KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – In their first-ever NCAA Tournament game, the visiting Billikens led Tennessee in the early going, 4-3. But, it didn’t last – the Lady Vols locked down on defense and cruised to a 95-50 victory in the NCAA Tournament First Round.
UT came up with 13 steals and forced 20 turnovers – all while allowing St. Louis to shoot just 32.8 percent from the field.
“St. Louis has been on a run – they have been playing some really good basketball, they’ve had a lot of momentum,” Lady Vols head coach Kellie Harper said. “I thought defensively in that second quarter we were able to really set the tone of how the game was going to go for the duration.”
“We’ve been preaching this since the beginning of the season – our defense is what motivates and what fires our offense – along with the great atmosphere that we’re playing in,” Vols senior Jordan Horston said. “But, like I said, it matters about the defense.”
Every player on the active Tennessee roster go in on the action, led by Horston. The senior had 21 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Rickea Jackson (18 pts), Jordan Walker (11 pts) and Tess Darby (10 pts) all finished in double figures.
Brooke Flowers paced the Billikens with 17 points and nine boards and five blocks in defeat.
Tennessee (24-11) will face 12-seed Toledo on Monday in the NCAA Tournament Second Round. Tip-off is still TBD.