KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — After leading by as many as 23 points, Tennessee had to fend off a hard-charging Chattanooga team as the #4 Lady Vols posted a 59-57 win on Monday night at Thompson-Boling Arena. After trailing by double-figures for most of the night, the Mocs used a late 22-4 run to cut their deficit to two points three times in the fourth quarter. But Tennessee was able to hold on thanks to Diamond DeShields’ best game as a Lady Vol. The preseason All-American scored 17 points, more than doubling her output from her first three games (16) as a Lady Vol. She scored four of the Lady Vols’ final six points to seal the win.
Tennessee (4-0) won its second game in a row by a slim two-point margin, beating Penn State, 57-55, last Friday. Sophomore Mercedes Russell scored in double-figures for the fourth time in as many games this season with 13.
Senior Bashaara Graves continued her sensational start to the season as she tallied 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for her third consecutive double-double to start the year and 24th of her career. In her 100th career start, Graves corralled her 800th career rebound.
After leading 38-19 at halftime, the Lady Vols were outscored 38-21 in the second half as Queen Alford had 16 of her game-high 19 points in the final 20 minutes for the Mocs (3-2). Ansley Chilton added 15 for Chattanooga. UTC shot 60 percent in the second half in making its run.
A MEASURE OF REVENGE: Tennessee topped Chattanooga a year after the Mocs upset the then-No. 4 Lady Vols, 67-63, in Chattanooga. All-time, Tennessee now leads the series 27-8, including 15-4 at home. UT hasn’t lost to UTC in Knoxville since 1973. The Mocs also beat Tennessee three years ago in Holly Warlick’s first game as head coach of the Lady Vols.
D-DEFENSE!: Tennessee has held all four of its opponents this season to 66 points or fewer as Chattanooga scored 57 points.
HOME SWEET HOME TO ME: The Lady Vols moved to 4-0 at home in 2015-16 and extended their home win streak to 26 games dating to Feb. 20, 2014. Tennessee opens the season with eight consecutive games at the friendly confines of Thompson-Boling Arena, the most in school history.
UP NEXT: Tennessee continues its eight-game homestand hosting Albany on a Black Friday Special on Nov. 27 at 12 Noon followed by a visit from #11 Texas on Sunday, Nov. 29.