Knoxville, TN - December 22, 2012: point guard Ariel Massengale #5 of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers during the game between Stanford Cardinals and the Tennessee Lady Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Donald Page/Tennessee Athletics
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- Taking on the No. 1 team in the nation, just days after falling at the No. 3 team, the Lady Vols battled, but fell to undefeated Stanford, 73-60 at Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday before 13,016.
Stanford moved to 11-0 overall with a powerful post presence and strong defense limiting the Lady Vols to just 31.9 percent from the floor. Tennessee made just 4-of-18 shots from 3-point range.
Tennessee (7-3) was led by freshman Bashaara Graves, who tallied 15. Graves has scored in double-figures in nine of her 10 college games. She also grabbed 12 rebounds for the fourth double-double of her career. Meighan Simmons (12), Cierra Burdick (11) and Ariel Massengale (11) also scored in double-figures.
The Lady Vols fell at third-ranked Baylor on Tuesday night, 76-53, as their seven-game win streak came to end. Tennessee is 7-3 overall for the second year in a row. Last season, UT finished 27-9 and advanced to the Elite Eight.
Chiney Ogwumike posted a double-double with 21 points and 19 rebounds. She had double-figures in both categories before halftime.
Her rebounds are the most by an opponent ever at Thompson-Boling Arena. The record of 18 was held by JoKeirra Sneed of Louisiana Tech set in 2007. Ogwumike came up two boards short of the record for most rebounds against the Lady Vols. Back on March 3, 1978 Linda Street grabbed 21 boards for Memphis State.
Five Cardinal players scored in double-figures: Amber Orrange (14 along with six assists), Tony Kokenis (11), Bonnie Samuelson (11) and Joslyn Tinkle (10).
Stanford outscored UT in the paint, 36-18, as the Cardinal shot 47.5 from the floor.
Down by as many as 19 with 15 minutes left, Massengale and Simmons converted back-to-back 3-pointers to bring UT within 10 at 65-55 with 2:27 left. But Stanford closed the game making four free throws in the final 41 seconds to seal the win.
Stanford pounded the ball inside to start the second half and used an 11-2 run to expanded its lead to 44-25 on a Mikaela Ruef layup with 15 minutes left in the game.
The Lady Vols continued to claw back. Burdick's driving layup with 10 minutes left in the second half brought UT within 10 at 50-40.
The margin was sliced to single-digits for the first time since the 9:18 mark of the first half on a Burdick free throw with 8:21 left, making it 52-43. Stanford quickly answered with the next three buckets by Ogwumike, Kokenis and Tinkle to take a 58-43 advantage with 6:40 left.
Simmons finally broke UT's drought from beyond the arc with the Lady Vols' first 3-pointer -- after they missed the first 12 -- with 6:26 left.
The Cardinal scored seven of the next nine points to go up 65-49 with 3:34.
The Cardinal built a 33-21 lead at halftime thanks to a double-double by Ogwumike (13 points, 12 rebounds) in the first 20 minutes.
Tennessee did not make a 3-pointer in the half, missing all 10 trifecta attempts. UT shot 10-of-39 (26 percent) from the floor against Stanford's towering roster.
Stanford pounded the ball in the post early on to take a 21-10 lead with 9:22 left in the first half. Stanford scored 10 of first 21 points in the paint as Ogwumike piled up nine points and 10 rebounds in the game's first 10 minutes.
Ruef finished an 8-0 for the Cardinal as it grabbed its first double-figure lead at 11.
The Lady Vols struggled to shoot the ball early on missing 23 of their first 31 shots and their first eight 3-point attempts. Stanford led 25-12 before Graves converted a 3-point play with give minutes left in the half.
UT has now lost five straight to No. 1 teams dating to its last win over a top-ranked team in 2005. The Lady Vols' last win over a No. 1 team came on March 6, 2005 as UT knocked off LSU, 67-65 in the SEC Championship game in Greenville, S.C.
Tennessee has also lost six consecutive home games against No. 1 teams dating to a 77-72 win over top-ranked Louisiana Tech on Jan. 22, 1996. Prior to last year's loss to No. 1 Baylor at home, UT had not played a No. 1 team in Knoxville since 2007 (losing to Duke 74-70).
The Lady Vols continue their three-game homestand with a pair of games next week as Davidson (Dec. 28) and Rutgers (Dec. 30) come to Thompson-Boling Arena.