The Lady Vols played with only nine players today and gained some momentum heading into a tough stretch of games with a 100-73 win over Troy. Sunday’s contest saw five Lady Vols in double figures with Hollingshead and Striplin both recording double-doubles. Tennessee now looks ahead to four straight top twenty-five matchups over the next two weeks in what will be the toughest stretch the team will face before SEC play. Here are the takeaways from Sunday’s matchup.
Injury Bug Biting Early
Rickea Jackson is still day-to-day with a lower leg injury, and she was joined on the bench by Jasmine Powell (wrist) and Avery Strickland (concussion protocol). Hopefully all three will be back in action soon, but Kellie Harper was not able to give a timetable for any return to play in her post-game remarks.
First Quarter Woes Continue
It took the Lady Vols a full 10 mins to really get going on Sunday. They shot 30.8% from the field and 14.3% from deep. Unfortunately, the defense wasn’t much better and both teams had 21 going into the second quarter. Tennessee picked up the defense in the second quarter, but they can’t continue to leave the door open for teams to stick around or build a lead if they can close that door early.
Scoring By Committee
Tennessee was once again without leading scorer Rickea Jackson and Jewel Spear had a quiet night offensively. However, the Lady Vols had five players in double figures and two more right on the cusp. This is good news as this team is proving they have a ton of offensive weapons that can go off at any time. Karoline Striplin had a career night with 19 points and Destinee Wells finally showed the scoring prowess she is capable of, adding 18. If everyone can get healthy, this team is going to be hard to beat as they get more comfortable with each other on the offensive end.
Wells Steps Up
Destinee Wells started the game in place of the injured Jasmine Powell, and she was an absolute spark from the jump. She was two assists shy of a double-double, but she absolutely stuffed the stat sheet adding in 4 rebounds on the defensive end. She showed she can do a little bit of everything from driving to shooting the three-ball to making some brilliant passes. This was her most complete performance to date and hopefully she can use this as a springboard for the rest of the season.
The Lady Vols head to the Elevance Health Fort Myers Tip-off to face #18 Indiana and #25 Oklahoma. Those games are at 6:00 on Thursday and 1:30 on Saturday respectively