KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Five Lady Vols scored in double figures, as Tennessee (5-4) snapped a two-game skid with a 92-66 victory over Appalachian State on Wednesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Junior guard Alexa Middleton led all UT players with 20 points, while Jamie Nared recorded her fifth double-double in the last six games with 15 points and 10 rebounds. The Big Orange got a huge lift from the bench with a season-high 41 points from the reserves on the night.
After giving up 24 first-quarter points, the Lady Volunteers clamped down defensively and held the Mountaineers to just 41 points combined for the rest of the game. UT also was efficient on the offensive end, shooting 49 percent for the game while committing just six turnovers, the fewest since a 71-66 loss at South Carolina on Feb. 23, 2015. Tennessee dominated down low, outscoring App State 50-28 in the paint and finishing with a 44-35 advantage on the boards.
The Mountaineers (4-6) jumped out to an early 7-2 lead and led 24-20 at the end of the first quarter, thanks to some red-hot shooting, converting 11 of their 15 shot attempts in the quarter. Middleton came off the bench and shouldered the offensive load for the Big Orange in the opening frame with 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
UT went on an early 8-0 run in the second quarter and outscored App State 25-10 in the period to take an 11-point lead into the locker room. Middleton and Diamond DeShields led all scorers in the first half with 12 points apiece, as the Lady Vols shot a blistering 53 percent from the field.
Tennessee extended its lead to 23 with a dominant third quarter. Mercedes Russell contributed six points and a pair of rebounds in the period to give the Lady Vols a 69-46 lead entering the final quarter of play.
A pair of 3-pointers from Nared and Kortney Dunbar fueled a 10-0 run to begin the fourth quarter that ended any chance for an Appalachian State comeback. UT’s 92 points were a season high and marked the fifth time this season that the team has scored over 80 points.
PILING UP THE POINTS: Tennessee scored a season-high 92 points in the victory, surpassing the 86 they scored in a win over Tennessee State on Nov. 30. The Lady Vols scored more than 80 points for the fifth time already this season after only doing so four times all of last year. UT also recorded season highs for second chance points (22) and bench scoring (41).
LADY VOLS IN DOUBLE FIGURES: The Lady Vols had five players score in double figures for the first time since last year’s season opener against Central Arkansas. Middleton (20), DeShields (16), Nared (15), Russell (15) and Schaquilla Nunn (12) all posted 10 or more points for UT on the night. Nunn’s 12 points were a career high for her at Tennessee.
UP NEXT: Tennessee continues its five-game homestand with a highly-anticipated showdown against No. 10 Stanford on Sunday. The game will be broadcast live on the SEC Network at 3 p.m.