They are back at .500. After finally looking like themselves with a 69-51 win over the Colorado Buffaloes last Friday, the Tennessee Lady Vols had a quick turnaround and didn’t let it phase them at all as they beat the Eastern Kentucky Colonels 105-71 Sunday.
UT went on a 14-0 run late in the first quarter to take a 33-9 lead, and they never let it get close after that, cruising to an easy victory. It was honestly never in doubt, as they jumped out to a 16-4 lead early in that quarter and were truly in control from start to finish.
Kellie Harper’s team improves to 4-4 and is off for a week before facing the Virginia Tech Hokies next Sunday. EKU falls to 4-3 and will visit the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks Friday. Here are three things we learned from the Tennessee Lady Vols’ blowout victory.
1. This is the post game everybody was waiting for.
We already knew about Rickea Jackson, and she didn’t disappoint, scoring 14 points and going 7-of-13 from the field. However, finally, Tamari Key emerged for UT, scoring 13 points and grabbing six rebounds. Five were offensive rebounds, and she also had two blocked shots.
Karoline Striplin had 10 points off the bench, and Jillian Hollingshead had 13 points. They each missed just one shot from the field, and Hollingshead had eight rebounds. Jasmine Franklin had six. UT outrebounded EKU 62-31 and had six blocks.
2. Depth was truly on display.
Jordan Horston was the fourth player for the Tennessee Lady Vols to hit double figures, joining the three post players. She had 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Interestingly enough, she played more minutes than anybody else in the game, and it was only 19. Key, by the way, did her damage in just nine minutes.
Rocky Top went 15-deep in this game, and everybody played at least six minutes while 14 of those players played at least nine minutes and 12 played at least 12 minutes. Everybody got involved, and this is what Harper was going for with her offseason moves. It worked
3. Free throw shooting was an issue.
One major drawback in this game was free throw shooting. UT shot 9-of-19 from the foul line. Jordan walker was 0-for-2, Franklin was 2-of-4, and Hollingshead was 1-of-3. That nullified an amazing offensive performance that truly was inside-out.
More credit should go to the outside shooting part of the Tennessee Lady Vols in this one. They were 8-of-24 from three, as Horston was 2-of-4, Justine Pissott was 2-of-3 and Sara Puckett was 2-of-5 from outside. Walker and Marta Suárez each hit one too.
This resulted in 26 assists and only 12 turnovers. Jackson and Walker each had five, and Brooklynn Miles had three. All of this made for a nearly complete offensive performance, but free throw shooting woes were the one thing to keep this game from being perfect for them.