Again, Tennessee will play Friday at 6 p.m., against the winner of the 7-10 game.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

No. 10 Lady Vols 72, LSU 67

Meighan Simmons highlighted a 31-point performance with a clutch 3-pointer in the final minute, and No. 10 Tennessee held off LSU, 72-67, on Thursday night after the Lady Tigers had erased a 21-point halftime hole.

Simmons hit five 3s in all and also made a couple free throws to help seal the victory for the Lady Vols (23-5, 12-2 Southeastern Conference), who won for the ninth time in 10 games.

Cierra Burdick added a career-high 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Isabelle Harrison 11 points and 11 rebounds for Tennessee, which had to rescue the victory after allowing LSU to tie the score with 3:28 to go.

Jeanne Kenney scored 17 of her 21 points in the second half, including two 3s and the tying free throws during LSU's late 10-0 run. Theresa Plaisance added 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Lady Tigers, who've lost five straight.

Trailing by 42-21 at halftime, LSU managed to make the game far more competitive over the final 20 minutes.

Plaisance, who'd started 2 of 10 form the field, hit a pair of 3s early in the second half, the first capping a 7-0 run to start the period.

Kenney got more involved in the offense as well, and her second 3 of the half pulled LSU to 59-52 with 5:53 left. Kenny pumped both arms at her side as the crowd rose to its feet. Two possessions later, Kenney burried another 3 from the right corner, and DaShawn Harden's steal of Andraya Carter's pass and fast-break layup gave the Lady Tigers eight straight points to make it a one-possession game at 59-57 with 4:35 still left.

Kenney completed the comeback, tying the score on two free throws with 3:28 to go.

Simmons free throws broke the tie a minute later, and her 3 with 57 seconds left made it 68-63.

Tennessee had a 10-point lead just more than 4 minutes into the game when Burdick's 3-point play on a layup as she was fouled made it 12-2. The lead was up to 20 when Simmons's third 3-pointer of the half made it 28-8.

LSU struggled in seemingly all areas during the opening 20 minutes, when the Lady Tigers shot 22.2 percent (6 of 27), turned the ball over 11 times and were outrebounded 26-14.

By halftime Tennessee appeared to be in complete command. Simmons had 19 points, eclipsing her average of 15.7 points per game, and Burdick has 15, nearly double her average of 8.3 points. Tennessee, meanwhile, had shot 50 percent (17 of 34) as a team, never trailed and took its 21-point lead into halftime.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

No. 10 Tennessee 56, Missouri 50

Meighan Simmons scored 20 points and Mercedes Russell grabbed 11
rebounds to help No. 10 Tennessee edge Missouri 56-50 on Sunday.

Simmons' steal and breakaway layup with 11:50 remaining capped a 22-5
run to give the Lady Vols (22-5, 11-3 SEC) a 43-27 lead, but Missouri
clawed back to within 50-47 on Bri Kulas' layup with 1:22 left.

Tennessee's Isabelle Harrison then converted two free throws with 34.7
seconds to go and two more with 11.4 seconds left to end Missouri's
chances. Kulas added a 3-pointer just before the buzzer.

Kulas finished with 22 points and Morgan Eye added 15 for the Tigers
(16-11, 5-9), who only trailed by one point at halftime despite
shooting 2 of 14 from 3-point range before the break.

The schools met for the first time since Missouri upset then-No. 9
Tennessee 80-63 on Feb. 3, 2013. Officials announced attendance at
5,017, the highest this season for Missouri.

Missouri, which ranks third in the country and first in the SEC with
9.5 3-pointers per game, missed its first nine 3s before Kayla
McDowell's long-range attempt connected 9 ½ minutes into the game.

Only four players scored for the Tigers, who finished 7 of 32 from
3-point range.

Eye gave the Tigers their first lead of the game with 3:30 remaining
before the break, hitting her first 3-pointer in six attempts to give
Missouri a 22-21 advantage. She finished short of her 18.4-point
average, good for second in the SEC.

Missouri's lead lasted only 22 seconds, though, as Mercedes Russell
converted a layup and Andraya Carter added another to give Tennessee a
23-22 halftime edge. The Lady Vols then started the second half on a
18-5 run before Eye ended the run with a 3-pointer with 11:19 left.

Tennessee committed 10 turnovers in the first half and six more in the
second after placing special emphasis on holding onto the ball in
practice following a 22-turnover performance against then- No. 18
Kentucky two games ago. That game resulted in a 75-71 loss,
Tennessee's only setback in their last nine games.

Simmons scored the Lady Vols' first eight points of the game in 2:39,
but tallied two more points in the half off a layup 12 minutes later.
She finished 6 of 16 from the field while Bashaara Graves joined her
in double figures with 11 points.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

No. 10 Lady Vols 93, Auburn 63

Auburn couldn't slow down Tennessee's Meighan Simmons until it was too
late to matter.

Simmons scored 26 points and sparked an early 19-0 run Thursday night
to continue her career-long mastery of Auburn in the 10th-ranked Lady
Vols' 93-63 victory. Simmons, a 5-foot-9 guard, averaged 26.5 points
in Tennessee's two victories over Auburn last season.

"(I'm) very happy she's a senior," Auburn coach Terri
Williams-Flournoy said. "I'll look forward to watching her in the
pros."

Simmons scored 25 points in the game's first 21:42. She made 10 of her
first 15 shots Thursday before missing her last seven attempts with
the game well out of reach.

After the game, Simmons struggled to pinpoint the reason for her
history of success against Auburn.

"No explanation," Simmons said. "I just try to come out and play hard.
It's not ever about me. It's really about the team. I just want to do
whatever I can to kind of help the team win, just do my role and pay
attention to what I need to do out there on the floor and just be a
leader."

Tyrese Tanner scored 15 points for Auburn (14-12, 5-8 SEC). Tra'Cee
Tanner had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Brandy Montgomery scored 12 and
Hasina Muhammad added 10.

Cierra Burdick added 19 points and seven rebounds for the Lady Vols
(21-5, 10-3). Andraya Carter had 12 points. Isabelle Harrison added 10
points and 11 rebounds.

Tennessee has won 23 of its last 25 games in this series. Auburn has
lost 16 straight road games to Tennessee since winning 71-68 in
Knoxville on Jan. 9, 1988.

Auburn has lost two consecutive games since capping a three-game
winning streak last week with a 68-62 road upset of Vanderbilt, which
was ranked 16th at the time. Tennessee bounced back from a 75-71 home
loss to No. 15 Kentucky -- ranked 18th at the time of their Sunday
meeting -- and avoided its first two-game skid of the season.

"We knew they would be angry and upset coming off the loss, and they
would be ready to go against their next opponent, which just so
happened to be us," Williams-Flournoy said.

The Lady Vols were coming off a 22-turnover performance against
Kentucky. The Lady Vols spent the week emphasizing the importance of
taking care of the ball against Auburn, which entered the night with
an SEC-leading 11.2 steals per game in league competition.

"We are a pressing team," Williams-Flournoy said. "We cause turnovers
against some of the best teams in the SEC. That is who we are."

As it turned out, Auburn's turnovers proved more costly.

Tennessee broke open a 13-11 game by going on a 19-0 run during which
Auburn committed five turnovers in a 6 1/2-minute stretch. Tennessee
outscored Auburn 29-10 in points off turnovers.

"We weren't really thinking about what we could do with them," Carter
said. "We just wanted to play Lady Vol basketball, and that ended up
forcing turnovers because when we're all playing hard and all playing
together, that's the result."

Simmons scored Tennessee's last 10 points during the 19-0 spurt. She
also scored seven straight points during the closing minutes of the
first half. She capped that flurry by converting a midcourt steal into
a fast-break layup. By halftime, Simmons had 19 points to help
Tennessee take a 54-33 advantage.

Simmons added a pair of 3-pointers in the first two minutes of the
second half. She scored just one more point the remainder of the game,
but the Lady Vols still led by as many as 38 and ended up with their
largest margin of victory in an SEC game this season.

After Simmons sank a 3-pointer to give Tennessee a 57-35 lead early in
the second half, Williams-Flournoy called a timeout with 18:54
remaining to try finding some way to slow her down the rest of the
night.

"We couldn't let her go off for 40 tonight," Williams-Flournoy said.

That was about the only measure in which Auburn succeeded Thursday.