Alicia Manning had 15 points and 13 rebounds and five of her teammates were in double digit scoring as the Tennessee Lady Vols beat Carson-Newman 110-66.

10:47 PM, Nov 2, 2010   |    comments
Shekinna Stricklen
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Alicia Manning had 15 points and 13 rebounds and five of her teammates were in double digit scoring as the Tennessee Lady Vols beat Carson-Newman 110-66.

All eight players who got in the game scored, including freshman Meighan Simmons, who had 11 points in her first game for the Lady Vols.

Former Webb star Glory Johnson just missed a double-double.  She had 26 points and nine rebounds.  Tabor Spani had 22 points and Shekinna Stricklen added 15.  Spani and Stricklen each hit four 3-point shots.

Here are postgame comments from both teams, and notes from the Lady Vols:

Head Coach Pat Summitt:  (opening remarks):  "Obviously, I thought we did some really good things.  In the seven years that we've played Carson-Newman, we gave up more points than we have against them.  Why?  We just weren't as passionate about playing great defense.  We can address that.  We did a great job of taking care of the basketball.  We only had 12 turnovers.  That's a real positive.  We'll build on that.  We'll go back and watch tape and see where we had lapses.  There's room for improvement.  Defense and rebounding are our bread and butter.  Those have to be two of the most important things for us when we step on the court."

(on defense):  "We were playing a lot of players.  I thought we'd be stronger on defense.  Everybody loves playing offense.  Our defense will get better.  We have to be passionate about rebounding.  This was the first time for this team to be together on the floor together with people in the stands.  This is why we have exhibition games.  We'll come up with an evaluation."

(on Tennessee's post game):  "I know that we're shorthanded in the post right now.  That's the time for others to step up.  I thought Glory (Johnson) did a great job.  We weren't as efficient as we needed to be, not having Kelley Cain and Lyssi Brewer.  Once we have our three bigs healthy (Cain, Brewer, and Vicki Baugh), we'll be a whole different team.  It's just going to take time."

(on freshman Meighan Simmons):  "The main thing is she just has to keep herself in the game and not making foolish mistakes on the court.  She's learning.  Her parents were here tonight, and she was real excited and overanxious.  She's got a great touch, a great shooting touch.  She's very quick and a great team player.  She did a lot of good things and will continue to work to get better."

(on sophomore Taber Spani):  "Taber is very dedicated to this team and to the game.  No one will outwork her.  She's playing with tremendous confidence.  That makes a big difference."

(on junior Glory Johnson):  "Without a question, she has worked on her skills.  (Assistant coach) Dean (Lockwood) drags her into the arena every chance he gets.  It has paid off.   She has responded.  Her composure is so much better.  She's not rushing.  She's so athletic.  She's more invested in her game, and it shows.  She will be a key player for us, no question."

(on Glory Johnson's perimeter defense):  "In the past, we were hesitant to play her there to avoid fouls.  She's older and smarter now and has a good feel about what to do."

Lady Vol Player Quotes

Freshman Guard Meighan Simmons
(On sleeping last night and playing in front of her parents): "You just can't worry about who's out there in the audience. You've just got to go out and play your game, and no, I didn't (sleep). I got four hours of sleep last night pretty much. I was pretty excited about today, but just being out there for the first time I think it's a blessing, and my dream has come true."

Junior Forward Glory Johnson
(On Coach Summitt complaining about defense already): "I feel like we're going to start off rough, and for us it was our defense. We were hitting offensively, and our shots were falling at the beginning of the game, and when we weren't, we started struggling with our defense. That's what happens when we still have stuff to work on in the first game. Now we know how it is, and we know the game atmosphere, and now we have our defense and our offense to work on, just having both at the same time."

(On what exactly the team needs to work on): "Probably our defense, transition defense for sure, middle drives, and our board play offensively and defensively, just getting inside position and being confident on defense knowing that we're going to get steals and push it back on offense and score."

(On her improved composure): "I think it's just something that hurt us a lot last season. And, me personally going too fast and knowing when to take a shot and when not to take a shot and when to kick it out or when not to dribble and just thinking about stuff before I do it. I think that has helped me have a lot more composure and control with the ball whenever I have it."

(On Meighan's speed): "Did you see that layup where she went like 105 percent, and then she went 115 percent and then finished? She's speedy. I think that's part of her game, and she's good at it. So, until she starts messing up while she's going fast, I think she should keep using that to her advantage." 

(On Meighan finishing the game well after picking up fouls quickly in the first half): "I think it's great because as a freshman, knowing her role and how she was kind of a little hesitant at the beginning of the game. By the end of the game, she let the other team know that she's not scared to take the shot, she's not scared to take the drive, and she could take over the game if she wants to."

(On missing Kelley, Lyssi, and Vicki): "Honestly, you miss Kelley, Lyssi, and Vicki because normally guards don't like to drive when they see the huge presence inside. They're more worried about getting their shot blocked than when there aren't any shot blockers. I'm not going to try (to block shots) because I'll get fouls, but when there aren't any shot blockers out there, guards tend to penetrate. So when Kelley, Lyssi, and Vicki get back out here, I think you'll see a lot less penetration."

(On the differences in Tennessee's game plan because of the missing posts): "For one thing, sometimes it worked with our defense, and sometimes it didn't, but being able to switch everything, just having a smaller team playing against a smaller team and then having the guards in, we were able to switch everything. Sometimes that works on defense, and I guess it stopped them from shooting as many threes as they were shooting. Being comfortable guarding outside and inside for our guards, the posts weren't back. It will make it easier for our guards when Kelley, Lyssi and Vicki were in."

Sophomore Guard Taber Spani
(On her comfort level on the court): "It's high. I think not only physically with my foot, it's feeling so much better, so I feel like that is allowing me to move a lot better, and then I think just being more comfortable with the system and with what you do. So, I think those combined have really helped my comfort level go up a lot."

(On her step-back three): "I think the step-back is something that is kind of my go-to move because I can create space, and it's hard to block. And so, now that my foot is finally healthy, I can explode off of it more. It's one thing where I can explode back, but it's another thing if I have to jump to shoot it, and so now with my foot feeling so much better, I think I can get that explosion off of it, and that's really helped."

(On everyone getting into the game offensively): "I think the confidence level of everyone to produce offensively has risen a lot with each year. You saw Bri (Bass) out there. You saw Syd (Smallbone) out there. You saw Meighan come in not afraid to do something on offense. I think if we can have five people who are all major threats offensively when we're out on the court. I think that is very hard to guard. Everyone has really taken it personally, and obviously we've got to focus on the defensive end and step that up. I think in the offseason everyone's really improved their offensive skill set."

Carson-Newman quotes

Carson-Newman head coach Dean Walsh (opening statement):
"I was proud of how we competed tonight. I thought we did a good job of being physical. I thought we did a great job of hitting the boards in the first half and keeping them off the boards. When you deal with a size and athleticism factor like this, you want them to shoot over you and make jump shots and they did. We did a good job of containment and keeping them out of the paint in the first half."

(On the offensive success compared to last year): "Confidence. This year's team is older, we are getting good senior leadership on the floor, as far as execution goes, and for the past week we have enlisted a practice squad, so we are playing against guys and I think that has helped us come in here with a different attitude. This team is hungry. We came out of here last year, as poorly as we played, and we still started the year 16-0. They know what they are capable of doing, and they have their own goals set. Tonight was finally a chance to get up and down the floor because with all the injuries we had we haven't been able to get up and down as much as we would have liked to."

(On the benefits of exhibition games against tough opponents): "You saw it tonight, because if you can execute and do some good things against a defensive team like Tennessee and score 66 you have to be pretty happy. We will do the same thing with Duke and (North) Carolina. We are going to see the same athleticism but won't see the same physicality. Heck, if you look at the polls things it gets easier. Duke is No. 6 and Carolina is 15th. We will work tomorrow and the next couple days on what we need to execute better on and I know Duke is going to press us and man-to-man pressure us and I was pleased how we handled some of that tonight. We know if we can do some good things against teams like this, whoever we face at our level we will be ready for."

Senior Guard Mandy Mendenhall (On her upcoming senior season): "This is my senior year and these exhibition games are fun for us, so I just wanted go out and have fun and execute the best I can against big-time players."

(On the difference between this year's team and last season's): "I think we are more focused, we want to win more and we care more than last year and that is a good thing."

(On last year's postseason): "I think we could have gone farther. I think everyone on this team felt like we could have gone farther. So this year we are trying to get to that point."

(On if she expects the team to learn from the loss): "Most definitely. Like coach said, we had a lot of mistakes that are correctable. Tennessee is a great program. They came in and really wanted it. We are going to learn a lot from watching this loss that will help us out in the long run."

(On getting into a rhythm): "I felt like I did. Once I make a couple of shots I get a little bit more confident, so I shoot the ball more."

Freshman Forward Shannon Depew (On playing so close to home): "It was amazing. I had half of Cocke County supporting me and some Knoxville players that I played with supporting me, so it was amazing to be able to play in front of those players and my family and friends."

(On her performance): "I was nervous but I think I played alright since they were 10 times bigger than what I am."

• Today's starters: sophomore Kamiko Williams, sophomore Taber Spani, junior Alicia Manning, junior Glory Johnson, junior Shekinna Stricklen.
• Six of the eight Lady Vols that played scored in double figures: Johnson (26), Spani (22), Manning (15), Stricklen (15), freshman Meighan Simmons (11) and senior Sydney Smallbone (10).
• Manning had a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
• Tennessee held a 45-28 rebounding edge. The Lady Vols outrebounded Carson-Newman 29-10 in the second half.
• Spani made the first basket of the year, a three-pointer from the top of the key at 19:30.
• The Lady Vols jumped out to a 20-5 lead less than five minutes into the game after drilling their first four three-point attempts.
• Freshman Meighan Simmons made her first shot attempt, a three-pointer, at the 14:13 mark in the first half.
• UT's biggest lead of the game was 46 points (110-64) and it came on two Johnson free throws with 1:14 left in the game.
• Stricklen made her first four three-point attempts and finished 4-of-5 on treys. She scored all 15 of her points in 12 first-half minutes.
• The Lady Vols held the Lady Eagles to 14 percent shooting on threes in the first half (1-of-7).
• Tennessee has now scored over 100 points in six of its last seven exhibition games.
• Tonight's game was the seventh straight season UT has played Carson-Newman in an exhibition and UT's seventh straight win over the Lady Eagles.
• Carson-Newman's 66 points is the most it has scored against Tennessee during that span. 
• This marks the 18th time in exhibition play that Tennessee has scored at least 100 points.
• Tonight's attendance was 11,071.
• Up Next: The Lady Vols will host Union (Tenn.) in their final exhibition on Sunday, Nov. 7. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Sophomore Taber Spani:
Scored in double figures with 22 points, to go with six boards.

Junior Alicia Manning:
Had a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 13 boards.

Junior Glory Johnson:
Glory Johnson scored a game-high 26 points on 10-of-12 field goals and 10-of-12 free throws.

Junior Shekinna Stricklen:
Made her first four three-point attempts.
Scored 15 points, all in the first half.

Freshman Meighan Simmons:
Scored her first points on her first ever shot attempt, a three at 14:13.
Finished with 11 points and a game-high five assists. of Tennessee

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