published Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Lady Vols hold on to beat Ole Miss

OXFORD, Miss. — The size and strength of No. 13 Tennessee ended up trumping the speed of Mississippi for a 66-56 Southeastern Conference victory on Sunday.

With Tennessee (20-7, 11-3) struggling to connect from 3-point range, the inside duo of Glory Johnson and Shekinna Stricklen bailed out the Lady Volunteers, who have struggled with their effort and energy level from game to game.

Johnson and Stricklen both went 5-of-9 from the floor and combined to score 25 points. Johnson, who finished with 13 points, also grabbed eight rebounds for the Lady Volunteers.

“I thought Ole Miss really focused on taking away our inside game early. Credit to Glory and [Stricklen], they kept working,” Tennessee assistant coach Holly Warlick said. “They probably weren’t getting as many touches as we normally get, and that’s due to Ole Miss, but I thought we kept working hard, and when we needed a basket inside, we got them the ball. They made plays.”

In a game that Tennessee never led by more than 12 points, Warlick talked about why the Lady Volunteers struggled to put away an Ole Miss team (12-15, 2-12) that played its most complete game of the season.

“We did some good things and then we turn the ball over at crucial times and they took advantage of it,” Warlick said. “We didn’t get to loose balls that we normally do, and I thought Ole Miss was capitalizing on our mistakes. We needed buckets, we needed stops and we got them, but we let somebody score 21 points. We were just too inconsistent.”

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