Lady Vols topple second ranked Texas Longhorns 82-75

Knoxville, TENN (WATE) - The Tennessee Lady Vols moved to 10-0 on the season with their most impressive victory of the year Sunday afternoon, edging the second ranked Texas Longhorns (7-1) 82-75. It's a win that will surely catapult the eleventh ranked Big Orange toward the very top of the Associated Press poll next week.

Both teams struggled to shoot all afternoon in front of a raucous and energized crowd, combining to shoot just 30% in the first half. Tennessee finished 2 of 13 (15.4%) from beyond the arc, and Texas 3 of 18 (16.7%). The action picked up after the break, and particularly in a wild fourth quarter that saw the Lady Vols edge Texas 34-31.

Tennessee never trailed, and Texas tied the game just once. Ariel Atkins hit a jumper to start the second half, and the Longhorns pulled the game to 29-29. Tennessee went on a 10-2 run and never looked back.

The Longhorns kept it close in the fourth quarter, but Tennessee remained composed, and attacked the boards aggressively, compiling 16 offensive rebounds and creating numerous second chance opportunities. 

Despite a tough 6-for-20 day shooting the ball, Jaime Nared led Tennessee with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Mercedes Russell added 15 and 12, and freshman Evina Westbrook chipped in 15 as well. Anastasia Hayes and Cheridene Green added 8 points each, all in the second half, to help the Lady Vols keep one step ahead of the previously unbeaten Longhorns.

Atkins led Texas with 21 points. Lashaan Higgs finished with 15.

It was the 39th meeting between the two powerhouse programs. Tennessee leads the all-time series 24-15.

The Lady Vols will head to the west coast next weekend, playing Long Beach State (2-7) before facing the 18th ranked Stanford Cardinal (5-4).


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