for this game

No. 18 Tennessee women hold off Wichita State 58-51

Dec 12, 2015 - 4:08 AM WICHITA, Kan. (AP) Tennessee guard Andraya Carter knew her team should not have been in that position.

With six minutes remaining in Friday night's game, the 16th-ranked Volunteers were tied with a one-win Wichita State team playing without its leading scorer.

So when she finally found some space, an open baseline area against a zone defense, Carter was sure she needed to knock down jumpers.

She did just that, swishing consecutive baskets that keyed Tennessee's 58-51 victory.

''We were saying to take what the defense gave you and we knew our 3-pointers weren't falling,'' said Carter, who scored 14 points. ''(The coaches) have been emphasizing mid-range jumpers, so when Jordan (Reynolds) found me twice, I wanted to make them. We needed them.''

That was a surprise. Behind 18 points and 13 rebounds from Bashaara Graves, Tennessee (7-2) had eight more rebounds, made 10 more free throws and made two more field goals than Wichita State (1-6).

Yet the Shockers, the same team that lost at home Southeast Missouri State on Sunday, stayed right with the Volunteers, helped by 11 points each from Diamond Lockhart and TaQuandra Mike.

''I thought our game plan was right on,'' said Wichita State coach Jody Adams, a Tennessee point guard from 1989-93. ''I thought we got fatigued, and they hit some big shots.''

The score was tied at halftime, but Tennessee went on a run in the third quarter. With score 30-30, the Volunteers pressed full court and converted easy baskets. Tennessee scored 10 points in two minutes, opening a 40-32 with 1:47 remaining in the quarter.

''We had a smaller lineup, and the press worked,'' Carter said. ''I thought it gave us some momentum, some energy.''

Wichita State used two layups of its own, both by Lockhart, to answer. Chapel swished a baseline 3-point shot to give the Shockers seven straight points and cut Tennessee's lead to 40-39 after three quarters.

''The second half we showed a lot of grit,'' Shockers center Rangie Bessard said. ''I am proud of the fight my team had.''

It was 44-44 when Carter hit the two baseline jumpers, getting ''in a little closer than we wanted her,'' Adams said.

Graves helped put the game away. She grabbed rebounds, absorbed fouls and made four straight free throws that took Tennessee from a one-point lead to a 56-51 advantage with 18 seconds to play.

A 3-point attempt by Wichita State's Marija Pacar in the final 15 seconds rimmed out, sealing the victory.

''In practice all week, the coaches were emphasizing getting offensive rebounds,'' Graves said. ''On the court and in film, they were on us about it. So I wanted to give all my effort to get rebounds.''

Tennessee had a solid first quarter, getting four inside baskets while taking a 17-10 lead.

But Wichita State turned the game around in the second quarter. Pacar spurred things with eight points during a 10-2 run the start the quarter.

Pacar hit two 3-points shots in the quarter. She had only played in three previous games this season, averaging 5.7 points. He second 3-pointer gave Wichita State a 20-19 lead with 6:57 to play in the half.

The Volunteers retook the lead with four points from Te'a Cooper, but the Shockers' Chapel sank a 3-pointer to make it 23-23 with 2:19 remaining in the half.

That remained the score into halftime.



Tennessee: Coach Holly Warlick improved to 21-5 against teams coached by former Volunteers coaches or players. Wichita State coach Jody Adams was a Volunteers point guard from 1989-93. . The Vols beat Wichita State 54-51 last season in Knoxville. . Mercedes Russell made her ninth start this season. She is the only Volunteer to start each game.

Wichita State: Bessard, a sophomore center, made her Shocker debut. A transfer from Minnesota, Bessard had to wait until a first-semester grade was posted to be eligible. . The Shockers used just six players in each of the previous three games. They used seven players against Tennessee.


The game was delayed 10 minutes after referees forced Wichita State to switch to black uniforms. The Shockers went through warm-ups in yellow uniforms, but the referees ruled that color was too similar to the orange uniforms of Tennessee.


Tennessee plays at Stanford on Wednesday.

Wichita State plays host to Eastern Washington on Tuesday.