(utsports.com) KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Lady Vols prevailed over an upset-minded Ole Miss team on Thursday, taking a 77-66 win on Senior Night at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Junior Rennia Davis was Tennessee’s (19-9, 9-6 SEC) high scorer, recording her 28th career double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman Tamari Key and sophomore Rae Burrell were also in double figures, with Key scoring a career high of 17 points and Burrell finishing with 14 in the final regular-season home game of the 2019-20 campaign.
Ole Miss (7-21, 0-15 SEC) was led by Deja Cage and Mimi Reid, who posted 22 and 21 points, respectively.
Burrell scored Tennessee’s first seven points, going 3-for-4 on field goals in just five minutes of competition. Her play sparked a 15-0 run from the Big Orange, which also included a team-high eight points from Key.
At the end of the first quarter, UT led 20-9 with four different players scoring for the Lady Vols. Defensively, Tennessee held Ole Miss to an icy 21.1 shooting percentage and out-rebounded the Rebels, 15-9.
In the second period, the Lady Vols forced an early timeout from Ole Miss after stringing together another 5-0 run that featured freshman Jessie Rennie’s second three-pointer of the game and a lay-in from Davis. UT resumed its scoring surge to build the run to 9-0, holding the Rebels to no points over four and a half minutes.
Ole Miss responded late in the second quarter, going on a 7-0 spree and holding Tennessee without a field goal for the last two minutes to cut UT’s lead to 37-28 going into the locker room.
During the opening half, Key Tennessee with 12 points in seven minutes of play, while Davis recorded a team high of seven boards. Horston, meanwhile, tallied five assists in the first half, while UT out-rebounded the Rebels, 25-16.
Ole Miss opened up the third quarter with a three-pointer, cutting the Tennessee lead to 37-31. Key scored UT’s first points of the half, making a bucket from underneath the basket.
Midway through the third, the Rebels’ hot shooting from long range cut the UT lead to three, but the Lady Vols took back control of the game via a 5-0 run with points from both Key and Davis, extending the Big Orange’s lead to 50-42.
With four seconds remaining in the third stanza, Brown took a charge, her 12th of the season, to give Tennessee possession. The quarter ended with a last-second bucket from way beyond the arc by Davis, improving UT’s advantage to 65-50 entering the final frame.
Davis scored an early basket in the fourth, but it was countered by back-to-back threes from the Rebels. The Big Orange stiffened to prevent a comeback, as the Lady Vols scored seven more points to keep at least a nine-point lead for the remainder of the game.
Overall, UT out-rebounded Ole Miss, 45-27, and held the Rebels to only a 37.7 shooting percentage. The bench contributed 47 points and outscored the Rebels 34-18 from inside the paint.
Up Next: The Lady Vols will close out the regular season on the road, traveling to Auburn for a 3:05 p.m. ET (2:05 p.m. CT) contest. The match-up will be broadcast on Lady Vol Network radio stations and included in whiparound coverage on the SEC Network.
Senior Salute: Tennessee seniors Lou Brown and Kamera Harris were honored before the contest in their final regular-season appearance on The Summitt. Both will earn master’s degrees in communication and information with emphasis in journalism and electronic media from UT.
Explosive First Half: The Lady Vols strung together a 15-0 run in the first quarter against UM. It marked their fourth longest run of the season and the 19th time they have managed a run of 10 or more points.
Jessie Rennie went two of three from behind the arc against Ole Miss, moving her season shooting percentage to .489. She is shooting at an even higher rate in SEC play, hitting .571 of her 3-point attempts. She went five of six from three-point range in two games against the Rebels this season.
Cashing In At The Line: For the second time in three games, Tennessee shot 80 percent or better from the line, hitting 16 of 19 (.842) attempts against Ole Miss. The team previously hit eight of nine (.889) free throws against Arkansas.
Lou Taking Charge: Redshirt senior Lou Brown drew her 12th charge of the season against Ole Miss. That total leads the team and ties UT’s total for the 2018-19 season.
Double-Double Davis: Rennia Davis recorded her 28th career double-double against UM with 19 points and 11 rebounds. She is now just one double-double away from tying Bashaara Graves for 10th all-time among Lady Vols.