The Norman Transcript

National Sports

January 28, 2013

Bryant’s near triple-double performance lifts L.A. to second straight win



Tennessee has been able to exceed preseason projections.

The Lady Vols didn’t return a single player who started an NCAA tournament game last year. The combination of a coaching change and roster upheaval led to them being ranked 20th in the preseason Top 25. SEC coaches picked Tennessee to end up fifth in the league, while the SEC media had the Lady Vols finishing fourth.

“I can’t tell you how many people told me, ‘We’re really not expecting (much from) you all, so you should have not a cushion, but a year that you can just develop and grow,’ “ Warlick said. “That motivated me, and I know it motivated our players. I knew what we had. I just didn’t understand or know what we could do as a whole. I’m proud of them. We’re only going to get better and better. We haven’t reached our full potential.”

This year’s Tennessee team is delivering the same type of results as Summitt’s last few squads. After winning back-to-back national titles in 2007 and 2008, Tennessee went 22-11, 32-3, 34-3 and 27-9 in Summitt’s last four seasons. The Lady Vols lost in the first round of the 2009 NCAA tournament, reached the Sweet 16 in 2010 and got to a regional final each of the last two years.

Tennessee has overcome injuries that left the Lady Vols with only nine healthy players. Freshman guard Andraya Carter is out for the season with a torn labrum in her right shoulder.

Sophomore forward Cierra Burdick has missed seven games with a broken right hand and is expected to return in early February.

“We always have a point to prove,” Simmons said. “Now this year since we are the underdog and people underestimate us. We have to remember Tennessee is Tennessee.”

The Lady Vols have benefited from the tenacity of Simmons, who averages 17.6 points per game and has a knack for delivering whenever her team needs a boost.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Pyrenees help leader Nibali, winner Rogers in Stage 16

    BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France — The Pyrenees on Tuesday lived up to their reputation for causing ups and downs at the Tour de France: A French rider climbed in the standings, an American went down, and an Australian rebounding from an ordeal ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Mountain stage rough on Yankee rider

    BAGNERES-DE-LUCHON, France — The Tour de France entered the Pyrenees on Tuesday for the first of three mountain stages that may well determine the final podium of this year’s race....

    July 23, 2014

  • Strong prefers not talking about a national title

    DALLAS — Charlie Strong riled up plenty of Texas fans during a statewide spring tour by saying the Longhorns wouldn’t be in the national championship game....

    July 23, 2014

  • TCU’s Fields investigated for alleged assault

    FORT WORTH, Texas — TCU suspended defensive end Devonte Fields on Tuesday pending the results of a police investigation into whether he punched a former girlfriend in the head and threatened her with a gun while shouting, “I should blast ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Sun Belt boss expresses faith in the ‘Power-5’

    NEW ORLEANS — The Sun Belt Conference’s 11 institutions are prepared to pay more to remain part of major college football, commissioner Karl Benson said Tuesday....

    July 23, 2014

  • Crunch time for Ryder Cup

    HOYLAKE, England — The end of the British Open means the Ryder Cup is getting closer, and there are a couple of regulars still not in the team. That starts with Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods....

    July 23, 2014

  • Sam excited about next phase of career

    ST. LOUIS — Now it starts to get intense for Michael Sam and the rest of the St. Louis Rams rookies....

    July 23, 2014

  • Rory McIlroy appears poised to be golf’s next big thing

    HOYLAKE, England — Golf has been looking for the next big star the last five years, and Rory McIlroy is the most obvious candidate....

    July 23, 2014

  • Yankees acquire Headley from Padres

    NEW YORK — Trying to boost one of the weakest lineups in the American League, the New York Yankees acquired third baseman Chase Headley from the San Diego Padres on Tuesday for rookie infielder Yangervis Solarte and minor league pitcher ...

    July 23, 2014

  • Rays get to Wainright, win sixth straight

    ST. LOUIS — Jake Odorizzi allowed two runs over 5 2-3 innings and Yunel Escobar highlighted a five-run fifth inning with a two-run double to lead the Tampa Bay Rays to a 7-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night....

    July 23, 2014