No. 15 Lady Vols surge past Troy
Tennessee registers 100 points against the Trojans
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - It was a short-handed Lady Vols team that took the court Sunday against Troy, but toughness and togetherness are what the team will tell you led to a 100 to 73 victory over the Trojans.
It also resulted in every Lady Vol scoring at least one bucket on the night.
Tennessee won their way to their 3rd straight home victory to stay perfect on the Summitt Floor. They did so without Jasmine Powell who has a wrist injury, Avery Strickland who’s in concussion protocol, and of course Rickea Jackson who’s out with a lower leg injury.
Karoline Striplin said their victory is in part because the team was bought in.
“We are a deep team and I think that everyone just rose to the occasion when we saw that we are short-handed. I think it just shows our toughness and our togetherness. Our word for the season is togetherness, so I think that those players were able to step up and do their role when their name was called. I think that shows our togetherness.” said Striplin.
Striplin also recorded her first career double-double and led five players in double figures. The forward produced 15 points and 10 boards by halftime, and finished with career highs of 19 points and 14 rebounds to pace the Big Orange.
To start the game Sara Puckett recorded the Lady Vols first bucket of the game, a performance Coach Kellie Harper called ‘gutsy’ as Puckett’s availability was in question Sunday, as well.
Late in the first quarter, Destinee Wells got to work and strung together an 18-point night. The Belmont transfer also tallied eight assists and four boards with only one turnover in 30 minutes.
“I’ve been aggressive at practice all week. I have some really great teammates that just made it easy for me tonight. So had a really good game, yeah. I couldn’t have done it without them,” said Wells.
In the second quarter, Tennessee outscored Troy 25-9.
With less than 30 seconds left in the game, the Lady Vols were three shy of a 100-point game when Jillian Hollingshead passed to Kaiya Wynn, and from the wing, she took her shot and sank the triple try to push the Lady Vols to an even 100 points on the afternoon.
The first time since last November that the Lady Vols recorded 100 points in a regular season game.
“I was just focused on getting across half-court. I was just trying to push the ball up, because we always talk about pushing the ball up, whether that’s an across-the-court pass or right up the sideline. But when she hit that shot I was excited for her, she’s been working on that and getting better and better. So just to see her hit that shot knowing it was going to go in was a really nice feeling,” said Hollingshead.
The Lady Vols had one of its best nights on the glass, outrebounding the Trojans 63 to 35. 42 of Tennessee’s boards came on defense.
“That team historically, the last five years or so, has been one of the top rebounding teams in the country. That’s just what they do. You could see glimpses of that throughout the game, but I thought we were pretty disciplined with our box-outs. It’s been something that we talked a lot about this week. That’s probably the area that I’m most proud of when you pick up that stat sheet and look at the rebounds,” said Harper.
Tennessee returns to the Sunshine State for the Fort Myers Tip-Off where they’ll meet a pair of tough opponents. Their first game is set for Wednesday against Indiana.
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