A team that closes out its opponent, is a team that comes up on the winning end of a game. Such was the case for the Lady Vols last night in their 82-67 win over Texas A & M. A 25-8 fourth quarter finished up a big win for Tennessee, losers of four out of their last six before this one. The win was payback for their first loss of the season to the Aggies.
This was one big confidence boost for a team lacking that recently. An embarrassing loss to LSU, in a game where they were dominated on the offensive boards, fired up the squad. In that one, the Tigers got 20 offensive rebounds against a bigger and better Tennessee team.
The first half saw both sides go up and down the floor trading basket after basket. Texas A & M true freshman, Chennedy Carter put on a display of athleticism and an array of shots made. She could only be stopped by fatigue — the crux of the Lady Vols’ plan to win this game. Even with that, Kennedy would finish with 25 points and teammate, Jasmine Lumpkin added a career-high 22, but they all came in the first half.
For Tennessee, it was the seniors getting the job done as Jamie Nared got out of a shooting slump with 23 points. Mercedes Russell would play big as well getting 18 points and 13 rebounds. These two women are going to make their future teams very happy when they join the WNBA later this year.
— Lady Vol Basketball (@LadyVol_Hoops) February 1, 2018
Two freshmen, Anastasia Hayes with 16 points and Rennia Davis with 13, showed the promise this team has in the near future. Another freshman, Evian Westbrook, continues to show the incredible passing ability that will only get better as her career moves along.
The game featured 30 lead changes and a beauty of a first half morphed into an ugly third quarter for both teams. It all boiled down to the determination of the Lady Vols and their ability to wear down a team that relies on their starters since they have a weak bench.
Now, the Lady Vols move on with their next two games on the road @ Vandy and @ No. 17 Georgia. They still have to play two Top 15 teams in No. 15 Missouri and defending national champion No. 7 South Carolina to close out the regular season before the start of the SEC tournament.