Lady Vols Bounce Back Against Missouri

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    Tennessee bounced back from its two-game losing streak Thursday, defeating Missouri, 76-62, at Thompson-Boling Arena.

    Playing in just its second home game in nearly three weeks, the Lady Vols used a dominant third quarter to push them to their ninth SEC win this season.

    Tennessee took a five-point advantage into halftime before thrashing Missouri in the third quarter. The Lady Vols outscored the Tigers 26-6 in the frame thanks to Alexus Dye’s 11 points and Missouri’s three-of-18 shooting.

    “Well, we’ve been talking to her about where we think she can be successful and trying to put her in those positions,” Tennessee head coach Kellie Harper said of Dye. “Obviously, she was in foul trouble in the first half so she didn’t get a lot of minutes there, and in the second (she) gave us a big boost… was able to be a go-to there, ran the floor and got her an easy one. (I’m) proud of her efforts. She got in there and got after some boards as well. So really, really excited to see her get going.”

    As she has most of the season, point guard Jordan Houston led the way for Tennessee. The junior scored a team-high 21 points on eight-of-18 shooting from the field. The Lady Vols’ guard added a game-high 13 rebounds and five assists.

    Horston has now scored 20 or more points in four of Tennessee’s last five games.

    “She has been so consistent,” Harper said. “I think one of the reasons she’s been consistent, is that she’s stayed aggressive on the offensive end, looking for opportunities. Not just opportunities to shoot the ball, but opportunities to play make. So, then she can find people, and that’s where she’s getting to the basket. She’s also getting some boards. The more aggressive she is, the better we are. If she’s standing behind the three-point line and is passive, our offense is not as good, so we like to get the ball in her hands and let her attack.”

    Tennessee bolstered strong three-point shooting in the win, making eight-of-20 (40%) attempts from deep.

    Tess Darby led the way from beyond the arc, drilling four-of-seven three-pointers in the win.

    “I think it’s important that we have some folks knock down some outside shots,” Harper said. “It loosens up the defense, it spreads that defense out a little bit, creates more lanes for some of our penetrators and our post play. We were actually trying to get her a few more. Going into this game, every now and then, you feel really confident about something, and she shot the ball so well today, I just knew she’s going to get some and be knocking them down tonight. Really proud of her and proud of our team for finding her. I thought we did a really good job of locating Tess (Darby) when she was open.”

    Tennessee is back in action Sunday afternoon at Thompson-Boling Arena when they face Vanderbilt at noon ET.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.