KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Lady Volunteers used a 19-0 fourth quarter run to pad a lead and defeat the Carson-Newman Lady Eagles 101-59 Monday night at Thompson-Boling Arena in exhibition action.
"They outscored us 19 to 18 in the third quarter," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "It was 37 to 11 in the fourth. I think the press was on pretty much the whole fourth. It's like I tell these kids all the time. It is an honor to come down here and play against the Tennessee Lady Volunteers, and I am going to let every one of them play. I am not saying our kids didn't play well in the fourth quarter, but we took our experienced kids out to make sure everyone got a chance to play. I didn't get to play them as much as I would have liked. I thought [Kailyn Brooks and Tatum Burstrom] handle the ball very well. Any time there was a trap or pressure on them, they made plays out of it. I was proud of my basketball team through those three quarters. Whatever the spread was is not indicative of how well we played."
Tennessee scored the first eight points of the game prompting a timeout by Mincey. The Lady Eagles quickly responded with five unanswered capped by a three-pointer by senior guard Tatum Burstrom (Maryville, Tenn.). With the Lady Vols ahead 13-8 the home team used a 9-1 spurt to go on top by 13. Tennessee had its largest lead of the first half at 14 when senior forward Taylor Peterson (Mount Juliet, Tenn.) banked in a baseline jumper at the buzzer.
The Lady Vols outscored the Lady Eagles 38-34 during the second and third quarters as Carson-Newman trailed 36-30 with 2:11 to play in the first half. Tennessee ended the opening 20 minutes on a 9-0 run to take a 45-30 lead at the break.
Tennessee shot 57 percent in the first half and Carson-Newman made six three-pointers. Both teams turned the ball over 10 times.
Despite making 50 percent of its shots in the third quarter Tennessee outscored Carson-Newman 19-18 as it took an 8-3 run to close the quarter to gain that margin.
Mincey emptied his bench in the fourth quarter as Tennessee coach Holly Warlick went to a full-court press and left her starters on the floor. A scoring drought for the Lady Eagles saw the Lady Vols reel off 19 unanswered points in 4:21 prior to a three-point play by freshman guard Olivia Miniat (Kingston Springs, Tenn.) made it 88-56. Warlick called a timeout 23 seconds to play to draw up a play for Mercedes Russell to get the Lady Vols into triple figures.
Burstrom was the leading scorer for the Lady Eagles with 15 points while making five three-pointers.
"In my first two years, it was Thompson-Boling Arena, so it was very nerve-wracking," Burstrom said. "Coming here my junior and senior years, I have been proud of how the team has played together, and we are building confidence each year. It leads us into our season pretty well."
Junior guard Kailyn Brooks (Lafayette, Tenn.) notched 13 points and three assists and Peterson had 12 points and seven rebounds.
"I was impressed by the way we played," Brooks said. "I wasn't surprised because I knew we could come out here and do that. I know we played them pretty tough last year too, and I am just really proud of my team and how they played tonight."
Russell led all players with 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead five Tennessee players in double figures. Andraya Carter finished with 19 points, five assists and four steals. Kortney Dunbar had 15 points and eight rebounds. Alexa Middleton chipped in 13 points and five rebounds while Jasmine Jones had 12 points.
Carson-Newman shot 33 percent from the floor going 21-for-64 while making 11 of 31 shots from distance for 36 percent. Tennessee shot 59 percent from the field making 41 of 69 shot attempts while going 7-for-18 from deep, 39 percent.
The Lady Vols had a 58-14 advantage in the paint, an 18-2 lead in fast break points, a 17-6 discrepancy in second chance points while holding a slim 20-17 edge in points off turnovers.
The Lady Eagles begin the Division II regular season Friday in Greenwood, S.C. against USC Aiken at 5 p.m. to begin the South Atlantic Conference/Peach Belt Conference Challenge. The game will be broadcast on cneagles.com/live with coverage beginning at 4:45.
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