Jackson helps No. 9 Lady Vols top East Tennessee State 80-61
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Meme Jackson scored 23 points and shot 7 of 12 from 3-point range and No. 9 Tennessee bounced back from its first loss of the season to beat East Tennessee State 80-61 on Friday night.
Tennessee (9-1) was playing three nights after falling 95-85 at home to No. 8 Stanford.
Jackson’s seven 3-point baskets marked a career high for the senior guard and left her just one shy of the school single-game record shared by Ariel Massengale and Meighan Simmons.
Her sixth 3-pointer capped a 10-0 spurt late in the third quarter that helped Tennessee put it out of reach.
Cheridene Green scored 12 points, and Mimi Collins and Rennia Davis each added 11 for Tennessee. Micah Scheetz had 15 and Carley Lytton and Erica Haynes-Overton added 11 apiece for ETSU (2-13).
ETSU already has matched its loss total from last season, when the Buccaneers went 20-13.
Tennessee’s Evina Westbrook scored two points and missed all five of her field-goal attempts, ending a streak of four straight games in which the sophomore guard had scored at least 20 points. She sat out the entire fourth quarter Friday after playing all 40 minutes in each of Tennessee’s two games leading up to this one. Westbrook did have nine assists in 20 minutes.
Westbrook was the first Lady Vol to score 20-plus points in four straight games since Candace Parker did it in 2007-08, Tennessee’s last national championship season.
Tennessee opened on a 9-0 run to pull ahead for good, but the Buccaneers regrouped after taking that opening punch.
The Lady Vols didn’t grab their first double-digit lead until less than four minutes remained in the second quarter as they spent much of the night experimenting with some unusual lineup combinations. They were only ahead 48-40 midway through the third quarter before ETSU ran out of gas.
ETSU made just one basket in the final five minutes of the third quarter and missed 10 consecutive shots during that stretch.
ETSU: Give the Bucs credit for how they responded to that early 9-0 deficit. ETSU outworked and outhustled Tennessee much of the night before its shooting woes late in the third quarter enabled Tennessee to pull away.
Tennessee: Jackson continues to take a major leap forward in her senior season. She has averaged 24.3 points over her last three games, as she had a career-high 33 points in a victory over Texas on Saturday and 17 against Stanford. Before this three-game stretch, Jackson had reached the 20-point mark just twice in her first 93 career games.
ETSU: Hosts High Point on Dec. 29.
Tennessee: Hosts Murray State on Friday.
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