Ariel Massengale scored 16 points and No. 4 Tennessee beat Chattanooga 80-56 on Thursday night in the Lady Vols’ home opener.
After a low-energy first half, Tennessee (3-0) went into the paint to start the second and drew three quick fouls by Chattanooga (1-1). Massengale opened the half with a quick 3-pointer and four free throws during a 12-2 run that put the Lady Vols up 44-34 with 16:59 left.
A minute later, Meighan Simmons wrestled the ball from the hands of Taylor Hall and dished it to Bashaara Graves, whose layup pushed the lead to 48-36. Massengale hit another 3 and Jasmine Jones made a layup for Tennessee, and the Lady Mocs never recovered.
From the Times Free Press
For Tennessee’s offensive line, that was more like it.
After consecutive poor performances against Alabama and Missouri, the Volunteers’ veteran unit paved the way for 226-yard performance on the ground in last week’s loss to Auburn.
Yet there also were the three first-half false-start penalties, the two Auburn sacks and the three failed runs in short-yardage situations in the second half.
With just two games remaining after this week’s open date, the Vols’ linemen believe they’ve yet to put everything together and play their best game as a unit.
From Rocky Top Talk
Today was Signing Day for women’s baskeball. With 9 players on roster and only Meighan Simmons graduating, the Lady Vols had up to 5 slots available for players and have received letters of intent from three. For the first time since before the mega-class of Candace Parker and Friends, Tennessee has a well-balanced roster with an even mix of years of eligibility.
There’s been plenty of blame to go around on Tennessee’s defense, a unit that is giving an up average of over 40 points per game during the Vols’ current three-game losing streak.
The secondary has missed tackles and taken bad angles. The linebackers have failed to keep mobile quarterbacks and running backs from getting to the edge. But in football, it often comes back to the guys up front.
And Tennessee’s defensive line hasn’t gotten the job done recently. The sacks and tackles for loss have virtually disappeared.