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Stokes doubles down to end Vols’ SEC skid

Stokes doubles down to end Vols’ SEC skid

Posted: Monday, January 21, 2013 7:00 pm

KNOXVILLE (AP) — Jarnell Stokes scored 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds Saturday as Tennessee defeated Mississippi State 72-57 to avoid starting 0-4 in Southeastern Conference competition for the first time since 1993-94.
Josh Richardson added 16 points and Jordan McRae had 12 points as the Volunteers (9-7, 1-3) snapped a four-game losing streak. Trae Golden had 10 points and nine assists.
The Vols lost three of their first four SEC games last year but rebounded to finish second in the league with a 10-6 conference record. The last time Tennessee started 0-3 in league play was 1997-98, when it went on to finish 20-9 overall and reach the NCAA tournament.
Jalen Steele scored 15 points, Fred Thomas had 14 and Craig Sword added 10 for Mississippi State (7-9, 2-2).
This game reunited Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin and first-year Mississippi State coach Rick Ray, who worked together as assistants on Matt Painter’s Purdue staff in 2006-07 and 2007-08.
McRae ended a string of four consecutive games in which he had exceeded 20 points. He was the first Vol to score at least 20 points in four straight games since Chris Lofton in 2008.
The 6-foot-5 junior’s surge had included consecutive 26-point performances against Memphis and Mississippi, 21 points against Alabama and 23 points against Kentucky. But the Vols had lost each of those games. In Tennessee’s last two losses, McRae had been the only Vol to score in double figures.
UT 96, Alabama 69 (W)
KNOXVILLE (AP) — On the final day of a week honoring Pat Summitt, Tennessee paid tribute to its former coach by continuing a tradition she had started.
Beating Alabama.
Bashaara Graves had 21 points and eight rebounds as one of five Tennessee players to score in double figures Sunday as the ninth-ranked Lady Vols trounced Alabama 96-69 for their 39th consecutive victory over the Crimson Tide.
Alabama hasn’t beaten the Lady Vols since an 85-66 victory in the 1984 SEC tournament. Tennessee leads the all-time series 46-2 and has never lost to the Tide during the regular season.
“It was really emotional for all of us, to have a coach who’s made such an impact on everybody’s lives, including ours,” Tennessee guard Meighan Simmons said. “It was a really emotional time, just to give her a hug, to feel her and to let her know, ‘Coach, I appreciate you. We love you.’ It was one of those things. She just told every single one of us, ‘Let’s go. Let’s get ready.’ We were able to refocus very well after that.”
Simmons scored 16 points as the Lady Vols (15-3, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) earned their eighth straight win overall. Isabelle Harrison, Jasmine Jones and Taber Spani each added 14 points.
UTM 75, Morehead 56 (W)
With a balance scoring effort from junior guards Heather Butler and Jasmine Newsome and the second consecutive double-double from senior Rickiesha Bryant UT Martin women’s basketball team whipped visiting Morehead State 75-56 at the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center Saturday afternoon.
Newsome led all scorers with 27 points, while Butler, the Skyhawks’ all-time leading scorer tossed in 24 points and four 3-pointers. Bryant scored 12 points and pulled down 13 rebounds as UT Martin out-rebounded Morehead State 35-32.
Also making a big contribution to the Skyhawks was true freshman Katie Schubert, who had seven rebounds and six points.
Morehead 88, UTM 74 (M)
Both Terence Smith and Mike Liabo poured in 19 points to lead UT Martin (4-15, 1-6 OVC).
Liabo tied a career-high with five 3-pointers for the fifth time this season, while Smith sank a career-best four trifectas in five attempts to finish just one point shy of his career-high set back in 2011.
Myles Taylor compiled 13 points with a game-high eight rebounds.
 and DeMarc Richardson handed out a team-high four assists for the Skyhawks, who set a season-high in free throws made (28) while outrebounding Morehead State 36-33. The Eagles entered the contest as the OVC leader in rebounding (38.2 per game) and rebounding margin (+5.4).
Morehead State (10-10, 4-2 OVC) saw four players reach double-figures, led by Kahlil Owens’ 16 points. Bakari Turner scored 14 points, Devon Atkinson compiled a double-double (12 points, 12 assists) and Milton Chavis tallied 11 points to pace the Eagles.

Published in The Messenger 1.21.13

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