Lady Vols trample Davidson, 75-40

Lady Vols trample Davidson, 75-40

December 29th, 2012 by Associated Press in Sports - College

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KNOXVILLE - Bashaara Graves and Cierra Burdick recorded double-doubles Friday night as the 13th-ranked Tennessee women's basketball team trounced Davidson 75-40 to avoid its first three-game losing streak in nearly 27 years.

Graves scored 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for the fifth double-double of her freshman season despite resting for the game's final 10 minutes, 47 seconds. Burdick added 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Isabelle Harrison played only 19 minutes but nearly gave the Lady Vols a third double-double before finishing with 13 points and nine rebounds.

Tennessee (8-3) had fallen 76-53 at No. 3 Baylor and 73-60 to No. 1 Stanford in its last two games. The Lady Vols haven't dropped three straight games since losing 68-54 to No. 8 Mississippi, 66-60 to No. 11 Auburn and 59-56 to No. 3 Louisiana Tech in the Feb. 5-10 stretch of 1986.

Sophia Aleksandravicius had 12 points and seven rebounds to lead Davidson (4-7) in both categories. Laura Murray added 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting.

Graves and Harrison helped the Lady Vols dominate under the basket all night. Tennessee outrebounded the Wildcats 48-26 and outscored them 22-0 in second-chance points. The Lady Vols also had a 26-5 edge in points off turnovers.

The victory also allowed the Lady Vols to gain some revenge against the Southern Conference. They had opened the season with a stunning 80-71 road loss to SoCon member UT-Chattanooga.

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick had criticized her team's effort after the Stanford game and responded Friday by overhauling her starting lineup. Graves and junior guard Meighan Simmons were the only starters from the Stanford game who remained in the tipoff lineup Friday.

Freshman forwards Jasmine Jones and Nia Moore made their first college starts, joining classmate Graves, Simmons and senior guard/forward Taber Spani, making her third start of the season.

That combination didn't stay on the floor very long. Warlick returned to her usual starting five of Graves, Simmons, Burdick, Harrison and Ariel Massengale less than three minutes into the game with Davidson leading 7-5.

Tennessee took control of the game by going on a 12-0 run while holding Davidson scoreless for a stretch of nearly six minutes midway through the first half. That spurt turned an 11-11 tie into a 23-11 Tennessee lead, and the Lady Vols maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the night.

After leading 41-21 at the intermission, Tennessee opened the second half with a 9-0 run and remained in front by at least 25 points the rest of the game.