Lady Vols reach too long for C-N in exhibition, 105-40
KNOXVILLE- The Mike Mincey era began at Carson-Newman as the Lady Eagles traveled to take on the third-ranked Tennessee Lady Volunteers Tuesday night in the first exhibition game of the season.
C-N played well early, hanging with the Lady Vols through the first six minutes. But Pat Summitt's troops pulled away for a commanding 48-15 lead at the half and went on to a 105-40 win over the Lady Eagles in front of 11,500 fans at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Coach Mincey said that the annual game against one of the nation's elite teams is always special to his squad. "We certainly had some goals in mind. We knew we were not going to win this game but we wanted to come down here and be competitive and play hard. That's why coach Summitt brings us down here to fight against her girls so they can learn some things about their team."
The Lady Eagles were led in scoring by Shannon Depew who scored 11 points, nine of which came from three-point range. Zoriah Williams had 10 for Carson-Newman. The C-N defense forced 19 turnovers and had 10 steals.
Six Lady Vols finished the game in double figures, led by Alicia Manning's 23 points off the bench. Cierra Burdick had 15 points, Meighan Simmons added 14, Taber Spani had 13, Shekinna Stricklen with 12 and Vicki Baugh finished with 10 points.
"For the most part, we did some really good things. We had open looks and we shot quick in the first half," Tennessee associate head coach Holly Warlick said. "Our defense was okay in the first four minutes but as the game went on, we did some really good things. We are really pleased with our defensive effort."
The Lady Eagles were able to play with Tennessee early on as UT only led 13-7 after Williams scored on a break-away basket. But the Lady Vols raced out to a 31-13 lead when Baugh scored at the 6:56 mark. Williams scored the next time down the floor for C-N but that would be the final points of the half as Tennessee reeled off 17 unanswered points to take a 48-15 lead at the half.
The Lady Vols maintained the momentum for most of the second half and outscored Carson-Newman 18-2 in the final four minutes with nine of the points coming from Burdick.
The Lady Vols out-rebounded Carson-Newman 65-30 and forced 34 turnovers. Baugh had a double-double for Tennessee as she added 14 rebounds to her 10 points.
The Lady Eagles warmed up in "We Back Pat" shirts in honor of coach Summitt who earlier this year revealed she is battling the early onset of dementia. "That was a nice gesture for Carson-Newman to wear those shirts. That was special. To see those kids do that and to come up to Pat afterwards, that's special to see. That is the impact Pat has not only around the country but just up the road in this state," Warlick said.
Coach Summitt visited with the Lady Eagles after the game in their locker room and Mincey said it was a special time for his team. "We wanted to thank her for allowing us to come play her team. All the girls are fans of Tennessee and we are all fans of coach Summitt. It was very special to these girls to be able to take a picture with her and get an autograph," Mincey said.
The Lady Eagles have a quick turn-around as they travel to ETSU Thursday night. Tennessee plays their second exhibition game on November 8 as they host Union.