STARKVILLE, MS- Tennessee earned one of the biggest wins of the Holly Warlick era on Sunday, defeating #3/2 Mississippi State, 82-64, at Humphrey Coliseum.
Jaime Nared paved the way for UT’s offense, dropping a career-high 30 points and nine rebounds. Diamond DeShields posted an all-around performance with 20 points, six assists and five rebounds.
The win marked the first victory over a Top-3 opponent on the road for Tennessee (19-10, 10-6 SEC) since the Lady Vols defeated No. 1 Duke, 72-69, on Jan. 24, 2004.
Jordan Reynolds also had a productive game, tying her career high in points with 17 to go along with eight rebounds and three assists.
Victoria Vivians led the Bulldogs (27-3, 13-3 SEC) with 18 points.
Tennessee’s defense came ready to play out of the gate, holding the Bulldogs to 19 percent shooting and more than a four-minute scoring drought in the first quarter. Nared got off to a quick start on the offensive end of the court, posting nine points to lead UT to 18-8 advantage at the end of the period.
The Lady Vols kept the pressure on in the second stanza, improving their lead to 16 points going into halftime, 36-20. Tennessee found success beyond the arc, draining four threes in the quarter. Reynolds dropped 10 points in the period to provide a spark on offense.
The third stanza was an offensive battle, as both teams shot over 70 percent from the field. Nared had nine points in the quarter. UT entered the fourth period with a 60-46 lead.
The Lady Vols closed out strong, shooting 50 percent in the final quarter to hand Mississippi State its first loss of the season in front of a sellout crowd.
Tennessee will head to Greenville next to compete in the SEC Tournament. The Lady Vols, who are the #5 seed, will face the winner of the #12 Alabama and #13 Vanderbilt on Thursday in the second game of the day at 2 p.m. ET.
Courtesy: University of Tennessee Athletics