Lady Vols sweep SEC weekly awards

Cierra Burdick

The Lady Vols swept the Southeastern Conference's weekly women's basketball awards Monday with senior Shekinna Stricklen earning SEC Player of the Week honors and freshman Cierra Burdick capturing the Freshman of the Week honor.

Shekinna Stricklen averaged 17.3 ppg and 7.0 rpg in three key SEC wins last week. In a must win over No. 7-ranked Kentucky on Monday, she scored 18 points and grabbed six rebounds while connecting on 66.7 percent of her shots.

In that game the Morrilton, Ark., product eclipsed the 1,700 career points and 800 career rebounds. She led the Lady Vols with 22 points and 12 rebounds in a key road victory at Mississippi State on Thursday night, marking her fourth double-double of the season.

On Sunday at Ole Miss, Stricklen tossed in 12 points, including two of three three-pointers, and grabbed three rebounds. For the week, Stricklen shot 53.8 percent from the field (21-39), 50.0 percent (3-6) from three-point land and 87.5 percent (7-8) on her charity tosses, averaging 30.0 mpg.

The honor is Stricklen's fifth career SEC Player of the Week award. She captured the accolade three times in 2009-10 and once in 2010-11. On the season, the 6-2 guard/forward leads UT in scoring with 15.2 ppg and 6.5 rpg - second on the team.

In SEC play, she has upped her scoring average to a team-best 15.8 ppg. Stricklen joins classmate Glory Johnson (two times) as Lady Vols that have won the SEC POW this season.

Cierra Burdick was named the SEC Freshman of the Week for the first time during her rookie campaign after scoring 7.3 ppg and grabbing 6.0 rpg for the week. Averaging 18.0 mpg, she connected on 66.7 percent of her shots (10-15) while contributing 2.7 apg.

In limited duty versus Kentucky (10 minutes), she grabbed five rebounds, dished three assists and added a bucket. At Mississippi State, she logged 26 minutes while scoring 10 points, grabbing seven rebounds, with three assists two blocks. Against Ole Miss, she dropped in 10 points on 4 of 5 shooting (.800), collecting six rebounds and two assists in 18 minutes.

The Lady Vols take the floor Thursday when they play host to Arkansas before wrapping up regular season SEC play when Florida comes to town Sunday.

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