Lady Monarchs Fall at Tennessee, 90-37
Dec. 28, 2011
KKNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - As an aspiring young coach, Karen Barefoot wrote to Tennessee coach Pat Summitt seeking advice on how to succeed in the profession. As the new head coach at Old Dominion, Barefoot now has the daunting task of returning the once proud program to where it can compete with the likes of the Lady Volunteers.
She's got a long way to go. The Lady Monarchs were dominated in every statistical category by the Lady Vols in a 90-37 loss on Wednesday night.
"Right now we have a lot of young players, but we're very confident," Barefoot said. "ODU has a great tradition, and I really have a lot of respect for Pat Summitt. I'm really excited about getting this program built to the top, and we as a staff are going to continue to work hard. I thought it was a great experience for a lot of our younger kids tonight."
Summitt responded to Barefoot's letter 17 years ago by telling the 22-year-OLD to teach and coach not only the game of basketball but life as well to her players.
The Lady Monarchs (3-10) had plenty of opportunity for learning against the Lady Vols, who outrebounded them 54-32, limited them to 25.4 percent shooting, forced 23 turnovers and gave up just one basket on the fastbreak.
"We rushed, missed a lot of shots and offseason training is going to be important for us because we see the physical play," Barefoot said. "I felt (the Lady Vols) really dominated all the way around. They look stronger to me than last year on tape."
Tennessee (8-3) now has won 16 straight and 31 of the last 32 against the Lady Monarchs, whose 37 points was the lowest total scored by either team in the 45-game annual series.
The series was far more competitive in its early days, when both Tennessee and Old Dominion were always found ranked among the top 10 teams in the nation behind legendary coaches such as Summitt and the Lady Monarchs' Marianne Stanley and Wendy Larry, who stepped down at the end of last season after 24 years. The teams met in the 1980 AIAW title game and the 1997 NCAA championship game, with the Lady Monarchs winning the former and the Lady Vols winning the latter.
This time, Old Dominion got off to a decent start, scoring the first two baskets of the game before unraveling.
The Lady Monarchs were leading 8-7 when Alicia Manning hit a jumper with 16:14 in the first half that launched a 14-2 run to give the Lady Vols control of the game. Ariel Massengale, who hadn't started a game since dislocating her left middle finger in practice Dec. 8, hit back-to-back 3s in the span of 28 seconds during the stretch.
"I was really happy with our play at the very beginning because Tennessee is such a big place to play and it's really big-time," Old Dominion guard Jackie Cook said. "I was really proud of how we stepped up and played from the very start. We just couldn't finish."
Tennessee took a commanding 50-20 halftime lead against Old Dominion by shooting 50 percent from the field and hitting 6 of 12 from 3. The Lady Vols turned the ball over just twice and posted 15 assists before the break.
Their improved defense led to balanced offense, with Glory Johnson logging 16 points and 11 rebounds. Vicki Baugh, who lost her starting job after poor play at Stanford, had 11 points and 12 rebounds. Meighan Simmons added 12 points, Massengale scored 11, Isabelle Harrison had 10 and Alicia Manning grabbed 15 rebounds.
Cook led Old Dominion with 13 points, as the Lady Vols managed to frustrate Old Dominion's top player, Tia Lewis. Lewis entered the game averaging 18.1 points and 9.7 rebounds but finished with eight points, eight rebounds and four fouls.
By the end of the game, Tennessee had scored 46 points in the paint and had 26 points off turnovers. Old Dominion only scored eight points inside and had just a single point off the Lady Vols' 11 giveaways.
"We've put a lot of time in in the last two days," associate head coach Holly Warlick said. "They responded, we got after it, we were aggressive. We were not aggressive in the Stanford game on the ball. I thought we did a total 180 as far as what we can do as far as pressuring the ball and taking people out of how they play.
"That's the type of defense and that's the type of Tennessee team we have to be to win, regardless of our opponent."