The Tennessee Lady Vols dominated the Bulldogs Sunday. Here are three takeaways from the UT women’s basketball Volunteers’ victory over the UGA Dawgs.
Extending their winning streak to four games, the Tennessee Lady Vols added another quality win to their resume by destroying the Georgia Bulldogs in Knoxville Sunday afternoon. Holly Warlick’s team never trailed after the first quarter and used a 13-0 run in the first half to take control of the game.
The win was Tennessee’s fifth of the season against a team currently ranked in the Top 25. It also improved them to 21-4 overall and 9-3 in the conference. Georgia, meanwhile, fell to the exact same record: 21-4 and 9-3.
As a result, Tennessee has moved firmly into second place in the SEC standings since they have the head-to-head advantage over Georgia and the other 9-3 team, the South Carolina Gamecocks. However, things don’t get any easier from here.
Tennessee still has a road game against the Missouri Tigers in a week and then has to close out the season at home for a Round 2 match-up agains the South Carolina Gamecocks fully healthy. So they still have some work to do. But this was a great resume victory. Here are three takeaways from the Tennessee Lady Vols’ win.
1. Defense and rebounding improved significantly.
The Tennessee Lady Vols clearly left their defense back in Knoxville when they traveled to Fayetteville earlier in the week to face the Arkansas Razorbacks. But they found it upon their return and suffocated he Georgia Lady Bulldogs on Sunday. On hustle plays, just look at rebounding. Tennessee had 50 rebounds to Georgia’s 30, despite UGA averaging a 40-37 rebounding advantage on the year. The Lady Vols doubled the Dawgs in offensive rebounds 12-6.
Meanwhile, a Georgia team averaging 71 points on the year on 43.5 percent shooting was held to 46 points on 29.5 percent shooting. They also made an average five threes a game on 33 percent shooting from beyond the arc. But on Sunday, they went 1-for-12 from outside. And finally, a team that averages 15 and a half turnovers a game had 20 on Sunday. But that leads to a negative we have on the Lady Vols.
2. While defense was great, offense was sloppy.
At least they didn’t need career nights from Rennia Davis and Meme Jackson to win this one. But the Tennessee Lady Vols were very uncharacteristic on offense in this game from the start. That’s just from the scoring end.
They shot 39 percent from the field, and they missed 12 free throws. But an old concern returned. Tennessee committed 27 turnovers, which was a big negative from this game. Overall, Vols fans should be happy about such a huge win. However, their constant issues of taking care of the basketball came back up in a bad way Sunday.
3. Veterans dominated the paint.
We’ve been calling for them to do this in big games for a while. And in this one, Mercedes Russell and Jaime Nared finally came through. We already mentioned the rebounding, which Nared had nine of and Russell had 15. Let’s talk about the scoring.
Both of them scored in double figures by attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line. Nared had 15 points, and Russell had 13, giving Russell another double-double. This game should have been a bigger blowout than it was due to their dominance, but Holly Warlick is still not demanding enough that they get the ball more underneath the basket. Still, they deserve credit for dominating in this game.