No. 23 Lady Vols Defeat Portland State

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    (Photo via Tennessee Athletics)

    The 23rd-ranked Lady Vols bounced back from their loss to No. 1 Stanford with an 88-61 win over Portland State on the road on Saturday afternoon.

    Rae Burrell led the Lady Vols (9-2) with a career-high 21 points and nine rebounds. Freshman guard Jordan Horston also set her career-high, scoring 20 points. Rennia Davis scored 18 points and snagged a season-high 13 rebounds in the road win.

    Sophomore guard Jazmine Massengill didn’t affect the game as much as her teammates in terms of scoring the basketball, but she dished out a career-high 10 assists. Ten of Tennessee’s 11 active players scored.

    Burrell and Horston started the game on fire, scoring Tennessee’s first nine points to spark an early 9-0 lead. Portland State (6-4) responded immediately, going on a 12-3 run to tie the game at 12-all. After Burrell got a bucket to fall just before the buzzer following a Vikings three, the Lady Vols trailed 19-18 at the end of the first quarter.

    At the 6:47 mark of the second quarter, sophomore forward Tamari Key got a bucket to fall that sparked a 14-0 Lady Vols run. The run allowed Tennessee to enter the half with a 40-26 lead.

    The Lady Vols went on their second 14-0 run of the game in the third quarter to break the game wide open, but only after Burrell scored five straight points to start an 11-3 run. Following the two runs, Tennessee led the Vikings by 30, 65-35, at the end of three quarters.

    “We were contesting their shots,” Lady Vols head coach Kellie Harper said following the game. “I don’t think they had as many open shots, and if they did, they didn’t make them. I thought we did a good job of being aggressive.”

    Portland State outscored the Lady Vols 26-23 in the fourth quarter, but the lead that Tennessee had established in the third quarter was too much for the Vikings to overcome.

    After splitting the two-game road trip on the west coast, the Lady Vols will return home to face Howard next Sunday. Tip-off on Dec. 29 is scheduled for 2 p.m.

    Ben McKee is a graduate from the University of Tennessee and has a degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. He covers Tennessee football, basketball, baseball, and the Lady Vols for RTI, and he's also the host of the RTI Podcast. You can also hear Ben on the morning sports radio show "The Swain Event." He's the producer and co-host along with former Vol wide receiver Jayson Swain.