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Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball loses close one to Georgia, 67-66

 

UT Lady VolsKnoxville, TN – Despite shooting a solid 49 percent from the floor, No. 23/24 Tennessee women’s basketball team dropped its first SEC contest on Thursday evening, falling 67-66 to Georgia in Thompson-Boling Arena.
 
The Tennessee Lady Vols led by as many as 17, but the Lady Bulldogs exploded for 29 points in the third quarter, claiming a lead they never relinquished.   
 
UT (8-2, 2-1 SEC) was led by senior Rennia Davis with 15 points and four rebounds. Sophomores Tamari Key and Jordan Horston were also in double figures with 14 and 11 points, respectively.

Tennessee Women's Basketball falls to Georgia 67-66 at Thompson-Boling Arena, Thursday night. (UT Athletics)

Tennessee Women’s Basketball falls to Georgia 67-66 at Thompson-Boling Arena, Thursday night. (UT Athletics)


Gabby Connally and Que Morrison were the top scorers for UGA (11-1, 3-1 SEC) with 17 each, and Mikayla Coombs chipped in 11.
 
Tennessee wasted no time getting on the board, with Rae Burrell finding Davis off the tip for a fast-break layup just four seconds into the game.  Burrell followed it up with a jumper of her own before Georgia responded with a put-back by Maya Caldwell to make the score 4-2 a minute and a half in.

Key converted on a jumper on the next possession before Connally knocked down a trey to pull the Lady Bulldogs within one, but the Lady Vols responded with a 7-2 run to lead 13-7 at the media break. UGA rallied back after the timeout, pulling within two before Horston managed the steal and the score and Burrell followed it up with a three to put UT ahead by 20-13 with 1:26 left in the quarter.

Georgia scored four quick fast-break points, but UT closed out the quarter with a Key layup and a Horston trey at the buzzer to take a 25-17 lead into the second.
 
Tennessee stretched its lead to double digits off a pair of Key layups in the opening minutes of the second period. It then hit a bit of a shooting slump, however, as Georgia pulled back within six before Horston hit a layup just before the media break to push the score to 31-23. Burrell knocked down a layup following the timeout, adding to what would become a 9-0 run that put the Lady Vols up by 15 with 3:04 left in the half. Maori Davenport broke the drought for UGA, but Horston once again converted at the buzzer to lift the halftime score to 40-25.
 
Key scored the first points of the third quarter with a layup 11 seconds in, but the Lady Bulldogs slowly scrapped their way back, pulling within six by the media timeout off back-to-back threes by Que Morrison.  Horston knocked down a 10-foot jumper following the timeout, but UT was plagued by turnovers and UGA went on to score nine-straight points, punctuated by treys from Connally and Morrison on subsequent possessions.

Those buckets gave the Lady Bulldogs their first lead of the game at 50-49 with 47 seconds left in the period. UGA closed out the quarter with four more points, stretching the run to 13-0 and taking a 54-49 lead into the final stanza.

 


 
Georgia added to its lead with a Coombs layup before Key broke the slump with a layup, and then Jordan Walker followed it up with another on the next possession to cut the deficit to 56-53 with 6:32 to play. The teams traded buckets before Connally hit a long-range trey and Morrison added a layup to stretch UGA’s lead to eight with just under five minutes to go.

UT twice climbed back within three off points by Kasiyahna Kushkituah before Davis cut it to one with 29 seconds left in the game. With 13 seconds on the clock, UT forced a 5-second violation on a Georgia inbounds play, but a tied ball on the other end gave the Lady Bulldogs the ball back. UT had a lob attempt in the paint off an inbound pass with under three seconds remaining, but UGA disrupted the play and held on for a 67-66 victory.
 
Key Player: Tamari Key turned in a season-high 14 points against Georgia, 10 of which came in the first half. It’s the second time in as many games that she’s increased her season-high and the first time in her career she’s scored in double digits in back-to-back contests.
 
Kasi Contributing: Senior Kasiyahna Kushkituah scored seven points, all in the fourth quarter, to fuel Tennessee’s comeback bid. Over the last five games, she’s averaging 9.6 ppg. and 5.6 rpg., up from the first five games of the season in which she averaged just 3.4 ppg. and 4.4 rbg.

Box Score

Georgia 67, Tennessee 66

  1 2 3 4 F
Georgia 17 8 29 13 67
Tennessee 25 15 9 17 66

 


Up Next for UT Lady Vols Basketball

The Tennessee women’s basketball team will travel to Alabama for a 2:00pm CT/3:00pm ET matchup that will be streamed on SECN+. Following that, UT returns home to host UConn at 6:00pm CT on Thursday in a “We Back Pat” contest that will be broadcast on ESPN.


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