Second half lifts Tennessee Lady Vols basketball to road win vs Georgia

·3 min read

ATHENS, Ga. – After taking the lead in the third quarter, the Tennessee Lady Vols fought every possession to hold on for a 63-55 win on the road over Georgia on Sunday in Stegeman Coliseum

No. 6 Lady Vols (18-1, 7-0 SEC) kept their undefeated conference play alive and were led once again by Jordan Horston, who tallied her ninth double-double of the season. She finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds against the No. 13 Bulldogs (15-4, 4-3).

UT had a shaky first two quarters, but outscored the Bulldogs 32-23 in the third and fourth quarters and held Jenna Staiti to only six points and Que Morrison to three points after halftime.

Tennessee starter Tess Darby – who leads the team in 3-pointers with 28 – did not make the trip due to being in COVID-19 protocols and Rae Burrell made her first start since the season opener in November when she was injured and missed 12 games. Burrell finished with 13 points and five rebounds.

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Slow start offensively for Lady Vols

Both teams came out strong defensively and Tennessee struggled to get into any sort of rhythm on offense. The Lady Vols had eight turnovers in the first quarter and only scored 13 points.

Tennessee shot 38% from the field in the first quarter and it only got worse in the second. With 4:37 left in the second quarter, the Lady Vols had made only two of 10 field goal attempts and went 2-for-4 from the free throw line for six points.

But the Lady Vols hit their stride offensively and ended the second quarter on a 12-4 run to make it 32-31 in Georgia's favor at halftime. Tennessee's last six points of the quarter came off of Georgia turnovers.

Tennessee scored 14 points off of Georgia's 10 turnovers while the Bulldogs scored 17 points off of 15 Lady Vol turnovers.

Horston led the way for Tennessee with 11 points and seven rebounds in the first half.

Halftime adjustments get Tennessee on track

Tennessee came out of halftime with the same offensive energy it ended the second quarter with. In the first six minutes of the third quarter the Lady Vols went on a 17-8 run, shooting 70% from the field. UT outscored the Bulldogs 21-15 in the third quarter to hold onto a 52-47 lead going into the fourth.

The Lady Vols also cleaned up the turnovers after halftime, only turning the ball over once in the third quarter.

Tennessee held a steady lead throughout the third and fourth quarter, but Georgia kept the game close, staying within five or six points in the fourth.

Keyen Green went down in the third quarter with an apparent knee injury. She did not return to the game and ended with three points and three rebounds.

Tennessee forward Alexus Dye (2) takes shot an during an NCAA women's college basketball game between Tennessee and Georgia in Athens, Ga., on Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022.

News Joshua L Jones
Tennessee forward Alexus Dye (2) takes shot an during an NCAA women's college basketball game between Tennessee and Georgia in Athens, Ga., on Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022. News Joshua L Jones

Tamari Key No. 3 in career blocks in UT history

After not practicing all week due to a minor ankle injury suffered last Sunday against Kentucky, center Tamari Key played 21 minutes for Tennessee and tallied five blocks against the Bulldogs. Key now has 73 blocks this season and 231 career blocks, which moves her past Kelley Cain into No. 3 in school history.

Key ran into foul trouble in the first half, which limited her minutes to 11 before halftime. She ended with eight points and four rebounds.

Up next

Tennessee is back on the road to face Auburn on Thursday (8 p.m. ET, SEC Network+).

Cora Hall: Covering UT women's athletics
Twitter | cora.hall@knoxnews.com
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This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Tennessee Lady Vols basketball beat the Georgia Bulldogs on the road