Lady Vols Soar Past Liberty, 100-60

Will Play Oregon State In Second Round Of NCAA Tournament

Friday, March 16, 2018 - by special to The Chattanoogan.com
Tennessee's Anastasia Hayes (1) puts up a shot as she is defended by Liberty's Lela Sellers (14) and Keyen Green (21) in an NCAA first round game Friday afternoon at Thompson-Boling Arena, The Lady Vols (25-7) doused the Flames (24-10) by a convincing 100-60 score. With the win Tennessee will play Oregon State (24-7) on Sunday. Tip-off time is to be determined.
Tennessee's Anastasia Hayes (1) puts up a shot as she is defended by Liberty's Lela Sellers (14) and Keyen Green (21) in an NCAA first round game Friday afternoon at Thompson-Boling Arena, The Lady Vols (25-7) doused the Flames (24-10) by a convincing 100-60 score. With the win Tennessee will play Oregon State (24-7) on Sunday. Tip-off time is to be determined.
- photo by Dennis Norwood

KNOXVILLE -- No. 12/13-ranked Tennessee soared past Liberty, 100-60, as the No. 3 seed Lady Vols scored their highest point total in an NCAA Tournament game since 2006 when they defeated Army, 102-54. 

Rennia Davis led UT (25-7) with 18 points and 11 rebounds, marking her ninth career double-double and tying her with Tamika Catchings for the fifth most double-doubles ever recorded by a UT freshman.

Redshirt junior Cheridene Greenalso posted a double-double, the second of her career, with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

No. 14 seed Liberty (24-10), which hadn't surrendered 100 points in a game since the Lady Vols defeated them 102-58 in the 1998 NCAA First Round, was led in scoring by Lela Sellers and Ola Makurat, each with 13 points.

Tennessee began the game by winning the tip and finding Jaime Nared, who converted on a 10-foot jumper. UT forced five turnovers in the opening seven minutes but struggled to convert on the offensive end, trailing 7-6 at the 3:15 mark. With 2:57 to play in the quarter, Cheridene Green set off an 11-0 run for Tennessee that put the Lady Vols up 17-7 before Makurat hit a three for Liberty. The Lady Vols ended the quarter up 20-10.

The Lady Flames came out firing in the second quarter, going 3-of-3 in the opening minutes with two of those shots coming from behind the arc. Tennessee was up 28-22 at the midway point of the second quarter, but a Sellers three and free throw cut it to 28-26 with 4:12 left in the half. With 1:55 to play, Green set off another run for Tennessee, and UT closed the half by outscoring Liberty 6-0 to take a 36-28 lead into the break.

Nared converted on a three-point play to start the second half, giving the Lady Vols a 39-28 lead, their largest of the game at that point. Tennessee went on to outscore Liberty 11-5 in the opening three minutes, leading 47-33 with seven minutes to play in the period. Tennessee forced seven turnovers and rode a sizzling .813 shooting percentage to a 74-48 lead by the end of the quarter. 

Tennessee continued its high powered offense in the fourth quarter, shooting 78.6 percent from the field to pour in another 26 points and close out the game with a 100-60 victory over Liberty.

The Lady Vols advance to face No. 13/12-ranked Oregon State (24-7) in the second round on Sunday in Knoxville. The time has not been announced. Tennessee has a 4-0 series advantage on the Beavers, including 2-0 during the Holly Warlick era. UT beat OSU, 53-50, in Corvallis the last time these teams met on Dec. 19, 2015.


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