Five Tennessee players scored in double figures, fueling the No. 12/12-ranked Lady Vols to a 73-46 win over UNC Asheville Wednesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Senior guard Meme Jackson led Tennessee (2-0) with a team-high 13 points, while redshirt senior forward Cheridene Green tallied 12 on 5-of-6 shooting to help UT improve to 2-0 on the season.
Sophomore point guard Evina Westbrook chipped in 11 points, while sophomore forward Rennia Davis returned from missing Sunday's game to contribute 10 points and eight rebounds, as did freshman guard/forward Rae Burrell.
UNC Asheville (0-2) got 14 points from Sonora Dengokl and 12 from Ali Trani, who was 4-of-9 from beyond the three-point line.
Although shooting 39 percent from the floor on the night, Tennessee hit at a 66.7 percent clip (8-of-12) in the fourth quarter to close the game. The Lady Vols out-rebounded the Bulldogs 46-24 on the glass, including 21-8 on the offensive end, and outscored UNCA 27-2 in second-chance points. UT also forced 20 turnovers by the visitors.
After opening the game shooting one-of-seven from the field, the Lady Vols bounced back with an 11-0 run and held UNC Asheville to a four-minute scoring drought. Green tallied eight of Tennessee's first 13 points to start things off, as the Lady Vols forced three turnovers in the run to go up 15-2. Both teams finished without a shot made for the final three minutes of the quarter, with Tennessee leading 21-8 after 10 minutes of play. Bulldogs senior guard Sonora Dengokl finished with seven of UNC Asheville's eight first-quarter points.
Green was the first Lady Vol in double-digits for points after a layup at the 7:29 mark of the second quarter. Tennessee started the frame with a 7-0 run and held the Bulldogs to yet another scoring drought, this time spanning over four minutes. UNC Asheville's first field goal in seven minutes came at the halfway point of the second quarter.
The Lady Vols capped the half with a 13-0 run, ending an opening 20 minutes in which the Bulldogs spent over 11 minutes in scoring droughts. Green registered a team-high 10 points, with Tennessee taking a 44-16 lead at the half.
UNC Asheville started the third quarter on a 15-6 tear, as the Lady Vols remained scoreless for three minutes. Tennessee also went without a field goal for the final six minutes of the quarter, turning the ball over five times during that span. A last-second three-pointer from the Bulldogs closed the Lady Vols' gap to 52-34 going into the final quarter. Tennessee was ultimately outscored 18-8 in the third quarter and finished out the period shooting 25 percent from the field.
The Lady Vols hit their first five shots to register an 18-5 run to start the fourth quarter. Despite shooting 0-for-7 to start the game, Davis found her stroke and propelled Tennessee with 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting to start the final stanza.
The Lady Vols connected on seven of their first nine shots to open the final quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs 21-12 to finish the game. Davis, Jackson and Westbrook had all but two of Tennessee's points in the final 10 minutes.
Up Next: Tennessee will host Florida A&M on Sunday at 2 p.m. when UT will be holding its annual Knox County School Day promotion in which fans who donate two new, unopened school supply items will receive one complimentary ticket to the game. The contest is available for streaming via SECN+.
Double Digit Runs: Tennessee went on a pair of double-digit offensive runs vs. UNCA, turning in an 11-0 surge in the first quarter and a 13-0 spree in the second. UT now has four runs of 10+ points this season in two games.
Count To 10: On defense, Tennessee forced its fifth 10-second backcourt violation of the season with one against the Bulldogs in the first quarter. The Lady Vols have now forced more violations than they did all last season (4).
Meme For Threeeee: Senior Meme Jackson led Tennessee in three-point shooting, going 3-of-5 from behind the arc against UNC Asheville. The outing marks the seventh time in her career she's hit 3+ treys in a game and it was the 27th time she's led UT in threes.