Rennia Davis scored 24 factors and grabbed 14 rebounds and No. 3 seed Tennessee used a dominant second half to beat 14th-seeded Center Tennessee 87-62 within the first spherical of the ladies’s NCAA Event
AUSTIN, Texas — For 2 quarters, Center Tennessee appeared fast sufficient and daring sufficient to make a historic upset bid.
Tennessee’s measurement, velocity and depth squashed any hope of that in a dominant second half.
Rennia Davis scored 24 factors and grabbed 14 rebounds and the No. 3 seed Girl Vols shut the door on No. 14 Center Tennessee, utilizing a muscular third quarter to tug away for an 87-62 victory Sunday within the first spherical of the ladies’s NCAA Event.
MTSU (17-8) and guard Anastasia Hayes appeared like they might pull off a shocker early on once they had been tied with the Girl Vols (17-7) at 39 at halftime. However their bid to grow to be the primary No. 14 seed to win an NCAA Event sport was worn down in opposition to Tennessee’s superior measurement and size.
“We simply wished to come back out at the moment and make an announcement,” Davis stated. “There was a lot discuss upset at the moment for us and clearly we see all of that stuff. So we simply wished to come back out at the moment, play our sport particularly within the second half, I feel we had been ready to do this.”
Hayes, probably the most dynamic scorers within the nation, had 16 factors within the first half earlier than Tennessee dominated the third quarter on each ends. Tennessee outscored MTSU 23-10 and held the speedy and shifty guard to only a pair of free throws within the interval.
Rae Burrell scored 22 factors and Jordan Walker had 9 factors and 14 rebounds for Tennessee, which outrebounded MTSU 56-21.
Hayes completed with 26 factors however Center Tennessee’s early push in opposition to one of many bluebloods of girls’s basketball finally wilted.
“Our children are preventing and battling and pushing,” MTSU coach Rick Insell stated. “It is a powerful scenario on our smaller youngsters. We battled all through.”
The groups raced by way of a blistering first quarter, when Tennessee made 10 of 19 pictures however began buying and selling baskets with Hayes, who scored 9 within the interval and acquired MTSU to inside 21-18. She drew Tennessee defenders on probing drives earlier than kicking out to Blue Raider shooters for 3-pointers. MTSU made 4 within the second quarter.
Tennessee’s size and measurement started choking off these drives within the third and a fast 8-1 run opened up a lead for the Girl Vols. MTSU went greater than three minutes with out a area purpose.
Burrell’s floating jumper and a putback from Walker after her personal missed free throw put Tennessee forward 56-44 and in management. The lead grew from there as Tennessee snatched any rebound it wished.
“We didn’t make a variety of changes, we simply acquired higher at our sport plan,” Girl Vols coach Kellie Harper stated. “I feel we set the tone within the third quarter about how we had been going to protect … I believed our huge lineup was actually good for us. We went prolonged minutes with that within the third quarter.”
Hayes, a junior, began her profession at Tennessee and averaged 9.3 factors per sport earlier than transferring after her freshman season. She was a part of the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class with the Girl Vols. She was the C-USA participant of the yr this season. She shot 9 of 25 on Sunday.
“I stayed grounded. I handled this sport similar to every other sport,” Hayes stated. “We allow them to get on our offense. We stopped rebounding. We stopped preventing.
Harper gained three nationwide titles as participant with the Girl Vols from 1996-98 and on Sunday earned her first NCAA Event win at her alma mater. Harper is in her second season at Tennessee and is simply the fourth coach to steer 4 groups to the event. She led Missouri State to the Candy 16 as a No. 11 seed in 2019.
“I wished our gamers to exit and benefit from the second,” she stated. “As a result of clearly you noticed final yr how shortly you’ll be able to have these taken away.”
Tennessee advances to play the winner of the matchup between No. 6 Michigan and No. 11 Florida Gulf Coast in San Antonio on Tuesday.
Extra AP ladies’s basketball: https://apnews.com/Womenscollegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP—Top25
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