Lady Vols vault past Vikings

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) — The No. 23/24 Lady Vols shot a scorching 51.4 percent from the floor and 46.2 percent from behind the arc on Saturday, defeating Portland State in Viking Pavilion, 88-61.

Sophomore Rae Burrell led Tennessee (9-2) in scoring, narrowly missing a double-double with a career-high 21 points and nine rebounds. Freshman Jordan Horston was close behind, also setting a career high with 20 points. Junior Rennia Davis recorded her tenth rebound of the game just over two minutes into the second half to solidify the 24th double-double of her career. She went on to collect a season-high 13 rebounds while scoring 18 points.

Portland State (6-4) was led in scoring by Kylie Jimenez and Desirae Hansen, who finished with 15 and 10, respectively.

Tennessee came out of the gate hot with Key and Horston combining for nine unanswered points in the first three minutes of play. Jordan Stotler broke the drought for PSU, knocking down a three to set off a 12-3 run that tied that game up at 12-all with 4:31 to play in the quarter. The score remained knotted until Belle Frazier hit a 3-pointer to give Portland State its first lead of the game at 19-16 with 43 seconds to play in the first. Burrell answered on the other end, hitting a layup in the paint at the buzzer to put UT within one heading into the second stanza.

The teams swapped baskets to start the second period until Key knocked down an eight-foot jumper at the 6:47 mark, setting off a 14-0 run that gave UT a 38-24 lead with 25 seconds remaining in the half. Stotler ended the scoring slump for PSU with a 10-foot jumper, but Horston beat the buzzer on the other end, hitting a layup to give Tennessee a 40-26 lead at the half.

Junior Rae Burrell scored five points in the opening minutes of the third quarter, fueling an 11-4 run that put UT up 51-30 by the 5:18 mark. Kamera Harris and Jessie Rennie combined for another five points following the media timeout to extend the streak of unanswered points to 14 before Stotler hit a pair of free throws to put the score at 59-32 with 3:43 remaining in the period. Tennessee kept its foot on the gas, pouring in another nine points while holding the Vikings to three, entering the final stanza up 65-35.

Horston came out hot in the fourth, scoring nine points in the first four and a half minutes. Cassidy Gardner and Labrea Denson gave the Vikings a spark with just under three minutes remaining in the game, knocking down treys on three-straight possessions to cut the deficit to 28, but UT held on to a comfortable margin, winning 88-61.

Up Next: Tennessee will return to action on Dec. 29, hosting Howard in a
2 p.m. contest. It will be available for streaming on SECN+ and broadcast on Lady Vol Network radio stations.