OXFORD, Miss. – No. 23/24 Tennessee picked up its second SEC win of the season on Thursday night, rolling past Ole Miss, 84-28.
Junior Rennia Davis led the Lady Vols (12-3, 2-1 SEC) with 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Freshman Jordan Horston narrowly missed a double-double, finishing with 11 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Freshman Jessie Rennie also was in double figures with 11 points, shooting a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the arc and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line.
Ole Miss (8-8, 0-3 SEC) was paced by Dominique Banks with 12 points and Jayla Alexander who had nine.
UT shot a scorching 73.3 percent in the first quarter, fueled largely by Davis who went 4-of-5 for nine points. Tennessee got out to a quick start with Davis, Horston and Lou Brown combining for eight points on UT’s first four possessions while holding Ole Miss scoreless for nearly three and a half minutes. Deja Cage ended the drought for the Rebels, knocking down a three to bring the score to 8-3 with 6:38 remaining in the first quarter. The Lady Vols answered by going 4-of-4 for a 9-0 run to lead 17-3 less than three minutes later. Alexander scored Ole Miss’ only basket in the closing minutes of the period, and Tennessee closed out the quarter with an 8-0 run to lead 25-6 to start the second quarter.
The Lady Vols kept their run going in the second stanza, scoring 10 additional unanswered points to extend the run to 19-0 and lead 36-6 before Banks scored on back-to-back possessions to put the Rebels in double digits with 3:51 remaining in the half. Four different Lady Vols knocked down baskets while holding Ole Miss to just four points, closing out the quarter with a 46-14 lead.
Tennessee shot a season-high 62.5 percent from the floor in the first half and every active member of the UT roster contributed at least two points by halftime.
Horston kicked things off in the third quarter with an old-fashioned three-point play. Davis and Tamari Key followed that up with layups to put Tennessee up 53-14 by the 7:02 mark. The layup was the first of seven-straight points by Key, giving UT a 58-17 lead with 5:26 remaining in the quarter. Bryn Parker hit a layup for the Rebels just before the media timeout, but multiple Lady Vols made it to the free-throw line following the break, going a perfect 6-of-6 to lead by 45 points with 3:33 remaining in the stanza. Torri Lewis and Banks then combined for five quick points for Ole Miss, but Tennessee outscored UM 5-2 in the closing minutes to lead 69-26 heading into the final stanza.
The Lady Vols opened the fourth with eight unanswered points, holding the Rebels scoreless until Alexander hit a jumper with less than two minutes remaining in the game. Rennie hit one final basket for the Lady Vols, knocking down her third trey of the game as Tennessee seized an 84-28 victory in Oxford.
Up Next: Tennessee returns home to face Georgia at 1 p.m. on Sunday in Thompson-Boling Arena. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.
Rennie Finding Her Groove: Over the first eight games, freshman Jessie Rennie hit just 3-of-15 of her 3-point attempts, but over the last seven games she’s managed a hot .632 from behind the arc, going 12-of -19. She’s 15-of-34 on the season for a team-high 3-point average of .441.
The Run Game: The Lady Vols reeled off their second-longest run of the season against Ole Miss, holding the Rebels scoreless for eight minutes and 23 seconds spanning the first and second quarters while pouring in 19 points on offense. That run is second only to the 20-0 run the team managed against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
Cleaning The Glass: UT out-rebounded the Rebels 56-23. Tennessee has now won the battle of the boards against 13 opponents and boasts a rebounding margin of +16.9.
Fast Start: Tennessee held Ole Miss to just six first quarter points, the fewest UT has allowed in an opening period this season. UT’s 19-point first quarter lead tied for the largest opening period advantage this season with the 19-point lead they held against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Nov. 26.
Lockdown Defense: Tennessee held Ole Miss to just 28 points on the night, tying for the third-lowest point total by an opponent in Lady Vol history. The 14 points Ole Miss scored in the second half ties for the sixth-fewest all-time, and the two points UT allowed in the fourth quarter ties for second fewest points scored in a quarter by an opponent.
Big Time Bench Points: More than half of Tennessee’s total points came from the bench which finished with 43 on the night. That is the second-highest total bench points the team has managed this season, second only to the 45 points scored off the bench against Howard.
Improved At The Line: Tennessee is hitting 63.6 percent from the free-throw line for the season, but it has improved its shooting over the past two games. UT was 12 of 13 vs. Ole Miss and now is 29 of 34 over the past two contests for 85.3 percent.