No. 13 Lady Vols earn tenth SEC win, beating Vanderbilt

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UT Athletics) – Reaching 10 wins in Southeastern Conference action, the No. 13/10 Lady Volunteer basketball squad bested Vanderbilt, 66-52, Sunday afternoon at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Guard Jordan Horston was stellar for the Lady Vols in the win, scoring 16 points, pulling down 13 boards and dishing out seven assists in her second-straight game with a double-double and her 12th on the season. The junior also swatted away two shots.

Rae Burrell posted her third game in a row with double-figure points off the bench and seventh game in nine scoring 10 plus. The senior tallied 15 points, while four Lady Vols scored eight: Graduate Alexus Dye, graduate Jordan Walker, junior Tamari Key and freshman Sara Puckett.

Tennessee (21-4, 10-2 SEC), which retained sole possession of second place in the league standings, now is 16-0 this season when holding opponents under 60 points and 20-0 when limiting them to 70 or fewer. The Big Orange dominated on the glass all day long, out-rebounding the Commodores, 48-29, and posting their 19th double-digit margin on the boards in 25 contests. UT also got a jolt from its bench, which posted 26 points to VU’s seven and used its height advantage to double up Vandy on points in the paint, 32-16.

Tennessee and Vanderbilt traded blows in the beginning of the first quarter, but the Lady Volunteers buckled down, holding the Commodores scoreless for the last 4:40 of the frame. Burrell provided an instant spark off the bench, sinking a pair of buckets in Tennessee’s next two possessions after she entered. The Big Orange defense held VU to 5-of-20 from the floor and 1-of-9 from beyond the arc in the first frame. All told, the Lady Vols held a 15-12 advantage after one quarter of play.

Tennessee kept the defense up early in the second, but the Commodores started to find rhythm in the middle portion of the period, making a 9-0 run. The Lady Vols countered, sinking three buckets in the last 50 seconds of the quarter, including an acrobatic jumper from the elbow by Horston as the buzzer sounded. Puckett was the leading scorer in the quarter for UT, sinking six points coming on a 3-pointer and an and-one with three and a half minutes to go. The Lady Vols took a 31-26 lead heading into halftime.

The Lady Vols held Vanderbilt scoreless until the media timeout, 5:12 into the period. UT jumped out to a 10-0 run in that time, and a 16-0 run overall including the last six points of the second quarter, tying the second-longest spree the Lady Vols went on all season. The Commodores found a bit of life in the third, but Tennessee kept its distance in the period and carried a 48-39 advantage into the fourth.

It was more of the same in the final frame, as Tennessee won the period, 18-13. Twelve Lady Vols checked onto the floor, and nine logged a statistic as UT closed out the victory. Horston posted three points, three rebounds and three assists, while Key had two points, two rebounds and two assists.

UP NEXT: The Lady Vols will travel to Tuscaloosa for a 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT contest against Alabama on Thursday. The game will be streamed on SECN+.

IN GOOD COMPANY: Horston recorded her 12th double-double of the season against Vanderbilt to tie Glory Johnson’s total as a junior. Only five Lady Vol juniors have ever recorded more in a single season. Mercedes Russell holds the record with 19, Isabelle Harrison is second with 18, Chamique Holdsclaw is third with 16, Candace Parker is fourth with 14, and Daedra Charles is fifth with 13.

OWNING THE GLASS: Tennessee out-rebounded the Commodores 48-29. UT has out-worked 22 of 25 opponents on the glass this season and is 21-1 in games in which it wins the battle of the boards.

(NEARLY) 1K RAE: Senior Rae Burrell turned in 15 points against Vanderbilt, moving her career points total to 999. She’ll look to become the 47th Lady Vol to surpass the 1K mark on Thursday against Alabama.

KEY DISHING: Junior Tamari Key doled out a career-high five assists against Vanderbilt on Sunday, upping her career high for the second time in SEC play this season. Her previous high was three assists set against Alabama on Dec. 30.

Categories: Sports, Sports – Local Sports News, Sports – UT Vols

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