Knoxville, TN – No. 23/24 Tennessee Lady Vols basketball posted a season-high in points, eclipsing the century mark to defeat Eastern Kentucky, 105-71, in a wire-to-wire victory on Sunday afternoon at Thompson-Boling Arena.
The Lady Vols (4-4) were led by Jordan Horston, who became the 48th player in Lady Vol history to surpass 1,000 career points during her career. The 6-foot-2 senior guard finished with 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, five assists, one steal and a block in the all-around performance.
In addition to her stat-stuffing effort, senior forward Rickea Jackson enjoyed a strong game, totaling 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and a steal. Senior center Tamari Key posted one her strongest outings of the season, tallying 13 points, six rebounds, and two blocks.
Offensively, Tennessee was on fire all day long, shooting 52 percent from the field and knocking down eight 3-pointers. UT dished out a season-high 26 assists while turning the ball over a season-low 12 times. The Lady Vols won the game in the paint, outscoring the Colonels (4-3), 70–32, and doubling them up on the glass, 62-31. Tennessee grabbed a campaign-best 25 offensive rebounds, which led to a 2022-high 34 second-chance points.
The UT Lady Vols dominated defensively, holding Eastern Kentucky to only 36 percent shooting, while forcing 15 turnovers. The Big Orange also notched eight steals and six blocks on the day.
UT’s bench accumulated a season-high 58 points, including impressive performances from sophomore forward Jillian Hollingshead, who posted 13 points and a career-high eight rebounds, and sophomore forward Karoline Striplin, who shot 5-of-6 to post a season-best 10 points.
Tennessee picked up momentum early in the game, shooting 59 percent from the field in the first quarter, while five different Lady Vols knocked down a combined six 3-pointers. UT assisted on 9-of-13 shots and used a 19-4 run to take an early 33-11 lead. The Big Orange’s 33 points in the frame marked its most in a quarter this season.
The Lady Vols dominated the paint in the second stanza, as Tennessee scored 24 of its 27 points down low. Striplin led the way with eight points on 4-of-4 shooting. UT continued sharing the ball well, assisting on 10 of its 13 shots in the period to take a 60-34 advantage into halftime.
At the break, three Lady Vols ended the half with double-digit scoring. Flirting with a triple-double, Horston totaled 10 points, six rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block to lead the way. Jackson tallied 10 points, four boards and four assists, while Key added 10 points and five rebounds. As a team, UT had 19 assists and shot 61 percent from the field in the half. The Lady Vols’ 26-point lead at the break marked its largest halftime lead all season.
Tennessee continued to dominate in the second half, connecting on 53 percent of its shots from the floor and recording 18 rebounds in the third quarter to stretch the lead 87-51. The Lady Vols would finish with a season-high 62 boards.
Coming In Hot
Tennessee turned in 33 first-quarter points against EKU, going six of 10 from behind the arc and shooting a scorching 59 percent from the floor. The total tied for the 10th-most points scored in a single quarter in program history.
Nine Tennessee Lady Vols contributed at least one bucket to the 22-point lead, which was their largest first-quarter lead of the season. The Lady Vols went on to amass 60 points in the first half, the most since December 6th, 2017, when they put up 61 in the first half against Troy.
All 15 active Lady Vols saw the floor against the Colonels, with 14 tallying at least one point, and five Tennessee players ended the game in double figures for the first time this season and the initial occasion since January 2nd, 2022, vs. Arkansas.
For the fifth straight game, seniors Rickea Jackson and Jordan Horston led UT in scoring with 15 and 14, respectively. On the season, they have combined for 245 of Tennessee’s 619 points, making them responsible for 39.6 percent of the team’s total points.
UT racked up a season-best 70 points in the paint against Eastern Kentucky. Coming into the contest Tennessee’s previous high in the paint was 44 against Ohio State in the season opener.
With 14 points against EKU, senior Jordan Horston moved her career total to 1,004, becoming just the 48th Tennessee player to amass 1,000 career points.
Tennessee’s bench combined for a season-best 58 points against the Colonels, over half of the Lady Vols’ 105 total points. Jillian Hollingshead led the effort with a season-high 13 points, and Karoline Striplin pitched in 10 for a career-high.
Next Up For UT Women’s Basketball
Tennessee will hit the midway point of a six-game home stand on Sunday, hosting Virginia Tech in the Jimmy V Women’s Classic in a 12:00pm CT contest that will be broadcast on ESPN2.