SEC Tournament: Three takeaways from Lady Vols 86-65 loss to Kentucky

The Tennessee Lady Volunteers suffered a blowout loss to the Kentucky Wildcats in the women’s basketball SEC Tournament. Here are three things we learned.

They got one more chance at a quality win in the SEC Tournament after that five-game losing streak late in the regular season. But the Tennessee Lady Vols embarrassed themselves in the process, falling to the Kentucky Wildcats 86-65 Friday night.

That loss eliminated Kellie Harper’s team from the conference tournament, and with a 21-10 record, they now have to sit and wait to see if they will end up in the NCAA Tournament. What’s clear is that their performance in Greenville, S.C. did not help their case.

Kentucky scored their second win over Rocky Top this season, winning the first matchup between the two in Lexington by just four points. They improved to 22-7 overall. Here are three takeaways from the Tennessee Lady Vols’ SEC Tournament loss.

1. Basic offensive mistakes returned.

After being efficient against the Missouri Tigers, the Tennessee Lady Vols had 19 turnovers in this game and missed 10 of 18 free throw attempts. Tamari Key missed three of six  from the line, Kasiyahna Kushkituah missed all four attempts, and Rae Burrell missed both of hers. Jordan Horston and Lou Brown combined for nine turnovers. Those things kept it from being close.

2. Kentucky shooting was unstoppable.

We can’t blame Tennessee’s defense. They did what they needed to do. But despite their loss to the Vanderbilt Commodores’ the Wildcats entered the SEC Tournament red-hot off the rest. They hit 11-of-24 three-point attempts, shot 33-of-65 from the field and, unlike UT, missed only two of 11 free throw attempts. Their hot shooting plus the Lady Vols’ mistakes made it a blowout.

3. Lady Vols shot the ball well from the field.

While they made all those mistakes we mentioned, the Lady Vols at least shot the ball well. They hit seven-of-20 three-pointers and 25-of-61 field goal attempts overall. Jordan Horston was the star with 24 points, showing her bright future. If those other mistakes weren’t an issue, this would’ve been a great story.