Tennessee held the lead for over 35 minutes and came out with a 90-85 victory in Fayetteville. The Volunteers nailed 9-of-10 free throws in the last minute of play to put away the Razorbacks (12-12, 3-8 SEC).
“I’m obviously proud of these kids, and proud to win,” Holly Warlick said about the Lady Vols effort in tonight’s game.
The Lady Vols came off a road win on Sunday against Vanderbilt, while Arkansas has only won twice in its last nine games. Tennessee had a strong presence in the first half, holding the Razorbacks to just 16 points in the second quarter and giving them a 43-36 lead at the half.
In the second half, the Vols started out in the same direction by shooting 66 percent in the third quarter alone. Arkansas fought its way back in the fourth quarter, outscoring Tennessee 28-23, but the team’s efforts were not enough to give the Razorbacks the win.
Freshman Rennia Davis, led the team with a career-high 33 points and 14 rebounds with an additional four assists. Davis now has the third highest point total by a freshman behind former Lady Vols legends Tamika Catchings and Candace Parker.
Tennessee out-rebounded Arkansas by an impressive 45-26 margin in the win. However, the Vols turnover problems re-emerged as they committed 19 turnovers in Arkansas.
“We know that every team in the SEC is going to be a difficult game,” Rennia Davis said. “It’s especially difficult to win on the road so they gave us their best in the end.”
Junior Meme Jackson followed right behind with 21 points and helped with five rebounds and four assists, as senior Jaime Nared tallied 16 points, six rebounds and one assist.
Mercedes Russell contributed seven points and 10 rebounds, while Kortney Dunbar notched five points. Evina Westbrook and Anastasia Hayes combined for eight points. Russell is now just 13 points and eight rebounds way from logging 1500 points and 1000 rebounds in her career, which would make her the sixth Lady Vol to do so.
“We had some good opportunities for our kids to step up. Meme Jackson and our freshman Rennia Davis, they just had good games for us. They had to in order for us to get the win,” Warlick said.
Arkansas’ Devin Cosper led the team with 29 points, followed by Malicia Mink (25) and Jailyn Mason (11). Kiara Williams contributed nine points for the Razorbacks, and Bailey Zimmerman contributed six points.
Tennessee is now 8-3 in conference play, putting them in third place and three games back from Mississippi State, who is atop the SEC standings.
The Lady Vols are back in Knoxville on Sunday to take on No. 18 Georgia for the annual “Live Pink, Bleed Orange” game. Tip-off is slated for 3 p.m. ET and will be televised on the SEC Network.
Edited by Ben McKee
Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Athletics