Throughout Tennessee women’s basketball history, one thing has stayed consistent. A fierce presence on the boards and a determination to not be out-rebounded.
However, in the No. 11 Lady Vols’ (1-2) 79-67 loss to No. 12 Indiana (3-0), Tennessee was out-rebounded for the second consecutive game.
On Nov. 10, the Lady Vols hosted UMass where despite winning 74-65, they only corralled 45 rebounds compared to the Minutewomen’s 49.
Against the Hoosiers, Tennessee continued to struggle on the boards. Indiana beat the Lady Vols in the rebound battle 35-33 en route to a 12-point victory.
This rebounding differential included 10 offensive boards for the Hoosiers. 17 second-chance points made it difficult for Tennessee to claw back from an early deficit.
“In the first half, I feel like they out-toughed us on the offensive glass,” said Tennessee guard Jasmine Powell. “We tried to tell our team we need to box out. We need to just not only go to your man but push them back as well with the box out.”
Resulting from the extra chances was an onslaught of 3-pointers. Indiana connected on eight shots from deep which silenced any hint of a Lady Vols’ comeback. Four of its threes even came on second-chance opportunities in the first half alone.
Five players for the Hoosiers reached double-digits but Chloe Moore-McNeil, Tess Darby’s high school teammate, led the attack from deep on 3-for-8 shooting from range. She finished with 15 points.
Mackenzie Holmes and Sara Scalia led the team in scoring at 16. The pair also combined for three made 3-pointers.
Another aspect of the match that led to the Tennessee loss was fast-break points. Indiana pushed the pace for 21 fastbreak points, beating the Lady Vol defense down the floor for easy baskets. On the other end, Tennessee was only able to cash in on two points through fast breaks.
During a bleak game, a pair of players still stood out for the Lady Vols. Powell notched a double-double with her efforts in scoring and on the glass. She totaled 16 points, 10 rebounds and four assists with three made 3-pointers.
“She is not going to be overly vocal,” said Harper on Powell. “She’s just steady, and it’s going to be by example. Typically, the kid just does what needs to be done in that moment. To me, the way she plays, she plays with great confidence, and I think that can bleed over to her teammates at times. As a former point guard, I’m just trying to help her find ways to help her teammates.”
Rickea Jackson also surged to 17 points in Jordan Horston’s absence. Her eight fourth quarter points helped trim the lead to just four before she had to sit due to foul trouble. She also finished with six rebounds and four assists.
The loss marks the second in Tennessee’s first three games. After opening with three teams who qualified for the NCAA Tournament a season ago, the Lady Vols’ stretch gets no easier.
Next, they’ll travel to the Bahamas to face Rutgers. Other participating teams in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament are UCLA, South Dakota State, Louisville, Gonzaga, Texas and Marquette.
Ryan Sylvia is the Sports Editor at TNJN. He is a senior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville majoring in journalism and electronic media. Although he spent most of his life being raised outside of Philadelphia, he was born in Knoxville, and he is happy to be back home. Ryan has had a love for sports from an early age, and he found his love for writing in high school while taking journalism classes. He hopes to find a job involving both his passions as a sports journalist after graduation. To reach Ryan, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org