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Lady Vols defeat Belmont, advance to Sweet 16

The Tennessee Lady Vols are going to the Sweet 16 for the first time since the 2015-2016 season. Tennessee will face No. 1 seed Louisville.
Credit: AP
Tennessee's Rae Burrell celebrates after hitting a 3-point basket against Belmont in the first half of a women's college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament Monday, March 21, 2022, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — For the first time since 2016, the Tennessee women's basketball team is advancing to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

The Lady Vols defeated Belmont Monday night, 70 to 67. 

Tennessee will face No. 1 Louisville Saturday in Wichita, Kansas.

You can watch the post-game conference below:

Freshman guard Sarah Puckett played hero for the Lady Vols. She drained a corner three to give Tennessee a lead in the final moments of the contest.

Puckett was pivotal in a hot start for Tennessee. She led Tennessee with four points in the first quarter, but seven Lady Vol players scored in the first quarter.

At the start of the second quarter, the Lady Vols got out to a 28-16 lead. Tennessee's defense held Belmont to shooting just 26% from the field. 

At halftime, Tennessee led Belmont, 35-23. 

To start the third quarter, junior Tamari Key committed her third foul. The Lady Bruins capitalized on the center being on the bench. 

Tennessee went on a 2:35 scoring drought, while Belmont went on a 15-2 run. 

Tennessee got hot to start the fourth quarter, taking a 54-48 lead, but Belmont quickly answered back. 

Sophomore guards Destinee Wells and Tuti Jones hit back-to-back threes to put the Lady Bruins within one point. 

Belmont took a 57-56 lead on a layup from Destinee Wells. That was Belmont's first lead since the beginning of the game. 

Tamari Key had three blocks on the game which puts her at 276 career blocks. That surpasses Candace Parker for most career blocks at Tennessee. 

Destinee Wells hit a reverse layup with 3:20 to play to give Belmont a 63-60 lead. Alexus Dye answered back with a layup of her own, to cut the Lady Bruins lead to one. 

With 36.1 seconds left to play, Belmont led Tennessee by one point, 66-64.

Puckett answered with just 18 seconds to go in regulation. She cashed in on a feed from Rae Burrell and knocked down the go-ahead bucket in the Vols' victory. 

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