The University of Tennessee women’s basketball team vanquished Ole Miss 77-72 in the SEC Tournament Quarterfinals. After the Friday night win in Greenville, South Carolina, the Lady Vols are set for a rematch against South Carolina.
Leading the Charge
The Lady Vols were led all game by Rennia Davis. The senior captain dropped a game-high 33 points and 14 rebounds, to give her the ninth double-double of the season. Davis led the team in scoring in the second and third quarters, with nine and eight points, respectively.
“We just needed to carry that momentum that we had,” said Davis. “In the fourth quarter was when we started getting our momentum. I feel like Ole Miss had the momentum for the majority of the game. We started that fourth-quarter digging in a little bit deeper and we hope to carry that into tomorrow.”
On Friday night, Davis tied her career-high after dropping 33 points. She also extended her 20+ scoring streak to six games, which is the longest by a Lady Vol since Candace Parker way back in the 2007 season.
Davis’s work on the glass also moved her up the program record boards. The 14 rebounds she tallied put her two spots higher on the career rebounding list. She passed Nicky Anosike (914) and Bridgette Gordon (915) to rank 11th all-time among Lady Vols as she has totaled 923 rebounds.
Tennessee couldn’t miss all night against Ole Miss. Rae Burrell added 18 points to her team's total, including six points from behind the arc. Jordan Horston made the biggest impact from the bench with 12 points, along with going a perfect 2-2 from three.
Throughout the game, the Lady Vols shot 41.4% from the field, including a 50% stroke from the floor in the final stanza. Tennessee was also unstoppable from three and the charity stripe. The Lady Vols converted 7-10 attempts from deep and nailed 22 shots from the free-throw line.
“Jordan’s [three] was especially critical for us,” Tennessee head coach Kellie Harper said. “I didn’t think we were scoring and we needed something to help us get over the hump and that was important. Then Rennia's ended up being big, to cut the lead going into halftime. Rennia got a good look at it, but maybe a little uncharacteristic. They were big, I’d have to say they were big.”
Tennessee even bested Ole Miss in secondary scoring stats. The Lady Vols outscored the Rebels 32-26 in the paint, 19-9 from second chance opportunities, and 13-4 from off of the fast break.
Went Down Swinging
Ole Miss had a trio of players finish in the double figures. Donnetta Johnson led the pack with 20 points. Sharika Austin was next with 14 points and seven boards. Jacorriah Bracey rounded out the group with 13 points, three rebounds and two steals.
As a whole, the Rebels shot an impressive 43.1% from the floor and even converted 10-13 attempts from the charity stripe. They weren’t able to match Tennessee from deep, but they still shot a good 35.3% from that range.
Tennessee will play South Carolina for the second time this season on Saturday, March 6 in Greenville, South Carolina at 6:30 p.m. ET for the SEC Tournament Semifinals.