3-seed Tennessee beat 14-seed Middle Tennessee State 87-62 on Sunday behind a dominant second half performance to advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Vols will now face 6-seed Michigan on Tuesday after securing Kellie Harper’s first postseason win as head coach.
“Before the game I told them that this was a long time coming,” Harper said following the game. “It was fun. I wanted our players to go out and enjoy the moment because obviously last year you see how quickly these can be taken away.”
Senior forward Rennia Davis scored a team-high 24 points as she led a group of four Lady Vols in double-figures. Junior guard Rae Burrell chipped in 22 points, while sophomore forward Tamari Key scored 13 points. Senior center Kasiyahna Kushkituah nearly recorded a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Former Lady Vol Anastasia Hayes scored a game-high 26 points to lead Middle Tennessee State. Hayes transferred following her freshman season (2017-18) on Rocky Top under former head coach Holly Warlick. Her sister, Aislynn Hayes, was the only other Blue Raider in double-figures with 15 points.
Here’s what Harper had to say following her first NCAA Tournament win as head coach of the Lady Vols:
I am not speaking for my wife,but after reading about them taking a knee,I hope they lose every game ,pat would never let this happen I want watch them again