After another disappointing start the Lady Vols rallied to defeat the University of Texas 75 to 61.
The Lady Vols started Sunday afternoon’s game with another new lineup. Freshman Mercedes Russell recorded her first career start for the Vols while sophomore Jasmine Jones got her first start of this season. While those two players only combined for five points, their impact was much needed.
In the first half both teams were held to low shooting percentages, 36% for the Lady Vols and 37% for Texas. This led to the lowest score for an opponent in the first half with Texas only managing 27 points. Even though they were held to such a low total, the Lady Vols only mustered 28 points, giving them the lead at the half.
Once again, the ladies came out of the locker room with a renewed enthusiasm. They started the half with a 6-0 run that would eventually blossom to a 12 point lead. The Lady Vols never trailed in the game, but Texas applied a lot of pressure throughout. Shooting in the second half was much approved with the Lady Vols hitting 48% of their shots.
Isabelle Harrison led the Lady Vols in scoring with an impressive 18-point effort. Ariel Massengale followed her with 15 points and added 7 assists. She has recorded at least five assists in all 8 games this season. Meighan Simmons and Cierra Burdick added 13 and 10 points respectively and led the team emotionally through some rough patches. The most notable of which came when Texas Forward Nneka Enemkpali was whistled for a foul on Burdick, then threw the ball at her earning a technical foul on top of that.
With another win under their belts, the Lady Vols are still looking to play a full game. Thus far no team has capitalized on the slow starts, but perennial powers such as Stanford, LSU and Georgia will be more than happy to exploit that flaw.
Edited by Will Lomas