KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– Mercedes Russell posted her ninth double-double of the season and Holly Warlick earned her 100th win as head coach of the Lady Vols as Tennessee defeated Arkansas on Thursday evening in Thompson-Boling Arena.
Warlick becomes just the 17th NCAA Div. I head coach to win 100 games in her first four seasons. She is only the sixth coach since 1992 to accomplish that feat.
The Lady Vols (14-8, 5-4) were led by a balanced scoring attack. Russell scored 15 points and hauled in 11 rebounds, along with a team-high three blocks. Diamond DeShields finished with 15 points, Te’a Cooper scored 13, and Andraya Carter added 10.
The Lady Vols stretched their lead to 18 points early in the 3rd quarter, but the Razorbacks fought back and cut the lead to 51-46. Tennessee answered with a 9-0 run of their own, and Arkansas was unable to mount a comeback.
Jessica Jackson led Arkansas (9-14, 4-6) with 18 points, including 11 in the second half. Devin Cosper added 17 points as well.
Tennessee started off the game strong from behind the arc, hitting six 3-pointers in the first half.
The Razorbacks battled to tie the game at 23-23, but the Lady Vols responded with an 18-4 run to bring the halftime score to 41-27. Cooper and DeShields each had 10 points in the half.
The Lady Vols assisted on 20 of their 25 field goals and turned the ball over just 12 times.
Series vs. Arkansas
- Tennessee is 27-3 all-time against Arkansas and 13-1 against the Razorbacks in Knoxville.
- The win evened the season series (1-1) with the Razorbacks, who defeated the Lady Vols 64-59 on Jan. 14, 2016, in Fayetteville.
Cooper & Co.
- With tonight’s 13-point performance, Te’a Cooper has scored in double digits in five consecutive games.
- She also tied her career-highs for 3-pointers in a game (3) and steals in a game (4).
- Cooper’s 10 3-point attempts were also her most for the season.
- Mercedes Russell’s ninth double-double of the season is tied for the sixth-most by a sophomore in Tennessee history with Bridgette Gordon.
- Holly Warlick becomes the second women’s head coach from a Power Five school in the past 24 years to win 100 games in her first four seasons.
- Jaime Nared tied her season-high with four assists.
- The Lady Vols will travel to College Station to take on #12/11 Texas A&M on Sunday, Feb. 7. The game will feature a 4 p.m. tip on ESPN.
- UT is 6-1 all-time against Texas A&M and 1-0 against the Aggies in College Station.
Sunday’s matchup will be the first meeting between the two teams this season.