Rally comes up short for No. 6 Lady Vols in annual We Back Pat game

Knoxville, TENN. (WATE) - On a day bigger than basketball, No. 6 Tennessee was overwhelmed on the court, falling to undefeated No. 3 Mississippi State 71-52 in the team's annual We Back Pat game. 

Tennessee submitted one of their worst shooting efforts of the season in a game that saw starters Jaime Nared (3-14 FG), Meme Jackson (1-10 FG), Evina Westbrook (3-7 FG) and Rennia Davis (3-10 FG) all struggle to find their shot. Mercedes Russell was a perfect 6-6 from the field in the first half, but attempted just 3 shots in the second half.

Tennessee (16-3, 4-2 SEC) was 0-8 from beyond the arc, compared to 7 made 3-pointers on 18 attempts for Mississippi State (20-0, 6-0 SEC). Even with the poor shooting, Tennessee managed to cut an 18-point second half deficit to a 57-50 margin with 7:19 left in the game. That was as close as they got. The Bulldogs put them away from there with a tidy 14-2 run to finish the game.

Victoria Vivians scored a game-high 24 points for Mississippi State. Roshunda Johnson added 16 while center Teaira McCowan scored 12 points to go along with 18 rebounds.

The Lady Vols ended their four-game stretch against ranked opponents 1-3, falling in overtime to No. 17 Texas A&M 79-76 before blowing a 23-point second quarter lead last Thursday against No. 6 Notre Dame in their 84-70 loss.

The Pat Summitt Foundation presented a check for $500,000 to the Pat Summitt Clinic at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

The Lady Vols will look to right the ship next week, when they host Ole Miss (11-8, 1-5 SEC) Thursday night.

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