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Lady Vols comeback to beat no. 12 Texas

The 16th-ranked Lady Vols overcame a 12-point deficit in the second half to beat the 12th-ranked Longhorns on Sunday afternoon.
Credit: SEC Media Pool
Tennessee women's basketball coach Kellie Harper during an NCAA women's basketball game between the Tennessee Lady Vols and the Florida Gators in Knoxville, Tenn. on Sunday, January 31, 2021.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The 16th-ranked Lady Vols came back to beat the 12th-ranked Texas Longhorns at Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday afternoon, 76-70. The win lifts Tennessee's record 4-0.

Both teams traded baskets in the first half, with neither team taking a lead larger than five points. Guard Jordan Horston made a layup with five seconds remaining in the second quarter to give Tennessee a 29-28 halftime lead. 

Texas started the third quarter on a 14-4 run. The Longhorns outscored the Lady Vols 21-10 in the period and took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter. 

Tennessee lowered its deficit to six points twice in the first three minutes, but Texas responded with three-point plays on both ensuing possessions. 

With 2:14 remaining in the fourth, the Lady Vols trailed by five points. Horston made back-to-back layups to make it a one-point game with 1:09 remaining. Texas made a bucket to re-extend the lead to three. Then, Sara Puckett made a free throw to make it a two-point game with 24 seconds to play. After Puckett missed her second free throw attempt, Texas touched the ball as it went out of bounds, giving the Lady Vols possession. After Horston missed a jumper, forward Alexus Dye grabbed the rebound and tied the game at 59-59 with a layup.

Dye blocked Texas' ensuing three-point shot to give the Lady Vols a shot at winning the game with 5.1 seconds remaining. Horston's game-winning shot attempt fell short, sending the game to overtime. 

Texas and Tennessee traded buckets to start the extra period. Then, the Lady Vols scored five consecutive points to take a 66-61 lead with three minutes to play. 

The Longhorns lessened Tennessee's lead to one point on two occasions, but never retook the lead. 

"Really excited to get this win. Obviously, it's a big win for our program and showed a lot of guts by our team, and they're excited about how we were able to pull it out," head coach Kellie Harper said.

Junior center Tamari Key finished with a triple-double, scoring 10 points, grabbing 18 rebounds and blocking 10 shots. The 10 blocks ties her single-game career high. 

Jordon Horston scored a career-high 28 points to lead all scorers. She also grabbed 15 rebounds to record her second double-double of the season. 

The Lady Vols head to Las Vegas, Nevada for Thanksgiving week. Tennessee will participate in the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout against Kansas and Oklahoma State.