The Lady Vols were defeated by the No. 22 Arkansas Razorbacks, 83-75, at Bud Walton Arena. Tennessee falls to 17-9 on the season and 7-6 in the SEC, while Arkansas improves to 21-5 overall, and 9-4 in the SEC.
Rae Burrell was Tennessee’s leading scorer with 21 points and nine rebounds. Burrell scored 15 of those 21 points in the final quarter to cut Arkansas’ lead to four, but the Razorbacks were able to pull away with the victory. Rennia Davis finished second on the team with 18 points and eight rebounds.
Burrell is averaging 15.5 ppg. and 7.3 rpg since entering the starting lineup four games ago. In three of the matches, she led the Lady Vols in scoring and rebounding.
For Arkansas, Amber Ramirez finished with a game-high 29 points. Teammates Alexis Tolefree and Chelsea Dungee followed with 22 and 16, respectively.
Tennessee scored first and was able to build up a 6-0 lead. Ramirez got the scoring started for Arkansas with a 3-pointer. The Lady Vols continued to hold the lead, but Ramirez made two consecutive shots to cut Tennessee’s lead to just one. Before the media timeout, Tamari Key made a shot inside the paint to leave the score at 12-9, in favor of the Lady Vols. Ramirez made a basket behind the arc right out of the gates to tie the game at 12. Arkansas ended the quarter with the lead after each team battled, thanks to a Tolefree mid-range jump shot, which pushed Arkansas ahead, 18-16.
In the second, Tolefree continued her offensive success by making a 3-pointer to increase the Razorbacks’ lead to five. Davis broke a three minute scoring drought for Tennessee with a driving layup. Taylah Thomas completed a three-point play to widen the gap to 24-18. With three minutes remaining, Jessie Rennie hit a shot behind the arc to cut the lead to three. However, Arkansas then went on a 5-0 run to finish the quarter ahead, 33-25 before the half.
Tolefree again struck first from 3-point land, pushing her team’s lead to 11. Davis started a 9-2 run for Tennessee which cut Arkansas’ lead to just four. Eventually, Arkansas’ offense broke through again and scored six quick points from Makayla Daniels and another Ramierz three, to lead 48-38. No ground was gained or lost by either team until Dungee hit a buzzer beat to give Arkansas a 58-46 lead going into the last quarter.
Arkansas scored four unanswered points to begin the final stanza, until Burrell and Rennie combined for 13 points through the first four minutes to cut the deficit to just 11. Jordan Horston added another basket, while Burrell completed a three-point play to bring Tennessee within six. The Razorbacks scored four more unanswered points after Ramirez scored two quick baskets. Burrell hit a three and made a layup right after to leave the score at 75-69, Davis made a basket from downtown with just 15 seconds left in regulation. Tennessee then fouled and Arkansas made both of their free throws to claim the 83-75 victory.
Tennessee’s next match is at home in Thompson-Boling Arena against Vanderbilt on Sunday at noon.