Tennessee's Karoline Striplin (11) advances the ball against a Troy defender in the Lady Volls, 100-73, win over the Trojans. Striplin recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead Tennessee.
photo by Tennessee Athletic Communications
Tennessee forward Karoline Striplin recorded her first career double-double and led five players in double figures, as the No. 15/20 Lady Volunteers rolled to a 100-73 victory over Troy on Sunday afternoon at Food City Center.
The 6-foot-3 junior, who had already produced 15 points and 10 boards by halftime, finished with career highs of 19 points and 14 rebounds to pace the Big Orange. Jillian Hollingshead, a 6-5 junior forward, tied her career best with 18 points and added 10 rebounds for her first double-double of the season and second of her career.
Senior guard Destinee Wells also enjoyed the finest performance of her four-game Tennessee career, as the Belmont transfer fired in 18 points and tallied eight assists and four boards with only one turnover in 30 minutes. Junior forward Sara Puckett, who missed practice on Saturday due to illness, turned in 19 gutsy minutes and contributed 14 points and eight boards, while Kaiya Wynn rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10.
The Trojans (0-3) had four players score 10-plus, with former Alabama standout Nia Daniel leading the way with 19. Forward Tai'Sheka Porchia had 18 points and a team-high eight boards, while forward Ja'Mia Hollings contributed 16 points and Shaluana Wagner chipped in 10.
Tennessee (3-1), playing without starters Rickea Jackson and Jasmine Powell and reserve Avery Strickland due to injury, controlled the game from the second quarter on, winning the final three frames by a 79-52 margin. The Lady Vols' dominance on the glass this season carried over into Sunday's contest, as they out-rebounded Troy, 63-35, and added a season-best 30 second-chance points and another season high of 48 points in the paint. The bench unit made the most of its minutes, scoring 38 points compared to Troy's eight points from reserves.
Defense was a key theme early in the game for both teams, as Tennessee strung together four consecutive stops en route to a 7-2 advantage. Troy would soon find its footing, connecting on three three-pointers on eight attempts, including the last basket of the quarter to tie the game at 21. Striplin collected seven offensive rebounds in the frame to go along with seven points.
It was a Big Orange flurry in the second period, with the Lady Vols firing off two separate 10-0 runs before and after a Trojan three-pointer. Tennessee's second-quarter defensive dominance continued, allowing a season-low nine points in the frame. The halftime buzzer concluded a 25-9 run and gave the Lady Vols a 46-30 lead. Striplin (15 points), Wells (14 points) and Puckett (10 points) all hit double figures in the first 20 minutes.
Hollingshead scored two layups on the first two possessions of the second half to stretch UT's lead to 20, but the Trojans would log an 11-2 run to cut it to 13 before a corner three from Tess Darby made the score 63-47. Thanks to 10 field goals and eight points at the foul line, the Lady Vols scored 31 points to build a comfortable 77-52 advantage. It marked their most points in a regular-season quarter since they put up 34 in the third quarter against UCF on Dec. 14, 2022.
After the offensive onslaught in the third quarter, Tennessee used the final frame to lock in defensively, holding Troy to 35 percent (7-for-20) from the field. For the third consecutive quarter, Tennessee connected on three long balls, finishing the game shooting 40 percent (10-for-25) from deep.
NEXT UP: The Lady Vols travel to Southwest Florida on Tuesday to participate in the Elevance Health Women's Fort Myers Tip-Off at Suncoast Credit Union Arena. Tennessee is set to face No. 18/17 Indiana on Nov. 23 at 6 p.m. ET (FOX). On Nov. 25, the Lady Vols will meet No. 25/21 Oklahoma at 1:30 p.m. in the first-ever women's college basketball game carried by Women's Sports Network.
PUTTING UP 20 IN A QUARTER: Tennessee now has scored 20 or more points in 12 of the 16 quarters it has played this season, including a best frame of 31 in the third quarter vs. Troy. It topped the previous best of 29 in the third period vs. Florida A&M.
PULLING DOWN 50 IN BACK-TO-BACK GAMES: After grabbing 56 and 63 rebounds the past two games, respectively, Tennessee is averaging 53.3 rebounds per game, a number that ranks No. 6 in the NCAA thus far. It stands as UT's highest average through four contests since standing at 54.2 in 2019-20. The last two seasons have seen UT put up 41.3 in 2022-23 and 45.8 in 2021-22 over the first four games. During the Harper era, UT has recorded 50 rebounds in a contest on 42 occasions in 131 total games through the Troy contest, including six with 60+ boards. UT has two 50-carom games in 2023-24, posting 56 rebounds vs. Memphis (11/13/23) and 63 against Troy. The Big Orange's previous year-by-year totals of 50-rebound games during Harper's tenure include 11 in 2019-20, 7 in 2020-21, 15 in 2021-22 and seven in 2022-23.
OPENING A CAMPAIGN WITH 20 IN FOUR STRAIGHT: Over the past five seasons, Sara Puckett is one of just two Lady Vols to score in double figures in the first four games of a season. Puckett has dropped 11, 15, 24 and 14 points in her opening four contests as a junior, building an average of 16 ppg, which ranks second on the team. The only other player over the past five years to open with four straight double-figure efforts was Rae Burrell, who began the 2020-21 campaign with five consecutive efforts of 10 or more points.
HELLO, DESTINEE WELLS: Destinee Wells knocked down her first three pointer of the season late in the first quarter against Troy and went on to score 18 points while dishing out a game-high eight assists. The senior guard has an impressive track record from deep, hitting 46 percent of her shots last season at Belmont and tallying 65 threes along the way. She also had 172 assists a year ago, and she now leads Tennessee with 17 in four games after dishing her eight dimes vs. Troy.
FIRST CAREER DOUBLE-DOUBLE FOR KARO: Karoline Striplin tallied 19 points and 14 rebounds vs. the Trojans, recording career highs in both categories to notch the first double-double of her career, doing so in the first half alone. She did so against a school that is located just 54.3 miles from her hometown of Hartford, Ala.
FOUR DOUBLE-DOUBLES THIS SEASON: Karoline Striplin and Jillian Hollingshead became the third and fourth Lady Vols to register double-doubles this season. Rickea Jackson put up 31 points and 17 rebounds at Florida State (11/9/23), while Jewel Spear totaled 19 points and 12 rebounds vs. Memphis (11/13/23).
SEEING SOME LOCKDOWN DEFENSE: Tennessee held Troy to nine points on 19 percent shooting in the second stanza, the fewest points an opponent has scored in a quarter this season. The Lady Vols held Florida A&M to 11 points in the second period (11/7/23).