Davis’ double-double pushes UT past No. 15 Indiana
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Senior wing Rennia Davis turned in her 31st career double-double to fuel an upset over No. 15 Indiana in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall on Thursday, 66-58.
Davis scored 19 points and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds to lead Tennessee (4-1) in both categories. Junior Rae Burrell was close behind with 18 points, and sophomore Jordan Horston also had a good showing, tallying 13 points, six rebounds and six assists.
Indiana (2-2), the preseason favorite to win the Big Ten, was led by Ali Patberg with 16 points and Jaelynn Penn, who recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. IU’s leading scorers, Mackenzie Holmes (6) and Grace Berger (9), were held to a combined 15 points. They had entered the contest averaging 18.3 ppg. and 17.0 ppg., respectively.
UT played without starting forward/center Keyen Green and reserve power forward Jaiden McCoy. Head coach Kellie Harper shared postgame that Green is lost for the year due to a lower leg injury. McCoy, meanwhile, is listed as day-to-day after suffering a head injury. Neither player made the trip, and both injuries were suffered during different practices.
Davis was first to strike for Tennessee, tying the score at 2-all a minute and a half into the contest. Marta Suárez and Burrell got in on the action as well, extending Tennessee’s lead to 8-4 by the media break. Aleksa Gulbe knocked down a quick jumper coming out of the timeout, but Horston and Davis each hit layups to put UT back up by six with under three minutes left in the quarter. Patberg converted on an old-fashioned 3-point play to pull Indiana within three with just over a minute remaining, but Jordan Walker closed out the period with five quick points to push the advantage to 17-9.
The Hoosiers came out strong in the second quarter, scoring four quick points to pull within four a minute in. Tennessee struggled to score on its first few possessions of the quarter until Horston gave the Lady Vols a boost at the 6:31 mark, snagging a steal and then getting the rebound and the put-back at the other end. Davis followed it up with a layup on the next possession to stretch UT’s lead back to eight at 21-13.
Kiandra Browne responded by converting on a 3-point play on the other end, but Burrell set off a 6-0 Tennessee run that gave UT a double-digit lead with 4:24 left in the half. The teams traded buckets to close out the quarter, with Horston pouring in five-straight points for Tennessee to give the Lady Vols a 34-24 halftime lead.
UT held IU to 1-15 from behind the arc and 30 percent shooting from the floor in the first half.
The Hoosiers chipped away at Tennessee’s lead at the free-throw line in the opening minute of the second half, pulling within seven before Kasiyahna Kushkituah put in a layup and Davis followed it up with a trey, sparking an 11-2 Tennessee run that was capped by back-to-back threes from Burrell that put UT up 45-29 just over two minutes into the third quarter. After that, the Lady Vols hit a bit of a scoring slump. They went without a field goal for over five minutes while Indiana poured in 10 points to pull within nine. Burrell responded, however, hitting a turnaround jumper with 2:16 left in the period to boost the lead back to 11. IU kept its foot on the gas to close out the quarter, outscoring UT 8-2 to trail by just six points entering the final stanza.
Indiana continued to build momentum to start the fourth quarter, pulling within two off back-to-back fast-break layups by Penn. Davis answered with a layup for UT, but Holmes and Patberg combined for three points to pull the Hoosiers within one at 54-53 with just under seven minutes to play. That’s where the score would stay for more than three and a half minutes as neither team could find success offensively.
Davis broke the drought with a jumper at the 3:19 mark and followed it up with a layup on the next possession to put UT up 58-53 with 2:19 to play. The Hoosiers would cut the deficit to three off a Grace Berger layup, but that’s as close as they’d get, as Davis and Burrell each came up with clutch buckets, and Horston converted on free throws to give UT the win on the road, 66-58.
Up Next: The Lady Vols return home to host Jackson State in a noon contest on Sunday in Thompson-Boling Arena. The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.
Davis Back In Double Digits: Senior Rennia Davis shrugged off a brief scoring slump, notching her 31st career double-double with 19 points and a career-high 15 rebounds at Indiana. She logged her 30th consecutive 10+ point game earlier this season against ETSU, and with today’s performance, she has scored in double digits in 45 of her last 48 games.
Shutting Down The Long Ball: Tennessee held Indiana to just two treys on the game and a 3-point shooting percentage just seven percent. Coming into the game, they had hit 17 threes over three games, averaging .298 from behind the arc.
Owning The Paint: The Lady Vols out-rebounded IU 51-38, winning the battle of the boards in every game this season and out-rebounding opponents 248-162. Tennessee also outscored Indiana in the paint, 34-22. On the season, UT has scored 192 points in the paint while holding opponents to just 92.