The Lady Vols upset No. 15 Indiana 66-58, the preseason Big 10 favorite, on Thursday afternoon in Bloomington.
Tennessee was led by three players who scored double-figures. Rennia Davis scored a team-high 19 points in the midst of a double-double, while Rae Burrell continued her hot start to the season with 18 points of her own. Sophomore guard Jordan Horston chipped in 13 points.
Indiana’s leading scorers, Mackenzie Holmes (6) and Grace Berger (9), were held to a combined 15 points. Holmes and Berger had entered the contest averaging 18.3 points per game, and 17.0 points, respectively.
“I’m really excited bout this win,” Lady Vols head coach Kellie Harper said following the win. “This was a great win for this program. I think this was a great win for this team right now. They have been really moving in the right direction in a lot of areas and we needed to see that pay off. I’m really happy for them. They dug deep.
“This is a really good basketball team we played. I mean really good basketball team that’s going to win a lot of games this year.”
Here are the three biggest observations from Tennessee’s (4-1) upset win over Indiana.
Vintage Rennia Davis game
Davis hadn’t been playing poor basketball prior to Thursday’s game against Indiana, but she definitely wasn’t playing to the standard that she has established to herself. The senior forward was in a shooting slump, shooting 36.1% through the first four games.
She broke out of that slump against the Hoosiers, shooting 9-of-16 from the field to score a team-high 19 points. Davis recorded her 31st career double-double as she added 15 rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block.
“She looked good,” Harper said. “She got a couple of easier buckets around the basket. She got a put-back, a couple of layups. Rennia needs to be effective all over the court, not just shooting. When she’s active and moving around, she does that. Her jumper looked good — she had a couple she made right in front of our bench and they looked so good.
“We knew at some point she was going to make shots. I didn’t really have a concern about her play, it’s going to happen, we just wanted to make sure she stayed confident through a shooting slump.”
Horston continuing to improve
Horston played a key role in helping the Lady Vols pull off the upset. The sophomore guard scored 13 points, grabbed six rebounds, tallied three steals and blocked a shot. Horston had just three turnovers and two fouls on the defensive end.
“She’s been motivated in practice,” Harper said of Horston’s play. “She’s come out and played through mistakes better. She has played with a confidence and looks comfortable out there. She can really guard and she’s taken that on. For her, she looks like she feels good on the court. And when Jordan Horston feels good on the court, she can make shots, she can drive, she can dish, she can rebound, she can defend, she can do a little bit of everything. With her frame and her size, that’s tough for opponents.”
Unfortunate injury news
Harper relayed unfortunate injury news to the media following the game. The Lady Vols were without two key post players due to injury, one of which was very serious.
Redshirt-senior Keyen Green, who transferred from Liberty over the offseason, sustained a leg injury in practice and likely won’t play the remainder of the season. Green started the first four games of the season and was averaging 6.8 points and 3.0 rebounds.
“Keyen sustained a lower leg injury and is likely going to miss the season at this point,” Harper said. “It was a big blow to our team. In the short time that she has been a Lady Vol, she has made a huge impact on our program, on our team. She is a very mature, great voice in the locker room. Great competitor, works hard. Our team was talking about her. They missed her.”
The Lady Vols were without fellow redshirt-senior Jaiden McCoy as well due to a head injury. McCoy has played in three games this season. She is averaging 3.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13.0 minutes per game.
“Jaiden is day-to-day right now after a head injury,” Harper said. “We’re hopeful we’ll get her back at some point.”
The Lady Vols will now return home to face Jackson State on Sunday. Tip-off is scheduled for 12 p.m. ET.