KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The No. 13 Tennessee Lady Vols shot 53 percent in the second half to run past Carson-Newman 95-56 in an exhibition game on Monday at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Diamond DeShields led the Lady Vols with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Four others, including a 20 point effort from Mercedes Russell, scored in double figures for Tennessee.
“I think our chemistry is awesome,” Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick said after the game. “I just think our chemistry is awesome and one of the ways I can tell is we had 23 assists. I thought we distributed the ball well, I thought today, for the majority of the time, we took really, really good looks. I’m really, really pleased with where we are especially with the chemistry. I can’t ask for too much more.”
The Lady Vols also wore commemorative patches on their jerseys to honor former head coach Pat Summitt, who died June 28 after battling early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type. Summitt led the program to eight national titles. Warlick said the patches would remain on the Lady Vols’ jerseys all season.
Tennessee made seven of its first nine shots in the game to take a 16-7 lead at the first media timeout. The Lady Volunteers did not make a huge run in the frame but shot 63 percent overall while holding C-N to 7-for-20 shooting.
Eight out of 12 Lady Eagles grew up in East Tennessee. Former Alcoa standout Katie Stubblefield led Carson-Newman with 15 points.
“We didn’t shoot it really well but to find ourselves down 41-30 at the half that was a bright spot, maybe the only one,” Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. “I’m disappointed in our performance from the second half. It was a sloppy game. We allowed Tennessee to get way too many easy looks. At times, I felt like we looked disinterested.”
The Lady Vols open the regular season on Friday, traveling to James Madison in Harrisonburg, Va. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. ET and will feature an online-only broadcast through Madizone HD Sports.