Tennessee Lady Vols beat Georgia State 84-60: Three takeaways

After a close first five minutes, the Tennessee Lady Vols finished the first quarter against the Georgia State Panthers on a 14-4 run to enter the second up 23-15. They never looked back, outscoring GSU 19-9 in the second quarter en route to an 84-60 win to remain undefeated.

Kellie Harper’s team, ranked No. 9 in both polls and still without Rae Burrell, improved to 9-0 on the year, winning this game after a full week off. They now have another six days off before their next matchup, a huge home game Saturday against the Stanford Cardinal.

On the other side, Georgia State fell to 4-5 this season and now begins a four-game home stand to finish off the year, beginning this Tuesday against the Florida A&M Rattlers. Here are three things we learned from the Tennessee Lady Vols’ victory.

1. Everybody picked up the scoring.

The inside-out game Kellie Harper wants to play is finally taking shape, as Tess Darby and Brooklynn Miles each hit two three-pointers while the team hit five on the day. Miles was one of five players to score double figures with 11. Sara Puckett, who hit the fifth three, scored 12.

Jordan Horston had 10 points, and Keyen Green and Tamari Key had 14 and 16 points respectively. Going 21-of-29 from the free throw line helped, but being able to spread the scoring out like this was a huge step for this team.

2. Defense and post game remain dominant.

It’s pretty clear what the Tennessee Lady Vols’ identity is. They use defense and size to their advantage. There’s a reason Green and Key led the way scoring in this game. Key also had three blocks, and her 11 rebounds were part of a dominating day for UT on the boards, as they outrebounded Georgia State 62-33. Horston had 10 rebounds and a block.

Alexus Dye also had a block, but the blocks were just part of the defense. This team had 11 steals as well, forcing 18 turnovers on the day. Horston led the way with three steals, but Miles and Puckett both had two off the bench.

3. Turnovers also remain…a problem.

While the length and the elite defense are a consistent part of this team, the turnovers are also a consistent part, and they happened again here. Rocky Top had 19 turnovers on the day. When you combine that with them shooting 25 percent from three and under 40 percent from the field, it’s amazing they dominated the way they did.

Again, that was due to length. However, the Tennessee Lady Vols have to do a better job of taking care of the ball. Horston had four turnovers, but Dye, Key, Jordan Walker, Karoline Striplin, Jessie Rennie and Green all had two. This can’t go on.