#24 Lady Vols withstand #23 Miami surge, win 79-67

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (UT Release) - Freshman Bashaara Graves had 20 points, Ariel Massengale hit big free throws at the end and the 24-th ranked Lady Vols survived Miami's two big second-half runs to defeat the Hurricanes, 79-67.

With the win, UT ended No. 23 Miami's 41-game home winning streak.

After storming out of the gate to a 46-21 halftime advantage thanks to Graves and Andraya Carter, Tennessee (3-1) watched Miami (2-1) mount a huge comeback in the second half as the Hurricanes climbed to within six points.

Graves scored 10 points in each half to lead the Lady Vols with 20 points to go with six rebounds. Carter did much of her work from long distance, totaling 16 points on 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range and 4-of-4 work from the free-throw line.

Massengale added 14 points off the bench, going a perfect 10-of-10 from the charity stripe and dishing out a team-best five assists. Cierra Burdick led UT with 10 rebounds.

Trailing 51-25 three minutes out of halftime, Miami went on 18-7 run climb back into the game. Maria Brown sparked the run on a jumper in the paint at 16:14 and Michelle Woods scored Miami's next nine points.

With 9:35 left in the game and Tennessee's lead at 58-43, the Lady Vols responded by trading baskets with the Hurricanes over the next minute and a half to keep the lead at 16 points. Then, with 6:28 remaining, UM's Morgan Stroman hit a jumper on a fast break that opened a 14-4 run that pulled the Hurricanes to within 71-65 with 2:30 left.

UT closed out the game with an 8-2 run thanks to Massengale's clutch shooting at the line (6-of-6) in the final minute to halt Miami's comeback attempt.

At the half, Tennessee had a 46-21 advantage with Carter (11 points) and Graves (10 points) leading the way. UT never trailed in the first half, but the Hurricanes stayed within six points for the first 16:40 of the game. Up 23-17 with 6:53 until halftime, the Lady Vols broke loose as a layup by Ariel Massengale sparked a 23-4 run to close out the period.

The Lady Vols return to Thompson-Boling Arena on Nov. 25 to take on Alcorn State at 2 p.m., opening a three-game homestand.

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