Lady Vols Edge Oklahoma In Bounce Back Win, 76-73

Jasmine Powell Leads Effort With Season-High 19 Points

  • Sunday, November 26, 2023

Fifth-year senior Jasmine Powell turned in a season-high 19 points as No. 21/19 Tennessee took a 76-73 victory over No. 22/20 Oklahoma in the Elevance Health Women's Fort Myers Tip-Off on Saturday at Suncoast Credit Union Arena.
 
Powell, who also had 12 points and six rebounds vs. Indiana on Thursday, was named to the Elevance Health Women's Fort Myers Tip-Off Island Division All-Tournament Team for her performance during the event. She averaged 15.5 points and 4.5 rebounds, shooting 10 of 18 from the field over UT's two games, including four-of-eight accuracy from long range. Powell also finished seven of nine from the free-throw line.

Senior Jewel Spear and junior Sara Puckett were also in double figures for UT (4-2) vs. OU with 16 and 13, respectively. Puckett and junior Jillian Hollingshead each pulled down eight boards to lead Tennessee's rebounding effort.
 
Oklahoma (5-2) was led by Sahara Williams, who scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Lexy Keys and Aubrey Joens also posted double-digit efforts with 12 apiece.
 
The Lady Vols came out hot, scoring on their first three possessions to lead 8-0 just over a minute into play and force the Sooners into calling an early timeout. Williams knocked down a jumper coming out of the timeout to get OU on the board, and Reyna Scott added another to pull Oklahoma within four by the 6:22 mark. Karoline Striplin rattled off four buckets in a row for the Lady Vols as they led 16-9 with just under three minutes left in the first, but the Sooners responded with an 11-2 run to lead by two at the end of the first quarter, 20-18.
 
A basket by Spear tied things up 40 seconds into the second period, and just over two minutes later, a three by Tess Darby put the Big Orange back on top, 26-25. Tennessee went on to gain a four-point advantage before OU strung together eight unanswered points to go up 33-29 by the 3:03 mark. Powell ended the UT drought with a free throw, but a three by Neveah Tot on the other end stretched the Sooners' lead to six. Powell knocked down a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left, but OU hit the last bucket of the half to lead 38-32 at the break.
 
Puckett converted on a set of free throws to pull UT within four a minute into the third quarter. That margin held until back-to-back layups by Keys and a pair of free throws by Scott had the Hoosiers ahead 46-36 by the 7:00 mark. A Tamari Key jumper ended the run on the next possession, but OU went back up by 10 before Spear and Puckett combined for a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to three with 4:04 left in the third. The Lady Vols tied the game up from the free-throw line in the final two minutes of the stanza, but a buzzer-beater three by Joens sent the game into the fourth with Oklahoma leading 56-53.
 
A trey by Spear leveled the score on UT's first play of the final period, and the lead changed four times before Joens knotted it up once more with a layup with 5:47 to play. Destinee Wells responded with five straight points for Tennessee to put the Big Orange on top 66-61 by the media timeout. A 3-pointer by Keys pulled the Sooners back within two, but Powell hit a jumper and a deep three as the shot clock expired to rally the Lady Vols to a seven-point lead with two minutes to go. OU launched into a 5-0 run with 90 seconds left in the game, whittling UT's lead down to two, but a three by Powell with 21 seconds on the clock sealed the deal as the Lady Vols took a 76-73 victory.
 
NEXT UP: Tennessee returns home to Knoxville, where it will host games against two more ranked teams next week. The Lady Vols will welcome No. 17/14 Notre Dame on Wednesday for the ACC-SEC Women's Basketball Challenge at 5 p.m. ET (ESPN2). On Sunday, UT takes on No. 15/12 Ohio State in the Jimmy V Women's Classic at 5 p.m. (ESPN) in Food City Center.
 
JAZZING UP THE FOURTH QUARTER: Fifth-year guard Jasmine Powell led Tennessee with a season-high 19 points vs. Oklahoma, knocking down 13 of those in the fourth quarter on perfect shooting from the field (4-4), on threes (2-2) and on free throws (3-3). For the game, she hit five of eight shots from the field and seven of nine from the charity stripe. The 19 points tied her highest point total as a Lady Vol, set against Ohio State last season on Nov. 8, 2022.
 
DARBY MOVES INTO UT CAREER TOP 10: At the 7:04 mark in the second quarter, with her second trey of the day, senior guard/forward Tess Darby shot her way into the Lady Vol career top 10 for three-pointers made, tying Sidney Spencer (2003-07) at 133. Darby finished with seven points, seven rebounds, two steals and an assist on the afternoon.
 
FEAR DA SPEAR: Senior guard Jewel Spear came up big for Tennessee against Oklahoma. Spear opened the season with three straight double-figure efforts and after tallying a combined eight points in the last two contests combined, she broke out with 16 on Saturday vs. the Sooners. She also led UT with three assists and took a charge in the third quarter as the Lady Vols made a run to overturn a 10-point deficit.
 
PUCKETT GETTING BUCKETTS: With 13 points against Oklahoma, Sara Puckett notched her sixth consecutive contest in double figures to open the season and is the only Lady Vol to do that during the Kellie Harper era. Her streak is the longest since Mercedes Russell opened the 2017-18 campaign with 23 consecutive contests in double figures, spanning Nov. 12, 2017, to Feb. 4, 2018.

BENCH BRIGADE STRIKES AGAIN: For the third consecutive game, Tennessee's bench scored 30+ points. Against OU, the Lady Vols outscored the Sooners, 31-15. UT tallied 38 vs. Troy and 30 vs #21/19 Indiana the last game out. Jasmine Powell was the centerpiece of that effort, tossing 19 of them. Karoline Striplin was good for eight off the bench.
 
WORKING THE GLASS AGAIN: Tennessee won the rebounding battle for the fifth time in six games this season, pulling down one more than Oklahoma (49-48). UT, which ranks No. 8 nationally in rebounds per game right at 50 per contest, is 4-1 this season and 86-21 all-time under Kellie Harper when coming out on top in the boards battle.

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