Scoring a lot of points is tough work. After hoisting 91 on Kentucky on Monday, the Lady Vols needed some beauty rest. Fortunately, they found some against Mississippi State, who was happy to oblige a night of peaceful slumber en route to a 57-41 Tennessee victory.
The score was 22-13 at halftime, thanks to a combined 1-16 start from the field (and the made shot was the very first shot of the game, giving Tennessee the early 2-0 lead). Neither team had any rhythm throughout the entire first half, and even the combined 5 fouls reflected a somnambulatory pace to the game. Heck, even the Gametracker took the night off, which probably means the fans were lucky that ESPN3 and CSS showed up at all.
In the second half, Shekinna Stricklen rolled over long enough to hit the snooze button and curl back up for some more napping. Fortunately, that was about all the action needed to win the game, as five consecutive made shots gave Tennessee a near-20 point lead that would be insurmountable for Mississippi State. Other signs that this was not exactly the most alert campaign by either team are:
- 19 turnovers by Tennessee - most of which were very much of the unforced variety.
- 23% FG shooting by Mississippi State.
- MSU center Catina Betts passing out on the court during a stoppage in action - likely due to boredom. (Seriously, though, she had to leave to the locker room. Hope she's ok.)
- 60% MSU and 57% UT free throw shooting.
- Glory Johnson being chosen to shoot technical free throws after a flagrant foul.
- 0-7 from the field for Ariel Massengale.
- A total of 87 rebounds (54-33 UT advantage) thanks to so many missed shots.
- Tennessee playing zone for most of the game, upon which Mississippi State held the ball for late-shotclock desperation treys for much of the game.
This was as lethargic as it comes. If you suffer from insomnia, pull this up on replay and get your rest. The Ladies will show you how.
Enough happened in league play to warrant a word. Kentucky lost to Alabama, creating a tie atop the standings. For tiebreak watching, all other games tilted in Tennessee's favor except for Florida's overtime loss to Vanderbilt. Had Florida won, Tennessee would have owned the tiebreak for SEC tournament seeding. As it is, it belongs to Kentucky, but only barely. Kentucky has to play against both South Carolina and Vanderbilt - two teams that Kentucky desperately needs to win out to keep the tiebreaker. Meanwhile, LSU has Vandy and Georgia on deck. It'll be a wild finish, especially since neither Kentucky nor Tennessee can be counted on to win out.