The Tennessee Lady Vols got back on track by topping the Texas A&M Aggies 82-67. Here are three takeaways from the women’s basketball Volunteers’ win.
The Texas A&M Aggies were responsible for the Tennessee Lady Vols’ first loss of the season three weeks ago. On Thursday, Holly Warlick’s team got revenge at Thompson-Boling Arena.
After losing four of six games, Tennessee used a dominant finish to control the Aggies with a 15-point win. They went into the fourth quarter down by two but outscored Texas A&M 25-8 at that point.
That included a 21-4 run at one point. With the win, Tennessee improves to 18-4 overall and 6-3 in the conference. The loss drops Texas A&M to 17-6 overall and 6-3 in the conference.
It’s Tennessee’s fourth win against a team currently ranked in the Top 25 at this point but only their third against a team ranked in the Top 25 that was at full strength when they faced them. Still, this is another huge quality win for UT.
Already a Top 10 RPI team, this should move them up for the time being. Here are three takeaways from the Tennessee Lady Vols’ win against Texas A&M.
1. The veterans finally got aggressive again.
Jaime Nared left to a standing ovation in Knoxville after she finally got back on track. The senior forward had 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting. She was still bad from outside, going only 1-of-5 from three. But this time, she made up for it by not settling for outside shots and driving to the basket instead. That aggression was huge, and more of it would help the Tennessee Lady Vols in the future.
Speaking of aggression, Mercedes Russell was at her most efficient and demanding the ball inside. And she actually put forth an effort down low. The result was 18 points and 13 rebounds. If Russell and Nared can keep up this aggression, Tennessee will finally return to the team we thought it was at 15-0.
2. Three-point shooting is back.
One of the biggest problems facing the Tennessee Lady Vols the past few games was outside shooting. They were in a major funk. That was not the case on Thursday. Tennessee hit seven three-pointers and shot 39 percent from beyond the arc.
The best part was it was spread evenly. That percentage came even with Nared only hitting one three and missing four others. Anastasia Hayes and Meme Jackson both hit two threes, and Evina Westbrook and Rennia Davis each added a trey. The consistency among the backcourt was huge.
3. Tennessee won the turnover battle.
Off and on, with a large group of freshmen, the Tennessee Lady Vols have struggled with turnovers all year. Now, on Thursday, Anastasia Hayes did have six turnovers. But by and large, this team was solid at taking care of the basketball.
Tennessee only committed 13 turnovers and forced 19. That’s a huge step forward for this group of freshmen. If they can remain consistent beyond the arc and take care of the basketball while the veterans remain aggressive, this team could finally reach its potential.