Knoxville, TN – A 28-point third-quarter effort propelled the Lady Vols to an 86-59 victory over Vanderbilt in UT’s Play4Kay game at Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Senior Rickea Jackson led Tennessee (18-9, 10-2 SEC) in scoring with 21 points on the day, while senior Jordan Horston narrowly missed a double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds. Junior Tess Darby also had a productive outing with 14 points, and graduate Jordan Walker dished out a game-high eight assists and logged an eye-popping +40 plus/minus effort.
Vanderbilt (11-15, 2-10 SEC) was led by Marnelle Garraud who tallied 16 points. Sacha Washington and Ciaja Harbison were also in double figures with 12 and 11, respectively.
Jackson knocked down a jumper 21 seconds into the contest to get UT on the board, and Tennessee held Vandy without a bucket for nearly two minutes before Harbison hit her first basket of the game. Horston scored on consecutive possessions to put UT ahead 6-2, but the Commodores responded with an 8-2 run punctuated by back-to-back treys by Ryanne Allen to give VU a 10-8 lead by the 5:53 mark.
Jackson tied it up with a layup on the next possession, and Vandy leveled the score again before Tennessee scored six points in less than a minute to lead 18-12 with 3:25 left in the first. VU bounced back with a 7-0 run of its own to take a one-point lead at 19-18, and the teams tied it up twice more before the end of the quarter, with the game going into the second period with the score knotted at 21-all.
The Commodores went ahead 27-21 early in the second frame off a pair of threes by Washington and Garraud before Horston snapped the UT drought with a 10-foot jumper with 7:52 left in the half, setting off a 12-2 UT run capped off by a trey from Sara Puckett to put the Lady Vols ahead by four two minutes later. Vandy whittled that lead down to one via the free-throw line, and jumper by Harbison in the final minute sent the game into halftime with the score knotted at 38.
The Tennessee Lady Vols came out of the locker room hot, starting the second half with nine unanswered points, capped by a Horston trey to lead 47-38 by the 7:03 mark. Washington ended Vandy’s scoring slump with a layup 45 seconds later, but five quick points by Walker and Darby had UT up by 12 before the media timeout.
Horston opened the fourth with a jumper before Garraud hit back-to-back threes to pull Vandy within 16. Jackson answered with two straight layups to kickstart a 13-0 UT run that put the Lady Vols ahead 81-52 with 3:52 left in the game. VU hit a jumper to set the deficit at 27 on the next possession, and the Tennessee reserves maintained that advantage through the final buzzer as Tennessee prevailed, 86-59.
Dominating The Paint
The UT Lady Vols were sensational around the basket, out-rebounding the Commodores 51-25 on the day and outscoring them in the paint 48-14. On the offensive glass, UT out-rebounded Vandy 15-4, turning that into 19 second-chance points while holding VU to a Lady Vol opponent season-low zero second-chance points in the contest.
Hollingshead Cleaning The Glass
Jillian Hollingshead co-led UT with nine rebounds against Vanderbilt, marking the sixth time this season she has topped UT on the boards. Entering SEC play, her rebounding season high was eight set against EKU, and she had exceeded four rebounds on just four occasions. Over the last five contests she is averaging 8.0 RPG.
Jordan Horston was key in Tennessee’s explosive third quarter, scoring 10 of her 18 points during that period, and leading UT in scoring for the half with 12 points while adding five second-half rebounds.
Another Third Frame Surge
Tennessee broke open a 38-38 tie at the half with a 28-8 explosion in the third quarter to forge a 66-46 lead after three frames. UT shot 73.3 from the field (11-15), 100 percent on threes (2-2) and 100 percent on free throws (4-4) in the period while holding Vandy to 20 percent shooting from the field (3-15), zero percent on threes (0-3) and 50 percent (2-4) on free throws.
Tennessee is averaging 21.7 points in the third period in SEC play and 22.4 over the last 18 games.
Dynamic Duo Continues To Dominate
Rickea Jackson and Jordan Horston continue to dominate for the Lady Vols, with Jackson tallying her tenth 20-point game and 23rd double-digit effort of the season while averaging 20.5 ppg over the last four games. Horston has averaged 14.3 ppg over the last four and notched her 21st double-digit contest of the 2022-23 season.
Tess And Double-Digit Points
Darby’s productive 14 points against the Commodores marked the seventh time this season that the junior has scored 10+ points in a game, the sixth time against SEC opponents. It also marked the 16th game this season where she’s knocked down two or more threes.
She now has 50 makes on the season, topping her total last season by one and becoming the first Lady Vol since Ariel Massengale hit 74 in 2014-15 to reach the half-century mark.
Next Up For UT Women’s Basketball
The Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team will travel to Arkansas for a matchup on Thursday that will be broadcast on SEC Network. The game begins at 6:00pm CT.