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#20/#22 Tennessee Women’s Basketball pushes past Ole Miss, 68-67

 

UT Lady VolsKnoxville, TN – The No. 20/22 Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team held off an upset-minded Ole Miss team on Thursday night, January 28th, 2021 earning a 68-67 win in Thompson-Boling Arena.
 
Senior Rennia Davis led Tennessee (11-3, 5-1 SEC) with 21 points and seven rebounds, and junior Rae Burrell logged 17 points and three rebounds. Sophomore Jordan Horston was also in double figures, managing 13 points and three assists.
 
Donnetta Johnson was the high scorer for Ole Miss (7-6, 1-6 SEC) with 19 points, and Shakira Austin and Snudda Collins were close behind with 16 and 13, respectively.

Tennessee Women's Basketball senior Rennia Davis had 21 points and seven rebounds in win over Ole Miss Thursday night. (UT Athletics)

Tennessee Women’s Basketball senior Rennia Davis had 21 points and seven rebounds in win over Ole Miss Thursday night. (UT Athletics)


Both teams struggled offensively at the start, going through three possessions each before Johnson scored on a fast-break layup a minute and a half in, and Collins followed it up with another on Ole Miss’ next possession.

Tamari Key got UT on the board with a layup at the 7:45 mark before four points from Austin stretched the Rebels’ lead to six.

It was a margin they would maintain until the final two minutes, when they held the Lady Vols scoreless for two possessions while putting in three points to lead 15-6 with 1:47 left in the quarter. Jordan Walker countered with a long-range jumper on the other end to cut it to seven, but Collins responded with a trey of her own to send the Rebels into the second period with an 18-8 lead.
 
UM opened the second frame with a 5-2 run to lead 23-10 two and a half minutes in, but Horston gave the Lady Vols a spark. She hit a trey and then soon after grabbed a rebound on the other end and converted on the fast-break layup to cut the deficit to eight points less than 30 seconds later.

Mimi Reid answered with a 3-pointer, but Burrell knocked down a layup and Horston found Davis on the break to pull UT within seven at 26-19 just before the media timeout.  Tennessee kept up the pace coming out of the break, holding the Rebels scoreless through three possessions while whittling the deficit down to two on the offensive end. Ole Miss would stretch its lead back to seven a minute and a half later, but UT closed out the half with four-straight points from Burrell and Davis to pull the halftime deficit to three at 33-30.
 
The Rebels were first to score in the second half off a Johnson layup, but Davis and Horston both hit jumpers to pull UT within one by the 7:19 mark. The teams swapped buckets for nearly four minutes until Davis converted on an old-fashioned three-point play to tie the score at 41-all with 3:32 left in the quarter.

Davis gave UT its first lead of the game with a pair of free throws on the following possession at the 3:07 mark, but Ole Miss reclaimed it 30 seconds later off a 3-point play by Madison Scott. Davis again scored for UT to tie things up at 45, and Destiny Salary found Key in the paint for a layup on the next play to give the Lady Vols a 47-45 lead with 1:21 to go in the period.

 


 

Salary stretched the advantage even further just before the buzzer, getting the rebound and the put-back to give Tennessee a four-point lead entering the final stanza.
 
Johnson opened the fourth quarter by scoring four straight points for Ole Miss to tie it up at 49-all, but Burrell knocked down a trey two and a half minutes in to give UT a three-point edge, a margin that would hold through the final media timeout. 

Following the break, Salary drove through the paint and knocked down a layup to stretch UT’s lead to five, but the Rebels continued to hang around as Collins nailed a trey on the next possession and Johnson followed it up with a jumper to knot the score at 56 with just under five minutes left in the game.

There would be three lead changes before Walker and Horston each hit a pair of free throws to put the Lady Vols up 64-61 with 58 seconds to play. A traveling violation on the other end gave the Big Orange the ball back, and Davis scored on a layup to extend the lead to five with 16 seconds on the clock.

Reid converted on a three-point play in the closing seconds, but Burrell hit both of her free throws on the other end to give UT a four-point cushion with five seconds remaining. Johnson’s 3-pointer at the buzzer cut the deficit to one, with the Lady Vols escaping with a 68-67 nail-biter.
 
Comeback Kids: Tennessee overcame trailing by 13 points in the second-quarter to defeat Ole Miss. It was the largest comeback made by a UT team since erasing a 20-point, third-quarter deficit against Stetson on Dec. 5, 2018.   
 
Big-Time Boards: The Lady Vols out-rebounded the Rebels, 35-28. They have now out-rebounded every opponent this season by a margin of 45.9 to 31.1.

 


 
Making Free Throws Count: The Lady Vols were a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and were 16 of 19 for the game. Their free-throw percentage of 84.2 percent against Ole Miss was the highest by UT since having the same exact performance against the Rebels on February 27th, 2020, at 16 of 19 (84.2).
 
Davis Climbing Lists: With 21 points, Rennia Davis posted her third 20+ scoring effort of the season and the 16th of her career, ranking seventh all-time at UT. She also moved past the 1,600-point career scoring mark at 1,603, surpassing Mercedes Russell (1,597) and moving into 16th place on Lady Vol list. Her seven boards also moved her into 16th on the career rebounding list at 862, passing Daedra Charles (858).

Box Score

Ole Miss 67, Tennessee 68

  1 2 3 4 F
Ole Miss 18 15 12 22 67
Tennessee 8 22 19 19 68

Up Next For Tennessee Women’s Basketball

The Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team closes out its four-game homestand on Sunday, hosting Florida in a 1:00pm CT contest that will be broadcast on ESPNU.


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