No. 4 Lady Vols storm past No. 13 St. Louis

Tennessee wins 95-50 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Lady Vols in the NCAA Tournament
Lady Vols in the NCAA Tournament(WVLT Sports)
Published: Mar. 18, 2023 at 1:29 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Tennessee Lady Vols opened its 41st NCAA Tournament appearance Saturday afternoon against the St. Louis Billikens from Thompson-Boling Arena.

St. Louis kept the game close despite a pair of runs by the Lady Vols in the first quarter. The Lady Vols would take over after that as they storm to a 95-50 final to advance to the second round.

Monday, they’ll meet the winner of Saturday’s night cap between Iowa State and Toledo.

In the fourth, Tess Darby opens up the scoring with a corner trey. Two minutes later Darby sinks another 3-pointer, her third on the afternoon, 77-42 UT.

With 6:26 remaining, Coach Kellie Harper subs out the starters and brought in a new rotation of players consisting of Jillian Hollingshead, Justine Pissott Jasmine Franklin, Kaiya Wynn, and Brooklyn Miles.

The Lady Vols wouldn’t make a field goal over the next 2:34 until Franklin made a pair of free throws to run up the score 83-44.

Franklin gets the steal, dishes to Miles on the fast break, and threw down a layup, falling, to make it 84-46.

The chants began for Edie Darby to take the court, and the people get what they ask for, Edie checks in with 2:57 remaining. Of course, big sis Tess on the big grinning ear to ear.

A few seconds in, Edie gets fouled and makes both free throws with loud cheers after each make, 89-46.

A minute later, Edie gets the ball on offense she thinks about a three but got a cleaner look from the paint and sinks the jumper, 93-46.

In the third quarter, Jordan Horston gets the steal, and dishes to Jordan Walker on the fast break, and Tennessee gets the first points of the second half.

Julia Martinez turns it over with a Rickea Jackson steal and makes the bucket on another fast break.

Then Walker gets the defensive rebound, a no-look bounce pass to Jackson in the paint and it’s another pair of points, SLU calls a timeout after a quick six points to bring up the score to 56-24.

At the end of the third quarter, Lady Vols are ahead 67-42

In the second quarter, with 6:51 left, Jordan Horston got a steal and converted on the other end with a layup, to make it 27-21.

With 4:39 remaining Jillian Hollingshead secured the defensive board, Rickea Jackson punched in the layup to make it 33-24, SLU would call a timeout as Tennessee goes on a 6-0 run over 2:46 minutes.

Later, Sara Puckett came up with a timely steal and a foul on Horston led to a pair of made free throws, 35-24, marking their biggest lead.

Jasmine Franklin added to it on the next possession with a layup to make it 37-24, a new greatest lead margin.

Just under two minutes remaining, Jasmine Powell drained a corner three to make it 40-24, the fourth made 3-pointer for the Lady Vols.

Tennessee would go on a 24-2 run in the final 7:34 minutes.

Horston leads the game in points with 15, Jackson close behind with 12. Billikens did not have any double-digit scorers in the first half.

Tennessee committed just six turnovers, two less than SLU.

The first quarter featured three lead changes early. A made jumper by Jordan Horston was part of a 7-0 run to make it 11-4 midway through quarter one.

The Lady Vols knocked down a trio of 3-pointers early from Rickea Jackson and Tess Darby and Jordan Walker. UT was also strong on the defensive end, pulling down eight defensive boards compared to St. Louis’ four.

Tennessee shot 53% from the field.

St. Louis threw down the final bucket as the buzzer sounds to make it a 20-15 UT game after the first quarter.