The Tennessee women’s basketball team welcomed the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Lady Lions to Thompson-Boling Arena on Tuesday.
After a dominating first half, the Lady Vols (5-0) was able to hold on in the second to finish with a 92-51 win.
Rennia Davis, Jazmine Massengill, Tamari Key, Lou Brown, and Jordan Horston were featured in Tennessee’s starting lineup, but the minutes were spread out as all eleven healthy payers played at least eight minutes, while another ten players saw 14 minutes overall.
Davis earned a double-double, leading the team in both points and rebounds with 17 and 11, respectively. Burrell was the co-leader in scoring, also registering 17 points, while Key finished second in rebounds, ending the game with seven.
““Rebounds is on my mind all the time,” Davis said after the game. “I just think, if I could give the team something different, other than scoring. I feel like rebounding is that thing I can bring to the table every single night, so I try to get at least ten a night.”
Neither team came out of the gate playing well. It took a minute and 51 seconds into the game before Brown broke the deadlock with a successful layup. Though, once Tennessee got it together, they were able to dominate the first quarter, ending the quarter with a commending 26-7 lead over the visitors. The top two scores in the first quarter both came off the bench as Cassie Kushkituah led with seven points and Kamera Harris notching six of her own.
The second quarter brought continued success for the Lady Vols. Tennessee outscored Arkansas-Pine Bluff 22-4 in the second frame. Rae Burrell led the team in scoring with six points, while Davis and Horston tied for second with four points each.
Four other different Lady Vols contributed to the team’s total by registering at least two points. Davis also played a big role by pulling five rebounds for her team.
“I thought the first half, especially defensively, we were pretty solid. I thought our energy was pretty good,” Tennessee head coach Kellie Harper said. “We did some things defensively with changing up our defeasances to help that.”
The third quarter was a bit of a different story than the two that preceded it, with the Lady Lions out-scoring the Lady Vols 24-19.
Trasity Totten was the star of the quarter for Arkansas-Pine Bluff, scoring 12 points and pulling down a rebound as well. The most impressive score of the quarter for the Lady Lions was a half-court shot by Jayla Atmore as time was winding down. For Tennessee, Davis and Kushkituah tied in scoring with six points.
The Lady Vols were able to take back control of the game in the fourth quarter, besting their opponents 25-16. Burrell and freshman Emily Saunders shared the scoring lead, each notching six points in the final frame. Junior transfer Jaiden McCoy tallied four points and pulled down two rebounds as well.
“We didn’t change [defenses] up as much in the second half,” Harper said. “And I felt our energy was a little lower there. And our execution in our man defense in the second half was not where we wanted to be. We were a little bit gapped out at times, gave too many drives at lanes, or we weren’t getting out to three-point shooters. So, we can clean some of that up.”
Tennessee gets back in action on Sunday at 2 p.m. when the Air Force Falcons come to Thompson-Boling Arena.