Final: No. 3 UConn 67, No. 25 Tennessee 61
After trailing all three quarters against Tennessee, the dagger by freshman guard Paige Bueckers put the game away, 67-61. Bueckers, the Huskies' leading scorer this season, struggled all night offensively shooting 3-for-14 from the floor and 1-for-6 on 3s, but she knocked down the key shot when the Huskies needed her the most.
UConn started to turn things around with a 9-0 run in the fourth quarter. Christyn Williams stepped up big for the Huskies in Bueckers' offensive absence, finishing with 20 points.
Evina Westbrook had an strong performance against her former team by chipping in 15 points, five rebounds and four assists — including finding Bueckers for the game-clinching 3-pointer.
Despite falling to the Huskies, Tennessee put up a team fight with four Lady Vols scoring in double-digit figures, led by Rae Burrell with 18 points and eight rebounds.
Tamari Key was a force in the paint with 10 points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Key was a huge key in Tennessee outrebounding the Huskies, 42-38.
| HUSKIES WIN | pic.twitter.com/utmbZ3vcfc— UConn Women’s Basketball (@UConnWBB) January 22, 2021
Paige BUCKETS... I mean Bueckers for THREE!
Evina Westbrook for three...TWICE!
Evina Westbrook shows up and shows out against her former team knocking down back-to-back clutch threes in the fourth quarter to help UConn push the lead, 58-52.
Evina Westbrook for THREE!— UConn Women’s Basketball (@UConnWBB) January 22, 2021
She's the third Husky to double digits. pic.twitter.com/ZynWk5j2KZ
End of 3Q: UConn 45, Tennessee 49
Tennessee has won all three quarters so far against UConn finishing the third, 49-45.
UConn's lead scorer Paige Bueckers has struggled to find an offensive rhythm all night. Bueckers finishes the third quarter with only four points.
The stat that stands out as of right now going into the fourth quarter is Tennessee out-rebounding UConn, 36-23.
Evina Westbrook gets the steal and Aubrey Griffin finishes at the other end! pic.twitter.com/WxdCGSK8Lb— UConn Women’s Basketball (@UConnWBB) January 22, 2021
Halftime: UConn 34, Tennessee 35
No. 25 Tennessee puts up a fight to finish the first half with a one point lead against No. 3 UConn, 35-34. This marks the first time the Huskies have trailed going into the locker room this season.
UConn went on an 8-0 run against Tennessee, but it's been an offensive team effort from the Lady Vols to push the lead. Tennessee is currently led by Rae Burrell with 14 points, and she's the only player with double-digit figures from both teams so far. Burrell has been hot beyond the arch shooting 3-for-4 from the three to gain momentum for the Vols.
Reinna Davis has been on the bench due to foul trouble, but Tamari Key has also stepped up in the paint. Key currently has eight points and rebounds, plus three blocks.
UConn's Christyn Williams leads the Huskies with nine points, but the Huskies have been struggling from the free-throw line only making five of their 12 attempts. UConn is also facing being outsized specifically on the offensive boards. The Lady Vols are out-rebounding the Huskies, 9-3 on the offensive glass.
End of 1Q: UConn 16, Tennessee 17
Both teams remained close in points throughout the first quarter, with Tennessee finishing 17-16. This is the first time UConn has trailed in the first quarter against their opponent this season.
Tennessee's Rae Burrell sets the tone early knocking down eight points from outside, while Tamari Key dominates the paint chipping in six points and seven rebounds.
Christyn Willams leads the Huskies with nine points so far.
Tied up heading into the first timeout
It's almost time for tipoff!
At 7 p.m. ET, No. 3 UConn will take on No. 25 Tennessee in Thompson Boling-Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee.
8-0 UConn is looking to maintain a flawless record, while 9-2 Tennessee hopes for an upset after falling to the Huskies last season, 60-45.
How to watch No. 3 UConn vs. No. 25 Tennessee
WHEN: You can watch No. 3 UConn and Paige Bueckers (above) take on No. 25 Tennessee at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jan. 21.
TV: The game will be on ESPN and stream on ESPN.
LOCATION: Thompson Boling-Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee.
UConn vs. Tennessee previews from both schools
Here's a look at the host Volunteers, courtesy of utsports.com:
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The second installment of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Revival Series will take place on Thursday night, with #25/RV Tennessee (9-2, 3-1 SEC) playing host to No. 3/5 UConn (8-0/7-0 BIG EAST) at Thompson-Boling Arena.
The Lady Vols come into the match-up having won seven of their last eight games after impressively handling RV/NR Alabama (11-2/4-2 SEC), 82-56, on Sunday. The Big Orange women have victories over two top-15 teams, including (then) No. 15/15 Indiana in Bloomington (66-58) on Dec. 17 and (then) No. 13/13 Arkansas (88-73) in Knoxville on Jan. 7.
UT's only setbacks are against No. 22/23 Georgia (12-1) by a 67-66 count last week, and 79-73 in overtime on Dec. 6 at West Virginia (10-2), which is receiving votes in both polls and thundered past (then) No. 17/17 Texas last week by a 92-58 score.
UConn, meanwhile, has competed only twice since Dec. 30 due to COVID-19 playing havoc with its schedule, defeating Providence, 87-50, on Jan. 9 and Butler on Tuesday night, 103-35. The Huskies' best win to date is a 72-52 blowout of No. 18/20 DePaul on Dec. 29. Their Jan. 7 contest at (then) #6/6 Baylor was canceled. Thursday night's match-up marks the first in a four-game stretch of home contests for Tennessee.
Just a quick reminder that the Lady Vols start a freshman, two sophomores, a junior and senior. They have played together as a quintet for seven total games, with (Tamari) Key and (Jordan) Horston being inserted into the starting lineup for the contest at Indiana. The group has demonstrated improvement with each game.
Over the past five games, UT has four players averaging double figures in points, including Rennia Davis (above, 17.8 ppg./9.0 rpg.), Rae Burrell (15.6), Jordan Horston (10.8) and Tamari Key (10.4).
UT is led in scoring by junior guard/forward Rae Burrell, who is putting up 16.7 ppg. and shooting 49 percent from the field, 43.5 percent on threes and 82.8 percent from the free-throw line. She averaged 10.5 ppg. and shot 41, 33 and 60 percent, respectively, a year ago in those categories.
Here's more on UConn, courtesy of uconnhuskies.com:
STORRS, Conn. — For the first time since 2006, the No. 3 UConn women's basketball team (8-0) travels to No. 25 Tennessee (9-2) in the second year of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Revival Series Thursday.
UConn is 14-9 all-time vs. Tennessee. Last season the teams met for the first time in 13 years in Hartford, with the Huskies posting a 60-45 win.
The Huskies are coming off a 103-35 win over Butler on Tuesday. All five of UConn's starters scored in double digits vs. the Bulldogs: Olivia Nelson-Ododa (18), Christyn Williams (17), Aubrey Griffin (17), Evina Westbrook (14) and Paige Bueckers (13). Griffin made her first career start Tuesday.
With the win Tuesday, head coach Geno Auriemma reached 1,099 career wins, moving past legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt for No. 2 all-time among NCAA women's basketball coaches. Auriemma is set to become the second women's basketball coach to reach 1,100 career wins.