The No. 4 Tennessee Lady Vols advanced to 4-0 Monday night after defeating the Tennessee State Tigers 97-46 at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Tennessee got off to a slow start, trailing 20-14 midway through the first half. However, a 22-0 run immediately following that gave the Lady Vols the spark they needed. Tennessee never looked back, outscoring the Tigers 83-26 from that point forward.
The Lady Vols led 44-27 at halftime. They would go on to outscore the Tigers 53-19 in the second half.
“I thought Tennessee State came out and gave us a great effort. I thought we had to adjust and play solid defense. Once we settled down, we did just that,” said head coach Holly Warlick.
“We didn’t panic. We settled in and got back to playing how we should play.”
Center Nia Moore had a double-double, leading the team with 25 points and 11 rebounds. It was her second double-double of the season. Bashaara Graves added another 14 points for the Lady Vols, while Jamie Nared and Cierra Burdick also scored in double-digits with 11 and 10 points.
Burdick commented on Moore after the game, “She’s been tremendous. She’s been huge for us on the boards, on putting the ball in the basket. I don’t think, really, people expected this from Nia, except for us.”
Rachel Allen led the way in scoring for Tennessee State with 13 points.
One key to the Lady Vols win was forcing turnovers. Tennessee committed only 14 on the night, while Tennessee State committed an astounding 38. The Lady Vols were able to capitalize, scoring 45 points off those turnovers.
Tennessee struggled to get baskets through the first 10 minutes, but after the first half surge and a second half clinic, the Lady Vols would end up shooting 49.3 percent. The Tigers made 18 shots on the night and finished at 32.1 percent from the field. Both teams made only three three-pointers.
Tennessee State out-rebounded the Lady Vols 42-37. It was the first time that Tennessee had been out-rebounded this season. The Tigers also committed more fouls with 28 compared to Tennessee’s 15. The Tigers shot 63.6 percent from the free throw line, while Tennessee hit 75.7 percent of their free throws.
The Lady Vols face their first road test of the season Wednesday at Chattanooga. “They’re athletic. They’re fast. They shoot the three, so we’re going to have our hands full,” said Warlick on the Mocs.
The game is set to tip off at 7 p.m. ET and can be seen online at GoMocs.com.
Edited by Maggie Jones