Randy Smith: Lady Vols Finally Taste Defeat

Friday, January 12, 2018 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
The fourth ranked Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team tasted its first defeat of the college basketball season on Thursdaynight and Coach Holly Warlick is hoping her players don't like the taste. Texas A&M handed the Lady Vols a 79-76 setback in overtime in College Station, Texas in a game that saw Tennessee outscore the Aggies 8-1 in the final few moments of regulation to force the overtime period.   The Lady Vols even took a 74-70 lead in overtime before Texas A&M pulled the game out with free throws.
Actually, each team could manage just one field goal apiece in overtime, but it was a freshman mistake committed by freshman Evina Westbrook that sealed the deal. Westbrook fouled the Aggies' Danni Williams on a three-point attempt with just seconds remaining and Tennessee leading 76-74. Williams sank all three free throws giving A&M a one point lead 77-76.

Tennessee played the ball in with a little more than seven seconds left, but Westbrooks committed the Lady Vols 16th turnover of the game and the Aggies iced the game with another couple of free throws. 

"I said the turnovers were going to catch up with us," Coach Warlick said after the game. "We have to do a lot better job of that."

She better hope her team does a better job on turnovers because next up for the Lady Vols is an SEC road game at defending national champ South Carolina on Sunday. Otherwise Tennessee could be staring at a two game losing skid. 

Tennessee has four freshmen on the ten player roster; a result of Coach Warlick bringing in the nation's top-ranked recruiting class. Those freshmen play a lot for Tennessee and the talent level  improvement was made evident by the Lady Vols 15-0 start. Fans of Tennessee women's basketball program have been excited since the season started when she brought in that talented freshman class. That excitement is a welcome change in Knoxville. For the last couple of years, Holly Warlick has taken a lot of heat because she had not been able to match the success of the legendary Pat Summitt. You never want to be the one to replace a coaching icon; you want to be the one to replace the one who replaced the icon.

Other than the success over the past decade by Geno Auriemma at UConn, there is a tremendous amount of parity. Even last year when UConn was upset in the national semi-finals by Mississippi State, with South Carolina winning it all, parity is a sure thing. I believe dynasties such as UConn's and twenty years ago with the Lady Vols, will soon be a thing of the past in women's college hoops. There are no more real dynasties in men's basketball and women's hoops are headed in the same direction.

I hope that Tennessee's fans will be as patient as Coach Holly Warlick has been, because it takes a lot of patience to deal with those freshman mistakes. . The one thing you can count on about freshmen is the fact that they soon become sophomores and that's a good thing.                                                 


Howard Continues Torrid Scoring With 38 Points In Bearettes' 63-36 Win Over Lady Canes

(Story will be updated) CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Bradley Central senior Rhyne Howard is hot. The University of Kentucky signee, coming off a career-high 41-point effort against McMinn County on Friday, lit up East Hamilton for 38 points and 10 rebounds Tuesday night as the unbeaten, second-ranked Bearettes rolled to a 63-36 victory to clinch the District 5-3A regular-season ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Bradley Central Thumps Lady Canes, 63-36

City Council Balks At Approving New $600,000, Two-Year Contract To Father To The Fatherless For VRI Program

The City Council on Tuesday night declined to approve a two-year $600,000 contract with a local non-profit group for the city's Violence Reduction Initiative. Father to the Fatherless previously had the contract and was seeking an extension. Kerry Hayes of the mayor's office asked for a one-week delay, saying the office wanted to make sure that all concerns of the council ... (click for more)

City's Top Traffic Reconstruction Expert: "Man, This Truck Just Creamed A Dozen Cars"

The Chattanooga Police Department's top traffic reconstruction expert testified Tuesday that when he first viewed the scene of an horrific crash at the Ooltewah exit he thought "Man, this truck just creamed a dozen cars." Officer Joe Warren told a jury from Nashville that, according to his calculations, Benjamin Scott Brewer was traveling at 81-82 miles per hour when he struck ... (click for more)

Dismal Educator Teaching At UTC - And Response

Roy Exum,  People are talking about the inability of UTC to turn out high quality teachers. Well, should any university be expected to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse? We all know how our school system students fail miserably on national scholastic aptitude tests as a whole.  Forget Tcap tests, those are teacher tests not meant for measuring student progress, but ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Man’s Need To ‘Jaw’

On the first day of every month, I’ve gotten into the habit of taking a stroll in “my garden.” I mix up the “orchids” (good stuff) and “onions” (bad stuff) that has idled in my brain from the month before and most people seem to like it. I know I do. One of the “onions” for this January read like this: “AN ONION to the disappointing realization Chattanooga no longer has Bill Kilbride ... (click for more)