KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Senior wing Meme Jackson fired in 23 points to help No. 9/8 Tennessee head into the holiday break at 9-1 with an 80-61 win over ETSU Friday night at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Senior Cheridene Green (12 points), sophomore Rennia Davis (11 points and seven rebounds) and freshman Mimi Collins (11 points and six rebounds) joined Jackson as double-digit scorers for the Lady Vols, who bounced back from a loss to No. 8/9 Stanford on Tuesday night.
Jackson notched 21 of her 23 points from beyond the arc on 7-of-12 shooting from deep, tying for the fourth-most treys made by a Lady Vol in a single game. Collins, meanwhile, tallied 10 or more points for the first time in her career at Tennessee.
Freshman Jazmine Massengill led the Lady Vols defensively with nine rebounds, five blocks and a pair of steals. Tennessee held the Buccaneers to 31-percent shooting on the night and won the rebounding battle by a 50-33 margin.
The Lady Vols kicked off the first quarter on an 11-3 run, where they held ETSU to just 1-of-8 shooting from the field. Tennessee tallied five second-chance points in the run and six points in the paint. The Buccaneers cut the Lady Vol lead down to just four points after hitting a 3-pointer at the 3:08 mark. The Lady Vols were outscored 14-13 for the remainder of the quarter, giving the home team a 22-14 advantage going into the second quarter. Davis led Tennessee with nine points and four rebounds in the first quarter.
After allowing six quick points from ETSU to start the second stanza, the Lady Vols held the Buccaneers to 0-of-5 shooting and a three-minute scoring drought. Tennessee shot just 38 percent from the floor, however, leaving the door open for a comeback by ETSU. The Lady Vols went into the half with a 38-28 lead, with half of their points coming from the duo of Davis and Cheridene Green. Tennessee held the Buccaneers to just 30 percent shooting and a 2-of-10 clip from beyond the arc in the first half.
ETSU shot out to a 6-3 run in the third quarter, but a pair of 3-pointers from Jackson put the Lady Vols back on track. Jackson’s third 3-pointer of the quarter gave Tennessee a 53-40 lead with three minutes remaining in the quarter. The Lady Vols went on to hold the Buccaneers to 1-of-11 shooting and a three-minute scoring drought. Tennessee rounded out the third quarter on a 14-2 run, giving the Lady Vols a 62-44 lead going into the final frame. Jackson propelled Tennessee with a total of 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting from deep range.
The Lady Vols took their largest lead of the game (23 points) with a layup from Massengill at the halfway point of the final quarter. ETSU had a three-minute interval without a field goal made in the fourth quarter, and the Lady Vols finished out the final five minutes of regulation without a field goal as well. Tennessee wrapped up the 80-61 victory behind a pair of 3-pointers and 45 percent shooting from the floor in the fourth quarter.
Up Next: The Lady Vols will return to action on Friday, Dec. 28, hosting Murray State at 7 p.m. The contest features a Big Orange Friday special where fans can download a “BOGO” Buy One Get One free ticket voucher available exclusively at BigOrangeFriday.com.
M3M3 Jackson: Meme Jackson knocked down a career-high seven 3-pointers against ETSU, tying for fourth-most in a single game by a Lady Vol. She has hit three or more treys in six of ten games this season and 4+ on three occasions. As a junior she was UT’s leading 3-point shooter, hitting 50 during the 2017-18 season. She has already hit 28 this year through 10 games.
Evina Dishing: Westbrook followed up her 10 assists performance against Stanford with nine versus ETSU. If the season ended today, her average of 5.7 apg would be the highest all-time by a Lady Vol sophomore, besting the likes of Dawn Marsh (5.6 apg), Lea Henry (5.4 apg) and Holly Warlick (5.0 apg).
Dropping 20 Again: Meme Jackson posted her second game of 20-plus points this season and the fourth of her career. UT now has had 20-point scorers in its last four games and eight 20-point scorers for the season.
Freshmen Notables: Mimi Collins posted the first double-digit game of her career with a career-high 11 points against ETSU, while Jazmine Massengill led the team in rebounds and blocked shots, recording career highs in both with nine boards and five blocks.