Hartford, CT – Junior Jordan Horston turned in a game-high 26 points, but No. 7/7 Tennessee women’s basketball team came up short at No. 10/9 Connecticut, falling 75-56 in the XL Center on Sunday.
For the Lady Vols (19-4, 8-2 SEC), senior Rae Burrell joined Horston in double figures with 11 points on the day.
UConn (15-4, 9-0 Big East) was led by Azzi Fudd with 25, while Aaliyah Edwards and Evina Westbrook each turned in 14.
UConn won the tip and nailed a three-pointer on its first possession, but following that bucket, both teams struggled to score for nearly two and a half minutes.
Burrell hit a tough turnaround jumper following the timeout to tie the score up at nine, but UConn closed out the period with two threes while holding Tennessee to a made free throw for a 15-10 lead at the end of the first.
Westbrook snuck along the baseline to hit a layup for the first points of the second, growing Connecticut’s lead to seven before Horston sank a pair of free throws to cut it back to five. Olivia Nelson-Ododa knocked down a jumper on the other end before the Huskies were held without a point for more than two and a half minutes while Tennessee hit free throws to whittle the deficit down to 19-15.
The four-point margin would hold until Fudd hit a three and Edwards followed it up with a layup to make the score 26-17 with 4:34 left in the half. Burrell put in a pair of free throws before Horston and Westbrook took over for the last four minutes, scoring six points each for their respective teams for a halftime score of 32-25.
The Huskies opened the second half with a 14-0 run fueled by Christyn Williams and Nika Muhl to lead 46-25 at the 6:19 mark. Horston scored UT’s first points of the half from the free-throw line just under four minutes into the quarter. Fudd and Edwards followed that up with six straight points before Puckett hit her second trey of the game with 3:19 left in the third, setting off an 8-2 run to pull UT within 19 by the end of the quarter at 55-36.
Horston found Key in the paint early in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 17, a number that would hold until Burrell hit a driving layup and drained a 3-pointer on the next possession to pull the Lady Vols within 13 at 59-46 with 5:45 left in the contest.
Edwards responded with a three for Connecticut, the first of four treys the Huskies would hit in the closing minutes. Back-to-back buckets by Horston had UT within 15 at the 3:42 mark, but a 10-0 run by Connecticut dashed UT’s comeback hopes as UConn took a 75-56 win in Hartford.
Horston Gonna Hoop
Jordan Horston turned a game-high 26 points and eight rebounds against No. 10/9 UConn for her sixth performance of 20+ points this season and third in the last four games. Against opponents ranked in the Top 25, she is averaging 20.7 ppg., 10.7 rpg., and 4.0 apg.
Making Free Throws Count
Tennessee went 19-of-21 from the free-throw line for a season-best 90.5 percent free throw shooting percentage. UT’s previous best performance from the charity stripe was 83.3 percent against Kentucky on Jan. 16.
Next Up For UT Lady Vols Basketball
The Tennessee women’s basketball team return home for a match-up against Missouri on Thursday. The tip-off is set for 5:30pm CT. The game will be televised on SEC Network.
Tennessee 56, UConn 75