DEN HELDER, NETHERLANDS – Led by four players in double figures, the Tennessee women’s basketball team opened its three-game European tour by rolling to a 97-45 victory over Dozy BV Den Helder on Thursday evening at Sportlaan 58 gymnasium.
Sophomore forward Rae Burrell joined junior forward Rennia Davis and sophomore guard Zaay Green as the team’s leading scorers with 16 points each. Burrell added 10 rebounds, while freshman center Tamari Key contributed 15 points and 11 rebounds to give UT two with double-doubles. Den Helder was led by Janiek van Veen with 18 points.
“It was fun to finally get the team out on the floor and see them play,” first-year Lady Vol head coach Kellie Harper said. “I think our players had a lot of fun playing together and facing a new opponent. It was good to get the win in our opener, and now we’ll work on a few things and get ready for our next opponent in Belgium.”
UT plays again at 8 p.m. local time (2 ET) on Saturday against Laarne at the Gemeentelijke Sporthall in Laarne, Belgium.
Junior center Kasi Kushkituah, redshirt senior forward Lou Brown and sophomore guard Jazmine Massengill all yanked down eight caroms vs. Den Helder, contributing to a 74-22 Big Orange advantage on the boards, including 34 on the offensive end. Massengill also added a team-high six assists, while six others had two or more dimes.
Tennessee scored off the opening tip, as Massengill grabbed the ball and fired it to a streaking Green for a layup. That bucket ignited a 9-0 introductory run that propelled the Lady Vols to a 24-12 lead after one. UT shot just 36 percent in the opening stanza but improved with each quarter, hitting 56.5 percent in the final frame to finish at 44.3 percent for the game. The Lady Vols ended up at 71 percent from the free throw line, hitting 17-of-24 overall, including eight of nine in the opening 20 minutes.
UT, which distributed minutes fairly evenly, blew the game open in the second period, outscoring the hosts 22-5 to take a 46-17 lead into the break. The Lady Vols also outscored Den Helder 22-12 in the third period and 29-16 in the fourth in improving to 22-7 all-time on foreign soil, including 15-7 vs. non-NCAA teams.
Defensively, UT limited the home team to 26.6 percent shooting from the field, including 23.8 percent from the three-point line. The Lady Vols also tallied 13 steals and forced the home team into 18 turnovers, including 12 in the first half. UT finished with 15 miscues, including just one in the third quarter.