Women's Basketball vs. Texas

Texas Guard Rori Harmon (3) tries to fight through Tennessee Forward Jordan Hurston's (25) defense during the Tennessee vs Texas Women's Basketball game on Nov. 21, 2021 in Thompson-Boiling Arena, Knoxville, TN.

Tennessee women’s basketball welcomed the No. 12 ranked Texas to Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday, after Texas defeated No. 3 ranked Stanford the Sunday prior. 

Tennessee was down as much as 12 during the course of the game, but thanks to a fourth quarter charge, the Lady Vols battled back to reign victorious over the Longhorns in overtime, 71-68.

Here are the three takeaways from Sunday’s top-25 matchup.

Jordan Horston does it all … again

For the third straight game, Jordan Horston led the Vols in scoring with 26, including 13 in the fourth quarter and overtime.

The junior was 11-for-22 from the field, including 1-of-2 from three-point land. She also racked up her second double-double of the season, grabbing 15 rebounds. She also dished out 3 assists, but she did have 8 turnovers.

The Lady Vols have been without Rae Burrell ever since she went down with an injury in the season opener, and Horston has filled that void left by Burrell tremendously.

Women's Basketball vs. Texas

Tennessee Forward Jordan Hurston (25) initiates the fast break during the Tennessee vs Texas Women's Basketball game on Nov. 21, 2021 in Thompson-Boiling Arena, Knoxville, TN.

Horston was out for the opener, but ever since her return, she has led the Lady Vols in scoring, averaging 22 points per game and almost 12 boards a game. She has carried Tennessee to monstrous victories, including two come from behind wins.

Lady Vols dominate the paint

The Lady Vols size was a major advantage in the matchup on Sunday, and Tamari Key led the charge.

Key tallied her second career triple-double on Sunday afternoon, racking up 10 points, a career-high 17 rebounds and a career-high 10 blocks. She was a menace down low, swatting anything that came within her vicinity and altering shots left and right.

Along with Key’s 10 blocks, Tennessee added 5 more to bring the block total to 15. The Lady Vols dominated the rebounding battle, grabbing 55 boards compared to Texas’ 40. Key grabbed 17 of those boards, Horston nabbed 15 and Alexus Dye had 6.

Points in the paint have been a huge factor into Tennessee’s wins this season, and it went inside early and often. Forty of the Lady Vols’ 71 points were from the paint. They even added 13 second chance points off of offensive rebound.

The Lady Vols’ size is a big reason they are 4-0 in this young season.

Fourth quarter comeback

The Lady Vols were down 49-39 heading into the final frame on Sunday afternoon. Against USF, Tennessee was down 44-38, before shutting down the Bulls in the fourth quarter to pull out a 52-49 win.

The Lady Vols carried that excellent fourth quarter play and stifling defense against the Longhorns. Tennessee held Texas to only 10 points, shooting 4-of-22 from the floor and 1-of-5 from downtown.

On the other side, the Lady Vols scored 20 points on 6-of-11 shooting and sank their lone three-point attempt of the quarter.

Free throw shooting had been an issue in the first three games, but in the fourth quarter, it was a major improvement and a key reason for the comeback. Tennessee went 7-of-12 from the charity strike.

The Lady Vols’ wins might not be pretty, but they have pulled out four of them nonetheless — two against ranked opponents — and start this young season on a high note. 

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