Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball win 49-41 against UCF without Rae Burrell.
Tennessee overcame its first real challenge of the season on the road with no leading scorer Rae Burrell, who is on leave indefinitely with a knee injury.
The Lady Vols beat Central Florida 49-41, led by a welcome return from Jordan Horston, who had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Houston did not play in a 59-49 win over Southern Illinois on Wednesday due to an ankle injury.
While Tennessee rebounded UCF 42-32, both sides struggled with turnovers, Tennessee gave the ball up 28 times and the Knights flipped it 24 times. Horston felt the team handled mistakes well, better than herself in her first two seasons.
“Last year, or my first year, if I had delivered the ball so many times, it probably would have been in my head for the rest of the game,” Horston said.
“My teammates really kept me out of my head this game. I feel like last year was probably a different story for me. So I feel like there is some growth, we still have room to grow.
“So let’s go back to the drawing board, I’m going to clean up my mistakes. But it’s just from here, honestly. And honestly, I thank my teammates for keeping me in that game for Coach Kellie Harper confirmed Burrell is out indefinitely after sustaining a knee injury Wednesday but did not injure his anterior cruciate ligament.”
Sophomore Tess Darby started in Burrell’s place and provided much-needed offensive production for Tennessee, shooting 50% from 3 points and scoring 8 points after scoring nothing in the season opener.
Freshmen Brooklynn Miles and Sara Puckett played big minutes for the Lady Vols once again, and Puckett began hitting offense with 7 points.
Miles, while not scoring, changed the rules of the game for Tennessee’s career point for 33 minutes and once again got constant pressure across the court.
Tamari Key’s minutes were again limited due to foul problems and she only saw the court for 19 minutes and scored 4 points and dropped 6 rebounds. Key played 19 minutes.
But had only four shot attempts. Part of that was down to the zone defense UCF played, but it’s a problem that needs to be fixed sooner rather than later.
It was a physical battle throughout the game, with UCF committing 20 fouls, 15 in the second half.