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Lady Skyhawks top Murray State 99-85

Lady Skyhawks top Murray State 99-85

Posted on 02 February 2015 by Allen


The University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team had to look no further than Ashia Jones as the standout sophomore tied the program’s single-game scoring record with a 44 point performance to down Murray State 95-85 on Saturday evening.

The Skyhawks (13-9, 9-0 OVC) pushed their unbeaten streak to nine games, just one win shy of tying the program’s best start in school history. Three players scored in double figures for the Skyhawks while the team shot 49.3 percent from the floor. Jones became the third player in program history to score 44 points, joining the dynamic duo of Heather Butler (twice) and Jasmine Newsome in the record books.

The night marked the first 40-point performance for Jones while notching the sixth game this season with 30 points or more. Jones was joined in double figures by Jessy Ward with 17 points while Tiara Caldwell notched her fifth consecutive game in double figures with 15 points.

Murray State (5-17, 0-9 OVC) saw four players score in double figures, led by the play of Julia Fox who tallied 20 points. Keiona Kirby was close behind with 19 points while LeAsia Wright (18 points) and Netanya Jackson (11 points and 10 rebounds) filled up the stat sheet for the Racers.

The Skyhawks would waste little time taking control of the game, jumping out to a 13-3 run before the first media timeout. The duo of Jones and Ward would combine to score 11 of the team’s 13 points during the run.

The Racers would finally snap the run at the 15:33 mark off a three-pointer from Fox. Back-to-back three-pointers by Wright and Fox within 40 seconds would trim the lead to 17-12 with just over 13 minutes to play in the first. Another jumper by Wright and a pair of free throws by Ajee Smith would get the game as close at one point, capping off a 10-0 run for the Racers.

Another trifecta by Ward would snap the Racers run following the second media timeout. The Skyhawks would proceed to outscore the Racers 12-4 over the following four minutes of play, seeing the trio of Jones, Ward and Chelsea Roberts all contribute offensively during the span.

A 6-0 run for the Skyhawks would be snapped by Ke’Shunan James’ eighth point in the previous 10 minutes. The margin would stick at six points but a personal foul in conjunction with a technical on James would balloon the lead to 10 points following two free throws by Haley Howard and a jumper by Karisma Tyson.

Back-to-back three-pointers by Ward and Katie Schubert along with a jumper by Jones would give the Skyhawks a 15-2 run and a 19 point lead in the final minutes of play. UT Martin would take a 47-31 lead into the break as Jones led all scorers with 18 points while Ward tossed in 14 points as well. Wright led Murray State with 10 points at the break while Fox and James tallied eight points each.

Murray State would outscore the Skyhawks in the opening four minutes of the second half, due in large part to back-to-back three-pointers by Fox from the left wing. Taking a 6-0 run by Fox into the first media, the Skyhawks were outscored 15-12 during the span including nine points from Jones to reach the 20 point plateau for the 11th time in the last 13 contests.

The Racers would outscore the Skyhawks 20-19 over the following few minutes as well, as three players moved into double figures for the home squad as Kirby, Fox and Wright all had 17 points at the under-eight media timeout. Jones would also tally her sixth 30 point outing of the season during the span as well.

The Skyhawks would outscore the Racers 12-10 over the ensuing media break, seeing Jones become just the fourth player in school history to reach the 40 point plateau and first since Butler accomplished the feat on March 1, 2014 against Austin Peay.

A free throw shot by Wright with 40 seconds to play would cap off the night’s scoring as UT Martin picked up the 95-85 victory. The win is the Skyhawks ninth consecutive victory.

UT Martin will return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 4 at Austin Peay. Action from the Dunn Center is scheduled to tipoff at 7 p.m.

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Mercedes Russell Expected To Redshirt

Mercedes Russell Expected To Redshirt

Posted on 22 August 2014 by Allen

Lady Vols

Tennessee women’s basketball head coach Holly Warlick announced Thursday that 6-foot-6 sophomore center Mercedes Russell is expected to redshirt during the 2014-15 season.

“Mercedes has a history of orthopaedic problems with her feet that our sports medicine staff is working to correct,” Warlick said. “Redshirting this season will allow her the opportunity to return to full health and still have three full years of eligibility with our program. We look forward to seeing Mercedes back in action next season.”

As a freshman in 2013-14, the native of Springfield, Ore., saw action in all 35 games, starting five times. She averaged 6.3 points and 5.0 rebounds, and she led the Lady Vols in blocks with 40 and in field goal shooting accuracy at 59.6 percent.

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DeShields leaves UNC for Lady Vols

DeShields leaves UNC for Lady Vols

Posted on 13 June 2014 by Allen

Lady Vols

The consensus 2014 women’s basketball national freshman of the year is relocating to Rocky Top, Tennessee head coach Holly Warlick confirmed on Thursday afternoon.

Six-foot-one guard Diamond DeShields, who averaged 18.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game as a rookie at North Carolina in 2013-14, has signed an SEC Grant In Aid and will begin attending classes during the second session of summer school on July 3. She will have to sit out the 2014-15 season per NCAA transfer rules and has three seasons of eligibility remaining, beginning with the 2015-16 campaign.

“We’re very excited to announce that Diamond DeShields is joining the Tennessee family,” Warlick said. “She’s experienced, athletic and passionate, and she has a great knowledge of the game. Diamond has been highly successful at every level of basketball, and her impact on our program will be immediate.”

DeShields shot 42.6 percent from the field and 77.6 percent from the free throw line for the Tar Heels in 2013-14, setting four Atlantic Coast Conference freshman marks, including points (648), field goals (248), field goals attempted (582) and double-figure scoring games (32). She helped UNC reach the NCAA Elite Eight and finish with a 27-10 record and No. 7 ranking in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll.

The daughter of former Lady Vol track & field All-American Tisha (Milligan) DeShields and former Major League Baseball player Delino DeShields was named 2014 ACC Rookie of the Year and was a member of the All-ACC First Team, ACC All-Freshman Team and All-ACC Tournament Team.

At the national level, she was named the Full Court, espnW and U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) National Freshman of the Year, was an honorable mention All-American by Associated Press and Full Court and was on Full Court’s Freshman All-America First Team.

“This is the place I’ve dreamt of since I was a little girl, just being here and playing here at Tennessee,” DeShields said. “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, who hails from Norcross, Ga., was the No. 2-rated high school player in the 2013 All-Star Girls Report and was No. 3 in the HoopGurlz-espnW 100. She was named 2013 high school girls player of the year by USA TODAY, Naismith and the WBCA and was named an All-American by McDonald’s as well as by Parade, USA TODAY and the WBCA.

She scored a school-record 2,324 points during her career at Norcross High School and averaged 26.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.5 steals and 3.8 assists as a senior in leading NHS to its third state title in four seasons.

“Of course, I’ve always seen her being here at Tennessee,” said Tisha DeShields. “It wasn’t until she developed her craft and skill in basketball – it could have been tennis or a number of things – but I’ve always seen here her. Fortunately, it was basketball, and I just knew she was going to be a Lady Vol.

“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. 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. I feel like she’s found her place, on The Summitt.”

DeShields is UT’s first transfer from a four-year school since Michelle Marciniak arrived from Notre Dame and sat out the 1992-93 season. Tennessee returns nine of 10 players from a squad that finished 29-6, won the SEC Tournament, finished second in the SEC regular season standings and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the 32nd time in school history.

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Monique Jackson chooses Skyhawks after leaving Ole Miss

Monique Jackson chooses Skyhawks after leaving Ole Miss

Posted on 23 May 2014 by Allen


The University of Tennessee at Martin head women’s basketball coach Kevin McMillan has announced the addition of transfer Monique Jackson, a 6-1 forward from Ole Miss to the 2014 recruiting class. Jackson will have one year of eligibility for the Skyhawks.

“I am really excited about adding Monique to this recruiting class,” said McMillan. “Monique is a great athlete who is very strong and physical. She is a banging post player that loves to rebound and plays incredibly hard. She is a great young lady and an even better teammate.”

Jackson, a native of Phenix City, Ala., played in 23 games for the Rebels last season, finishing the year averaging 2.3 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. She had her best game of the season on Jan. 19 when she posted a career-high 11 points at Arkansas. Against OVC rival Austin Peay she tallied 10 rebounds after posting a three block outing at South Alabama earlier in the season.

During her career at Ole Miss, Jackson was named the team’s Most Improved player her sophomore season after seeing action in all 29 games and finishing the year by averaging 3.9 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. That season she scored a season-best eight points on four occasions while recording a career-high 13 rebounds in a win at Florida.
Jackson came to Ole Miss via Central Phenix City High School where she ranked as the 42nd best post player in the 2011 signing class by ESPN. She was a two-time Bi-City Player of the Year and was named the No. 1 senior in Alabama by the Birmingham News.

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Maryland tops Lady Vols in Sweet Sixteen

Maryland tops Lady Vols in Sweet Sixteen

Posted on 30 March 2014 by Allen

Lady Vols

Tennessee’s season came to a close with a 73-62 loss to #4 seed Maryland on Sunday in the Sweet 16 at the KFC Yum! Center. The Lady Vols finished 2013-14 with a 29-6 record. Maryland (27-6) advances to the Elite Eight.

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 at the KFC Yum! Center.
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Lady Vols top South Carolina 73-61

Lady Vols top South Carolina 73-61

Posted on 02 March 2014 by Allen

Lady Vols

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

The first half was a non-stop sprint with both teams shooting well, often through tough defense. The Lady Vols opened up an 8-2 lead before the Gamecocks got their feet under them with an 8-2 run with all eight points coming from Welch and Tiffany Mitchell. The home team answered with a 6-0 run to take a 16-10 lead just six minutes into the game.

While the track meet continued, neither team could put together another substantial run. The difference for Tennessee came from outside the arc, where Andraya Carter hit a pair after the Gamecocks defended well throughout the shot clock. The last of her 3s came just ahead of an Isabelle Harrison bucket that stretched the Lady Vols’ lead to 38-27 with 2:00 remaining in the half. Neither team could connect down the stretch, controlling the defensive glass, but Welch ended the half on a high note for the Gamecocks, hitting a tough jumper in the lane and the resulting free throw with five seconds remaining to make it a 38-30 game at the break.

The Gamecocks got good looks to open the second half, but struggled to finish around the basket, and the Lady Vols were all over the defensive boards. South Carolina continued to work, but could not put together consecutive baskets to cut into Tennessee’s lead. A deep 3-pointer from Asia Dozier at the end of the shot clock brought the Gamecocks within seven at 52-45, and, after Jasmine Jones hit just one of two free throws, Alaina Coates’ putback made it a six-point deficit with 8:41 on the clock.

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.

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.

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

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Lady Vols beat LSU 72-67

Lady Vols beat LSU 72-67

Posted on 28 February 2014 by Allen

Lady Vols

The LSU women’s basketball team attempted to mount one of those comebacks of epic proportions against the No. 10 Tennessee, but the 21-point first half margin was just too large a hill to climb as the Lady Vols escaped with the 72-67 decision Thursday at the Maravich Center.

Meighan Simmons (31 points) and Cierra Burdick (career-high 22 points) combined for 53 points including 34 in the first half as Tennessee was doubling the Lady Tigers at intermission, 42-21.

Tennessee moved to 23-5 overall and 12-3 in the SEC. LSU, meanwhile, stands at 19-10 and 7-8 in the SEC as the Lady Tigers have lost five games in a row.

Isabelle Harrison posted her 14th double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Burdick also had a double-double, as she corralled 10 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season.

The Lady Vols gained a measure of revenge as LSU upset then-#5 Tennessee on Jan. 2 in Knoxville, 80-77. This win was the 50th as a head coach of Holly Warlick, against just 13 losses in two seasons at the helm of the Lady Vols.

Down by 21 after 20 minutes, LSU battled all the way back to tie the game at 59 all on a pair of free throws from Jeanne Kenney with 3:28 left in regulation.

Kenney (17 of her team-high 21 points in the second half) keyed the comeback as LSU chipped away with a slow pace of play throughout the second half. Theresa Plaisance had a double-double for LSU with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

The Lady Vols kept their composure and Simmons and Burdick each converted a pair of free throws to regain a two possession lead for the Lady Vols, 63-59 with 2:15 left in the game.

Simmons canned a 3-pointer with 57 seconds left in the game to put Tennessee ahead 68-63. That bomb gave Simmons her third career 30-point game and sealed the win for the Lady Vols.

Burdick knocked down two more free throws with 32.9 seconds left to put UT up 70-64. Andraya Carter blocked a Rina Hill shot with 22 seconds left for the final exclamation point for Tennessee.

The Lady Vols posted their 10th wire-to-wire win of the season, but in very unconventional fashion, fending off LSU, which trailed by double-figures for the final 14 minutes of the first half.

LSU ended up outscoring Tennessee, 46-30, in the second half.

The Lady Vols lead 42-21 at the half. Tennessee dominated the first half, taking a 30-10 lead less than 13 minutes into the game. Simmons (19) and Burdick (15) combined for 34 of UT’s 42 points. Tennessee out rebounded LSU, 26-14 in the first half and limited the Lady Tigers to just six field goals and 22.2 percent from the floor.

Tennessee closes its regular-season on Sunday as SEC regular-season champion South Carolina comes to Knoxville. That game tips at 2:30 p.m., and airs on ESPNU and the Lady Vol Network.

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Lady Vols beat Auburn 93-63

Lady Vols beat Auburn 93-63

Posted on 20 February 2014 by Allen

Lady Vols

#10 Tennessee used a 19-0 run in the first half to blow open a close game on the way to topping Auburn, 93-63 on Thursday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The Lady Vols moved to 21-5 overall and 10-3 in the SEC while Auburn dropped to 14-12 and 5-8 in the league. Tennessee has now won seven in a row in the series as well as 16 in a row in Knoxville vs. the Tigers. The Lady Vols are 39-10 all-time vs. Auburn and 19-2 in Knoxville, winning every game since 1990.

Senior Meighan Simmons tallied 26 points as she moved to seventh on the career scoring list (1,891), passing former teammate Shekinna Stricklen (1,882).

Junior Isabelle Harrison tallied 10 and grabbed 11 rebounds for her 13th double-double this season.

Two other Lady Vols scored in double-figures as Cierra Burdick scored 17 and Andraya Carter chipped in with 12.

The 30-point margin of victory was the largest for the Lady Vols SEC this season.

The win was the ninth wire-to-wire victory of the season and fourth in SEC play.

Auburn was led by Tyrese Tanner, who had 15. Sister Tra’Cee Tanner had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Two other Tigers also scored in double-figures as Brandy Montgomery (12) and Hasina Muhammad (10).

Tennessee held a narrow two-point lead with 14 minutes left in the first half, 13-11. But, the Lady Vols blew open the game scoring 19 consecutive points over a span of five minutes to take a 32-11 lead with 8:35 left in the first half. A Simmons 3-pointer capped the spurt giving her 10 points in the stretch.

The Lady Vols led 54-33 at halftime, matching their second-most points in a first half this season (Tennessee State). UT tallied a season-best 62 in the first half of a 110-42 win over Lipscomb on Dec. 29.

Simmons had 19 points in the first half on 8-of-13 shooting.

Tennessee continued to pour in the points in the second half, outscoring the Tigers, 39-30.

The largest margin of the game was 38 on a Burdick free throw with six minutes left. That put UT ahead, 91-53.

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Ashia Jones named Adidas Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week

Posted on 18 February 2014 by Allen


For the first time this season, freshman Ashia Jones on the University of Tennessee at Martin women’s basketball team has been named adidas Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week while also garnering Freshman of the Week honors for the fourth time.

Jones has been a key contributor to the Skyhawks who recently clinched at least a share of the OVC regular-season championship along with the No. 1 seed in the upcoming conference tournament with a pair of impressive victories over Southeast Missouri and Tennessee State. The Skyhawk scored over 100 points in each of the contests, accomplishing the feat a program record seven times this season.

A Covington, Tenn. native, Jones averaged 26 points, 11 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game for the week. Jones tied a career high with 27 points against Southeast Missouri on 10-of-11 shooting from the field while notching a personal best with 15 rebounds. She was back at it on Monday night, tallying 25 points and seven rebounds in the victory over Tennessee State.

Since entering conference play, Jones has tallied 11 consecutive games in double figures, including three straight games in which she has scored 20 points or more. This marks the fourth time in which Jones has taken home Freshman of the Week honors and while being the first Player of the Week accolade. The Skyhawks have taken home seven Player of the Week accolades while notching six Freshman of the Week honors.

Jones and the Skyhawks will be back in action on Saturday, Feb. 22 when they host OVC rival Murray State. With a victory over the Racers, the Skyhawks would clinch the OVC season title outright. Action from the Elam Center is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Students are encouraged to attend, with the first 500 students who swipe their Skyhawk card receiving an official UT Martin basketball “White Out” shirt. Additionally, all faculty and staff will receive two free reserved chair back tickets with the swipe of a faculty/staff Skyhawk card.

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SEC Offering Combo Tournament Hoops Tickets

SEC Offering Combo Tournament Hoops Tickets

Posted on 17 February 2014 by Allen


SEC fans will get a double-dose of Southeastern Conference basketball in the Atlanta area in March, and a special ticket offer is making it easier for them to enjoy all the excitement of the SEC version of March Madness.

The SEC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments will play out in 26 games over a fortnight of hoops action as the women’s tournament is played from March 5-9 at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth before men’s teams battle from March 12-16 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

A special combo ticket offer for admission to all 26 games is available for $350 until Feb. 28. That is $50 off the regular price of $100 for a women’s tournament book and $300 for a men’s tournament book. Tickets purchased through the combo offer will be located in the second level of both arenas. Combo tickets can be purchased by calling (800) 732-4849 or by visiting (click on “Tickets”).

This is the fourth time The Arena at Gwinnett Center has hosted the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, with previous trips in 2007, 2010 and 2013. The Arena at Gwinnett Center seats 10,309 for the SEC Tournament. It is located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth, Georgia, 30 minutes north of downtown Atlanta.

The women’s tournament ticket book contains seven tickets, one for each session, which allows one person to attend all 13 games. The Wednesday and Thursday sessions will be all general admission seating, first-come, first-served.

The SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament is being played at the Georgia Dome for the 11th time. The site of the 2013 NCAA Final Four, the Georgia Dome first hosted the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament in 1995. The city of Atlanta hosted the first SEC Tournament in 1933 and this season’s tournament will mark the 14th time Atlanta has hosted the event.

The men’s tournament ticket book contains seven tickets, one for each session, which allows one person to attend all 13 games. The Wednesday evening session will be all general admission seating, first-come, first-served. Therefore, fans will receive a general admission ticket in their book for Wednesday evening and a reserved ticket for all other sessions.

The winner of each 13-game tournament will receive the SEC’s automatic bid to their respective NCAA Basketball Tournaments.

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Temple 37 Vanderbilt 7 F
Alabama 33 West Virginia 23 F
Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 F
LSU 28 Wisconsin 24