Tennessee breaks losing streak at Stanford, earns 83-71 victory over the Cardinal
Lady Vols win in Maples for the first time since 2005
STANFORD, Calif. – The STI/Hoopfeed Poll No. 6 Tennessee Lady Volunteers (12-0) remain undefeated after a convincing 83-71 victory over the No. 24 Stanford Cardinal (6-6) in front of Maples Pavilion faithful while spoiling the return of senior guard Brittany McPhee.
Senior guard/forward, Jaime Nared led the charge for Tennessee with a career-high 28 points and five assists. Freshman guard Evina Westbrook chipped in 17 points.
“I like the way we compete and how resilient we are,” Nared said. “At the end of the day, it’s still December. It’s a great start but there’s so much basketball to go. We’re not relaxed with how we’re playing.”
The Lady Vols were in control for most of the game, scoring a consistent 23 points in each of the first two quarters and shooting nearly 60 percent from the field, despite being outscored in the second half by a slim four points.
Tennessee had leads as large as 16 points in the first half, and 17 points in the second, although Stanford did cut the advantage down to six points at 3:17 in the fourth quarter, following a layup by Marta Sniezek.
McPhee was on a mission upon her comeback from a foot injury, netting 17 of her 27 points (career high is 28) in the first half, including the first basket of the game. She was cautiously on a minutes restriction of 25 by Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer, which she exceeded by three.
“It was great having Brit back,” VanDerveer said. “She made a statement. She set the tone.”
Brittany was anxious to get back on the court to help the team, but had to patiently wait for the appropriate return time.
“It was hard to be on the bench when they were playing,” McPhee said. “We have to have other people forced to make the big shots.”
The Lady Vols are enjoying their best start after 12 games since the 2005-06 season, while the Cardinal has their worst start (.500) after a dozen contests since 1998-99 (4-8). For Tennessee, the victory broke a five-game losing streak at Maples Pavilions that dates back to Dec. 4, 2005.
Both squads will start conference play in their respective divisions next: Stanford will open Pac 12 play December 29, 2017 hosting UCLA, and Tennessee travels to Lexington, KY on December 31, 2017 to take on Kentucky.
By the Numbers