May 25, 2024

Nared’s ‘complete’ game leads Lady Vols to win over LSU

Jaime Nared continues her impressive season, as her double-double on Thursday led the Lady Vols to a 19-point win over LSU.

KNOXVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 02, 2017 - Lady Volunteers flag during the game between the LSU Lady Tigers and the Tennessee Lady Volunteers at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Craig Bisacre/Tennessee Athletics

Jaime Nared’s 26-point, 10 rebound double-double and a consistent offensive performance led Tennessee to a 77-58 win over LSU in Knoxville on Thursday night.

“To me, Jaime is playing a complete game,” Lady Vols’ head coach Holly Warlick said after the win. “… Jaime is just taking advantage of hard work. She’s mentally focused and got her mind right.”

Nared’s 26 points marks the 19th consecutive game in which the junior has scored in double digits. The win was the fourth-straight for Tennessee, who is rounding into form after an inconsistent first half of the season. The win moved the Lady Vols into a tie for second in the SEC, 2.5 games back of league-leading South Carolina.

“I knew, coming off the South Carolina game, we may have a little bit of a let down, but I thought we stayed solid,” Warlick said.

The Lady Vols got off to a slow offensive start as a team, but Nared and redshirt junior Mercedes Russell combined to score Tennessee’s first 25 points. Despite the lack of help, Tennessee took a 17-15 lead after a quarter of play. The Lady Vols countered their own offensive struggles by stifling the LSU offense on the other end.

For the game, the Lady Tigers shot just 35 percent from the floor. Both teams struggled out of the gate. LSU and Tennessee traded baskets in the first quarter before Tennessee put a small cushion between the two teams late in the second.

Despite taking a 34-27 lead into the half, only Nared, Russell, and Schaquilla Nunn had scored. Tennessee’s leading scorer, Diamond DeShields, scored all of her 15 points in the second half to keep LSU out of threatening distance.

“It was not my night, and I’m completely fine with that,” DeShields say postgame. “Going into halftime, I knew I was working towards a triple-double … it was more about getting the ball to (Nard) and (Russell).”

Despite the low seven-point cushion at the half, Tennessee kept up the defensive intensity while improving on a plus-50 percent shooting performance in the second half. The Lady Vols led by as many as 15 in the third quarter before a cold offensive spell allowed the Lady Tigers to cut the lead to nine going into the fourth quarter.

However, the Lady Vols opened the final frame with a 9-4 run to open the lead to 67-51, and the lead never diminished to single digits again.

“I’m proud of the win and excited for our young ladies, but now, we’re getting ready for Georgia,” Warlick said.

Tennessee takes on Georgia in Athens on Sunday, Feb. 5, at 4 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

Edited by David Bradford

Featured image by Craig Bisacre, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics

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Nathan is a junior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He spends most of his free time eating meaningless foods and watching sports. If you wish to contact Nathan, you can email him at wodom3@vols.utk.edu or find him on Twitter, @NathanOdom11.