Lady Vols Fall in Double Overtime to Miss State 91-90
(utsports.com) STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Lady Vols suffered a 91-90 loss to Mississippi State on Monday night in a double-overtime thriller that featured 17 lead changes and 14 ties inside Humphrey Coliseum.
Senior Rickea Jackson recorded a double-double to lead UT (17-9, 9-2 SEC), tying her season highs of 28 points and 11 rebounds. Sophomore Jillian Hollingshead recorded the first double-double of her career with 18 points and 12 rebounds, setting career highs in both categories. Junior Tess Darby was also in double figures, turning in 10 points on the night.
MSU (16-7, 5-5 SEC) was led by Jerkaila Jordan, who tallied 24 points. Asianae Johnson and Anastasia Hayes were also in double figures with 16 and 14, respectively.
Jackson knocked down a pull-up jumper from the top of the key to score the first points of the game, but a trey by Jordan on the other end gave Mississippi State its first lead at the 8:42 mark. Back-to-back buckets by Jordan Horston and Darby had the Lady Vols on top 7-3 before a 7-0 run put the Bulldogs ahead 10-7 with 3:37 to go in the first. MSU maintained a lead into the final 90 seconds of the quarter when Jackson converted on two pairs of free throws to tie the score at 13-all at the end of one.
Tennessee reclaimed the lead in the first minute of the second period with consecutive buckets by Jackson and Jordan Walker. A 3-pointer by Jordan with 8:43 left in the half brought the Bulldogs within three points of UT, and the teams traded baskets until a trey by Smith four minutes later knotted the score at 25. Hollingshead responded by ripping off six straight points to give Tennessee a 31-28 lead with 1:56 to go, but Hayes scored the last points of the half from behind the arc, sending the game into intermission with the score tied at 31-all.
A Karoline Striplin layup resulted in the first of four lead changes in the opening minutes of the second half before a 6-0 run gave MSU a 41-36 lead by the 5:42 mark. Sara Puckett and Hollingshead answered with five quick points for UT to tie the game at 41 less than a minute later. Johnson splashed a trey on the next play, but Puckett answered with one of her own, setting off a 10-3 Big Orange run to give UT a four-point advantage with 1:11 left in the third. Kourtney Weber hit the last bucket of the quarter on the fast break, and the Lady Vols took a 51-49 lead into the fourth.
Mississippi State reclaimed the lead a minute and 20 seconds into the fourth period, going up 54-52 off a 3-pointer by Debreasha Powe. A layup by Johnson a minute later stretched that lead to four, and UT scrapped back within one on two occasions before back-to-back baskets gave MSU a five-point lead, tying its largest lead of the game with 4:32 to play. Jackson responded with an old-fashioned three-point play, and it became a back-and-forth affair until Horston knocked down a pair of free throws as UT outscored MSU 6-2, all from the charity stripe, to tie the game 68-all with 1:32 on the clock. Neither team was able to score in the closing seconds, sending the game into overtime.
Horston hit a free throw to give the Lady Vols an early lead in extra time, but by the midway point of the period, the Bulldogs led 73-71 off a trey by Ramani Parker. Tennessee tied it up twice before falling behind by four. With less than 30 seconds to go, Jackson came up with a steal and was fouled on the fast break. She converted on both free throws, and the Bulldogs missed theirs on the next possession, giving the Lady Vols the ball back down two with 23.6 seconds left on the clock. Jackson once again came up clutch, spinning around to hit a layup and tie the game at 68, and UT’s defense prevented MSU from getting a shot off before time ran out, sending the game into double overtime.
A three by Walker put the Lady Vols on top early in the second extra stanza, but the Bulldogs rallied with a 9-0 run to lead by six with 1:39 on the clock. Four straight points from the free-throw line pulled UT within two with 26 seconds left in the game, but Mississippi State defended its lead from the charity stripe, and a 3-pointer by Jackson at the buzzer wasn’t enough, as UT fell 91-90.
UP NEXT: Tennessee will return to action on Sunday, hosting Vanderbilt in a 2 p.m. ET matinee that will be streamed on SECN+. The contest will be UT’s annual Play4Kay game.
HOLLINGSHEAD BECOMING A FORCE: Sophomore Jillian Hollingshead is hitting her stride, recording her first career double-double against Mississippi State with 18 points and 12 rebounds to find her way into double-digit scoring for fourth time this season and second time in the last four games. Over the last four outings, she is averaging 11.3 ppg. and 7.8 rpg. off the bench.
TEAM FREE THROWS IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Tennessee’s 37 made free throws tie as the third-most in school history along with the 37 netted vs. Vanderbilt on Jan. 19, 1997. The 44 attempts matched UT’s effort vs. Alabama on March 6, 1994. The 84.1 percent accuracy was a season high for the Lady Vols.
RICKEA TIES SCHOOL BEST FREE THROW MARK: Rickea Jackson’s 13-for-13, 100-percent effort at the charity stripe tied a school free throw percentage record set by Gail Dobson on March 1, 1975, vs. Union (Tenn.). Jackson’s 13 makes tied for the No. 8 school mark with seven other Lady Vols.
LADY VOLS IN OVERTIME: Tennessee played in its 56th overtime game and fourth that required multiple extra periods. The Lady Vols are now 34-22 all-time in additional frames, including 13-13 on the road, and are 1-3 in games requiring two or more extra periods. UT is now 2-2 in OT games during the Harper era.