Tennessee State falls 94-43 to No. 3 Lady Vols

Save Story
Leer en español

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee State appreciates the opportunity to face Southeastern Conference teams, even if it means being on the wrong end of a lopsided score every now and then.

That's what happened Tuesday when the Lady Tigers fell 94-43 to No. 3 Tennessee in a game that was as big of a mismatch as the final score indicated.

"I think you learn from skilled athletes," Tennessee State coach Larry Joe Inman said. "It is like anything else, especially the SEC, which is an up league, a great league, and a national prepping league year in and year out. Those are some of the things that we are aspiring to take our program to. Some people laugh at that right now, but the bottom line is that if we don't aspire to that right now, then we will never get that opportunity to be there. That is why we are doing what we are doing, and that is why we are trying to teach our kids how to play at a higher level."

Tennessee State will test itself against an SEC opponent again Friday when it faces Florida. The Lady Tigers (3-8) lost 77-61 at Mississippi on Nov. 24.

"We might as well be in the SEC with the schedule we are playing," Inman quipped.

Tennessee State had won its last two games by double digits, over North Florida and NAIA program Martin Methodist, but the Lady Tigers were facing an entirely different level of competition Tuesday.

A look at the rosters underscored the challenge facing Tennessee State.

Tennessee State didn't have a single starter taller than 6 feet. Six of Tennessee's 10 players are 6-2 or taller. The height discrepancy clearly bothered Tennessee State, which shot 14 of 74 overall and 1 of 22 from 3-point range.

"It is very difficult, especially when you get to the cup," said Tennessee State guard Rachel Allen, a 5-5 junior who led the Lady Tigers with 12 points. "I had to either try and get contact or do the little floater that I like to do. It is challenging but it prepares me for my league in the (Ohio Valley)."

Bashaara Graves scored 17 points to lead five Lady Vols in double figures as Tennessee improved its record to 10-0 for the first time since its 2007-08 national championship season. Graves made all six of her shots from the floor and was 5 of 6 from the free-throw line.

Meighan Simmons added 13 points for Tennessee. Cierra Burdick, Isabelle Harrison and Russell had 12 points apiece.

All nine of Tennessee's healthy players scored at least six points. A facial injury prevented Jasmine Jones from playing against Tennessee State, though Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick expects the sophomore forward back for Saturday's game at No. 6 Stanford.

"We definitely wanted to come out and play Lady Vol basketball," Burdick said. "That's something we've been struggling with in past games, playing down to our competition. We can't do that. We've got to come out and play to our potential every single night. That's the sign of a great team."

Tennessee sprinted to a 14-1 lead in the first four minutes and never looked back. The Lady Tigers missed 23 of their first 26 shots and trailed 42-9 with 6 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

"I didn't think we shot the ball very well, but I feel like they had something to do with that, too, especially around the basket with their height," Inman said. "I was very proud of our kids' effort. I thought they had a tremendous effort."

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Most recent College stories

Related topics



    From first downs to buzzer beaters, get KSL.com’s top sports stories delivered to your inbox weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast