Lady Vol guard a pain for UTC
Posted: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 7:03 pm
By BETH RUCKER
AP Sports Writer
KNOXVILLE (AP) — Tennessee athletic trainer Jenny Moshak told Kamiko Williams over the summer that if she wanted to return from ACL surgery before the 2011-12 season ended, she would have to keep a positive attitude and push through a tough rehabilitation process.
Fortunately, Williams has no problem keeping her spirits up.
“I’m happy-go-lucky anyways,” Williams said. “With J-Mo just kicking my butt every day and (conditioning coach) Heather Mason doing her thing, I just got it done. I had no choice. If I wanted to come back, I had to do it.”
The junior guard surprised everyone by making her first appearance for the season in No. 6 Tennessee’s 90-47 rout of Chattanooga on Tuesday night, just five months after the July 22 surgery on her left knee.
Williams finished with two points, three rebounds, four assists and two steals in 16 minutes. Primarily, the Lady Volunteers are thrilled for what her return means as they enter a tough month that includes games against No. 16 Georgia, No. 11 Kentucky, No. 24 Vanderbilt and No. 3 Notre Dame.
“You see what we missed,” associate head coach Holly Warlick said. “We were concerned. Kamiko had never been injured. An ACL injury is obviously a very serious injury, and we were concerned about how she would rehab, but she’s been unbelievable. She hasn’t missed a day with Jenny, and her knee is so much stronger.”
Tennessee (10-3) just needed for her to get comfortable being back on the floor against Chattanooga (8-4). Her teammates took care of the rest.
Ariel Massengale made all six of her shots from the floor, including four 3s, to finish with 19 points — a new career high. Glory Johnson added 10 points and 13 rebounds, Isabelle Harrison scored 13, Meighan Simmons added 10 points.
Every Lady Vol that played sank a bucket.
Whitney Hood hit the first basket of the game for Chattanooga, and the Lady Mocs kept it close for the first 31⁄2 minutes of the game.
Faith Dupree, who signed with Tennessee but transferred after sitting out her freshman season with back problems, hit a jumper to cut Tennessee’s lead to 10-8 with 16:34 to play. Dupree finished with a team-leading 17 points, and Hood had 10.
“Coming back to this atmosphere I knew that I should step up,” said Dupree, a Knoxville native. “I was anxious at the beginning, definitely.”
Published in The Messenger 1.4.12