28-2 run spurs #12 Lady Vols to 73-53 win at S.Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- A 28-2 run in the second half spurred #12/13 Tennessee to a 73-53 victory at #18/15 South Carolina on Thursday night. In a game that was not separated by more than five points for the first 25 minutes, Tennessee exerted its power on both ends of the floor to secure a win in its SEC opener and move to 10-3 overall. It was Holly Warlick's first win in the SEC as head coach of the Lady Vols.
Sophomore Isabelle Harrison had a monster night, as she scored a career-high tying 18 points and corralled a career-high 14 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. She also swatted a career-high seven blocks.
Four Lady Vols scored in double-figures overall as Harrison was joined by Taber Spani, who had a season-high 18 points, making 4-of-5 on 3-pointers. Ariel Massengale (13) and Meighan Simmons (10) also tallied 10-plus.
Tennessee has won every SEC opener since 1998.

South Carolina (12-2, 0-1) suffered its second loss of the season as the Gamecocks shot just 29 percent from the floor. Tiffany Mitchell scored 14 to lead USC. Ashley Bruner added 12.
Down 40-39, Tennessee scored 14 points in a row to take a commanding 53-40 lead with 11:30 left in the game.
The teams traded baskets and the lead on four consecutive possessions as Simmons' layup put UT ahead for good, 41-40 with 16 minutes left in the half. A Harrison lay-up and a pair of free throws by Simmons gave Tennessee a five-point lead at 45-40. Spani took a feed from Massengale to move the margin to seven.
A swooping layup and a jumper by Simmons extended the run to a dozen points in a row. Kamiko Williams scored the first bench points of the game -- for either team -- on a runner for UT's 13th and 14th points in a row. Tennessee led 53-40 with 11:33 left in the game.
South Carolina missed 11 field goals in a row as the Lady Vols took control of the game. Tennessee's defense kept USC off the board for 5:06.
The lead continued to grow as Spani finished a fastbreak to put the Lady Vols ahead, 59-42 with eight minutes left.
South Carolina's struggles continued as the Gamecocks made just one of 22 shots as Tennessee's run burst to 28-2 as Spani canned back-to-back 3-pointers to put UT ahead 67-42 with 4:44 left in the game.
Tennessee outrebounded South Carolina, 30-19 in the second half after grabbing just nine rebounds in the first half.
South Carolina opened the second half with consecutive baskets by Aleighsa Welch and Mitchell to take a 35-32 lead, a little over a minute into the half.
The Lady Vols held a one-point edge at halftime, 32-31, as neither team led by more than five points in the first half. Harrison had 12 points in the first half alone as Tennessee shot 55 percent from the floor. But South Carolina dominated the glass early on, holding a 21-9 rebounding advantage at intermission.
Despite the close margin throughout the first half, the game was tied just twice, at 19 and 26.
Tennessee saw its 40-game win streak vs. the Gamecocks end in last season's meeting in Knoxville. The Lady Vols now lead the all-time series 45-3.
Thursday's game was Tennessee's first without sophomore Cierra Burdick, who suffered a broken bone in her right hand on Dec. 31. The Lady Vols had just nine healthy players suited up for the game as Andraya Carter (shoulder) is also sidelined.
Tennessee returns to action on Sunday as Georgia comes calling in Knoxville. Gametime is set for 1 p.m., in a game that will be televised on SportSouth and can be heard on the Lady Vol Network.

Official Basketball Box Score
#12/13 Tennessee vs #18/15 South Carolina
01/03/13 9 p.m. at Columbia, S.C./Colonial Life Arena

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VISITORS: #12/13 Tennessee 10-3, 1-0 SEC
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
12 Graves, Bashaara.... f 2-6 0-0 5-6 1 7 8 4 9 1 3 0 1 34
13 Spani, Taber........ f 7-11 4-5 0-0 2 4 6 2 18 0 0 2 0 36
20 Harrison, Isabelle.. c 9-12 0-0 0-0 2 12 14 1 18 1 3 7 2 35
05 Massengale, Ariel... g 4-8 2-3 3-4 0 0 0 1 13 3 1 0 0 31
10 Simmons, Meighan.... g 4-14 0-3 2-2 0 3 3 2 10 4 2 1 0 35
01 Phillips, Jasmine... 0-1 0-0 1-2 1 0 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 2
02 Jones, Jasmine...... 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 8
04 Williams, Kamiko.... 2-2 0-0 0-0 1 3 4 1 4 1 0 1 1 16
21 Moore, Nia.......... 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 3
TEAM................ 1 1
Totals.............. 28-56 6-11 11-14 10 29 39 13 73 10 12 11 4 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-22 54.5% 2nd Half: 16-34 47.1% Game: 50.0% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-4 75.0% 2nd Half: 3-7 42.9% Game: 54.5% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 5-6 83.3% 2nd Half: 6-8 75.0% Game: 78.6% 2,2

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HOME TEAM: #18/15 South Carolina 12-2, 0-1 SEC
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
21 BRUNER, Ashley...... f 4-10 0-0 4-8 4 2 6 0 12 1 1 0 4 29
24 WELCH, Aleighsa..... f 3-7 0-0 0-1 3 2 5 2 6 0 1 0 0 22
02 WALKER, Ieasia...... g 4-12 2-6 0-0 1 6 7 2 10 3 4 1 0 31
20 WHITE, Sancheon..... g 3-9 0-2 1-2 3 4 7 1 7 1 1 0 0 28
25 MITCHELL, Tiffany... g 5-17 1-3 3-3 5 0 5 0 14 1 1 0 1 35
05 SESSIONS, Khadijah.. 0-1 0-1 1-2 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 0 1 9
12 MONTOUT, Wilka...... 0-2 0-1 0-0 2 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 12
31 DOZIER, Asia........ 1-7 1-5 0-0 1 1 2 0 3 0 1 0 0 17
33 IBIAM, Elem......... 0-4 0-0 0-0 0 3 3 2 0 0 0 1 0 17
TEAM................ 2 2
Totals.............. 20-69 4-18 9-16 21 19 40 9 53 6 11 2 6 200

TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-31 38.7% 2nd Half: 8-38 21.1% Game: 29.0% DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half: 3-7 42.9% 2nd Half: 1-11 9.1% Game: 22.2% REBS
F Throw % 1st Half: 4-5 80.0% 2nd Half: 5-11 45.5% Game: 56.3% 4

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Officials: Bryan Enterline, Lawson Newton, Amy Bonner
Technical fouls: #12/13 Tennessee-None. #18/15 South Carolina-None.
Attendance: 3939
Score by Periods 1st 2nd Total
#12/13 Tennessee.............. 32 41 - 73
#18/15 South Carolina......... 31 22 - 53

Points in the paint-UT 38,SC 32. Points off turnovers-UT 4,SC 8.
2nd chance points-UT 9,SC 20. Fast break points-UT 13,SC 10.
Bench points-UT 5,SC 4. Score tied-3 times. Lead changed-9 times.
Last FG-UT 2nd-01:46, SC 2nd-02:51.
Largest lead-UT by 25 2nd-04:44, SC by 3 1st-18:30.

TENNESSEE TIDBITS
• With the victory, #12/13 Tennessee extends its lead in the series, 46-3. They hold a 19-1 record against the Gamecocks away.
• South Carolina is the seventh top-25 opponent the Lady Vols have faced this year. They are now 5-2 against top-ranked teams.

FOR STARTERS
• Today's starters: Taber Spani, Bashaara Graves, Isabelle Harrison, Ariel Massengale and Meighan Simmons.
• Simmons is the only Lady Vol to start every game this season.
• Simmons was the first to score for Tennessee with a jump shot at 18:15. It is the fourth time this season she has scored the Lady Vols' first bucket of the game.
• Jasmine Jones was the first sub of the day for the Lady Vols, checking in at the 15:34 mark.

SPREADING THE OFFENSE AROUND
• Seven of the nine Lady Vols who saw action tonight scored, with Taber Spani and Isabelle Harrison leading the way with 18 points each.
• After shooting over the 50 percent mark in the first half, Tennessee finished the game shooting 50 percent from the field (28-of-56). UT was also 78.6 percent (11-of-14) from the line and 54.5 precent (6-of-11) from the 3-point range.

HARRISON HOLDING IT DOWN
• Center Isabelle Center finished the SEC opener with a career-best 18 points.
• Harrison also hauled down a team-high and career-best 14 rebounds to post the fifth double-double of her career.
• Harrison set a new career high with seven blocks. Thursday's game marked the fifth time this season she's had more than three blocks in a game.
• Her nine made field goals were also a new personal best.

SPANI MAKING IT RAINY
• The Lady Vols dominated from beyond the arc Thursday night, combining to shoot 54.5 percent on 3-pointers. Taber Spani led the way for UT with a 4-of-5 effort. Her four made threes tied her career high.
• Spani finished the night with a season-best 18 points, which also tied her career high in SEC games.
• Spani was 7-of-11 from the floor and also had six boards and two blocks.

STATS AT THE HALF
• At the half, sophomore Isabelle Harrison led the squad with a SEC-personal best 12 points. Sophomore point guard Ariel Massengale followed with eight points. Five Lady Vols made buckets in the first 20 minutes of play.
• Freshman Bashaara Graves led with five of the team's nine boards. Tennessee did not bring down one offensive rebound in the first 20 minutes of action.
• Junior guard Meighan Simmons dished out a team-best four assists, while Harrison blocked two South Carolina shots.
• The Lady Vols shot 54.5 percent from the field compared to South Carolina's 38.7 percent in the first, but the Gamecocks out-rebounded UT 21-9.
• Tennessee went 3-4 from the 3-point line as Taber Spani sunk two treys and Massengale added one. The Lady Vols also shot 83.3 percent from the line as they went 5-6 during the first half.

UP NEXT
• Tennessee returns home to Rocky Top as the Lady Vols face SEC foe Georgia on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Thompson-Boling Arena. The game will be televised on SportSouth.


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