Jordan Horston once again led the No. 7 Tennessee Lady Vols to victory, this time on the road against Ole Miss.
Tennessee defeated Ole Miss 70-58 Sunday afternoon after Horston put up her seventh double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 boards.
“I’m just playing basketball. I guess I’m in the right spots at the right times,” Horston said. “My teammates are looking for me, I’m looking for my teammates and I’m crashing hard. I’m just here to win basketball games.”
Horston, who is averaging a double-double in SEC play, was a big factor in Tennessee’s win Sunday, but also helping lead the way was graduate transfer Alexus Dye.
Dye, who has had a quiet first season at Tennessee, had 17 points and 4 rebounds on an efficient 7-of-12 shooting. Dye had a big third quarter, coming out of halftime and scoring 8 quick points to get the Lady Vols started.
“Everybody can get hot, everybody on this team,” Horston said. “We have a really good team and when someone’s not playing well somebody else is picking up the slack. I love that about this team.”
Tess Darby also put up big numbers for the Lady Vols with 13 points and 4 boards. Darby was responsible for a big second quarter run that gave the Lady Vols an 18-point lead going into the half. Darby had 3 three-pointers in the second quarter.
“It’s just the same thing start to finish. We have to come out and win every quarter,” Darby said. “We knew after halftime they would come in and pressure us. We just had to stay focused.”
While some players stepped up and had big performances, others had some games to forget.
Tamari Key had a quieter game than the Lady Vols have gotten accustomed to with just 6 points, 7 rebounds and 1 block. Ole Miss put a focus on containing Key and the Rebels were able to do just that. Fortunately for the Lady Vols, there were other options to look to.
“TK is down there and she does have a presence offensively and defensively,” Darby said. “If she doesn’t have a solid game that helps us open up but also we know we have to get her the ball down there as well.”
On the other hand, the Rebels paint presence was on tonight. Shakira Austin, Ole Miss center and future WNBA first-round pick, was a problem for Tennessee Sunday. Austin had 26 points on a scorching hot 8-of-10 from the field while also tracking down 9 boards.
Despite Austin’s big game, Tennessee was able to contain the rest of the Rebels, largely in part due to its control of the boards.
Tennessee out-rebounded the Rebels 46-28 Sunday.
“Offense sells tickets, defense wins games and rebounding wins championships,” Horston said. “That’s what we’re trying to do and the little things matter. I feel like that’s a big part of who we are and we embrace that.”
Though unranked, Ole Miss was a tough opponent for the Lady Vols. The Rebels came into the game on a 13-game win streak.
“We talked to them about how good this team is and I think they understood that,” head coach Kellie Harper said. “They did a good job of tracking on our opponents. They have a good idea of how good a team is well before the scouting report is in our hands.”