The Tennessee Lady Vols beat the Missouri Tigers 64-51 in the SEC Tournament. Here are three takeaways from the women’s basketball Volunteers’ victory.
Despite trailing by 12 at one point in the second quarter and by eight at halftime, the Tennessee Lady Vols used a 15-0 run at the end of the third quarter to eliminate the Missouri Tigers in the second round of the SEC Tournament. Kellie Harper’s team won by a score of 64-51.
With the win, UT improves to 21-9 overall, while Mizzou finishes the season 9-22 under 10th-year head coach Robin Pingeton. Rocky Top will move on to face the No. 3 seed Kentucky Wildcats on Friday at 8 p.m. ET.
As a result of this win, the Tennessee Lady Vols were also able to effectively assure they would have no bad losses on their NCAA Tournament resume, which is a big deal. Here are three things we learned from their win in Greenville, S.C.
1. Defense was the story.
They didn’t force a lot of turnovers, only 12 on the night, and they didn’t dominate when it came to rebounding. But the Lady Vols did hold Missouri to 16-of-55 shooting from the field. That was the story of the night, as they were suffocating every time Missouri tried to shoot, particularly in the second half, when they held the Tigers to just 17 points. That was the story.
2. Centers helped out the usual stars.
Rennia Davis and Rae Burrell were obviously going to lead the way in scoring, and they both had double-figures again with 15 and 16 points respectively. But Tamari Key and Kasiyahna Kushkituah also helped out down low with eight and 13 points respectively. Their scoring made the inside game dominant on this night. So they deserve credit.
3. Turnovers declined, but shooting efficiency was a major issue.
One of the good news for the Tennessee Lady Vols was the fact that they only had 10 turnovers. However, they also struggled to shoot the ball, going 22-of-57 from the field for only 38.6 percent. It was even worse from beyond three, as they went one-of-eight, and they missed eight of 27 free throws. If that happens against better teams, they’ll have a harder time winning.