UT Lady Volunteers knock off No. 10 Stanford Cardinal

Posted 12/19/16

KNOXVILLE (AP) — An unusual pregame pep talk helped Tennessee finally earn a quality nonconference win.

Diamond DeShields scored 15 points as the Lady Volunteers erased an early 11-point deficit …

This item is available in full to subscribers

UT Lady Volunteers knock off No. 10 Stanford Cardinal


KNOXVILLE (AP) — An unusual pregame pep talk helped Tennessee finally earn a quality nonconference win.

Diamond DeShields scored 15 points as the Lady Volunteers erased an early 11-point deficit to beat No. 10 Stanford 59-51 on Sunday and snap the Cardinal’s six-game winning streak.

Tennessee (6-4) had dropped its first four games against major-conference teams. Tennessee assistant coach Dean Lockwood reminded the Lady Vols how much this game meant by referring to this time of year as “hunting season.”

“He said this Stanford team is a big buck and we need to eat for the winter, (that) if we don’t kill this buck, we might starve, our family might starve and it’s going to be a long winter,” DeShields said. “He said, ‘Let’s get us a big buck.’ That was kind of our mentality going into the game.”

Tennessee guard Jordan Reynolds said Sunday’s game “absolutely” was a must win for the Lady Vols. In their four previous games against major-conference foes, the Lady Vols had fallen to Penn State, Virginia Tech, No. 3 Baylor and No. 16 Texas.

This game didn’t start out much better for Tennessee.

Stanford (8-2) took an early 15-4 lead by effectively driving to the basket and capitalizing on Tennessee’s turnover problems. Tennessee got back into the game with its defense, as Stanford struggled to score after that fast start.

“We got them down, and we didn’t keep them down,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “I thought the No. 1 thing for me looking at the game was we didn’t pass the ball. We held the ball. We didn’t move the ball. We only had six assists. ... We just need to play better team basketball.”

Tennessee went on an 11-0 run in the second quarter to pull ahead 29-25 before Stanford rallied to make it 29-all at halftime.

The Lady Vols pulled ahead for good by going on a 10-0 spurt that started late in the third quarter and carried over to the fourth period. Tennessee led by as many as 12 early in the final quarter, and Stanford never cut the margin below six the rest of the way.

Reynolds scored 14 points, Mercedes Russell had 11 points and 13 rebounds, and Jaime Nared had 10 points for Tennessee.

Erica McCall and Karlie Samuelson each scored 13 points for Stanford. Brittany McPhee added 11.

The Cardinal cooled off considerably after a hot start. After making seven of its first eight field-goal attempts, Stanford (8-2) shot just 27.8 percent (15 of 54) the rest of the way. Stanford shot 4 of 20 from 3-point range.

If Tennessee’s Reynolds can build upon this performance, it could provide some needed balance to Tennessee’s offense. Reynolds had scored just two points in each of the three games leading up to this one, but she had 11 points by halftime Sunday. Heading into Sunday’s game, the trio of Russell, DeShields and Nared had combined for 61 percent of Tennessee’s scoring.

“My coaches have been on me a lot lately, saying that I haven’t been playing like myself,” Reynolds said. “They said a couple of words that I can’t say right now, but they really got into me, telling me to be more aggressive, trying to get back to do what I do best, which is attacking.”

This marked the 1,000th win that Tennessee’s Holly Warlick was a part of in her 36 seasons as a head coach and assistant, with the vast majority coming during her 27 seasons as a Lady Vols assistant on Pat Summitt’s staff. Warlick is in her fifth season as a head coach and owns a 114-38 record.

“I like the one, I’m not worried about the 1,000,” Warlick quipped. “I just needed this one today.”

Tennessee had nine steals Sunday and is now 5-0 when it gets at least seven steals. The Lady Vols are just 1-4 when they don’t make at least seven steals. ... This marked Tennessee’s biggest come-from-behind victory since rallying from a 17-point deficit to beat Gonzaga in a 2015 regional semifinal.


Stanford is at George Washington on Wednesday.

Tennessee hosts Troy on Wednesday.


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment


Print subscribers have FREE access to clevelandbanner.com by registering HERE

Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE

We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.

If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.

Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE