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No. 16 Tennessee Lady Vols defeat No. 23 South Florida, 52-49

Overcoming a six-point deficit entering the fourth quarter, the Lady Vols secured their first Top-25 win of the season.
Credit: UT Athletics

The question coming into Monday's top-25 matchup, was how we’re the Lady Vols going to create consistent offensive without leading scorer Rae Burrell?

The answer against the 23rd ranked South Florida Bulls was junior guard, Jordan Horston. 

In a game where the lady Vols went 0-13 from behind the arc and shot just 44 percent from the free throw line, Horston gave Tennessee a spark.

She finished with 24 points and 9 rebounds, while dishing out four assists.

Horston said postgame she gives the credit to her teammates.

"I want to put it on my teammates." Horston said. "They were the ones keeping me motivated and keeping me confident. Without them we wouldn't have won. It's not a one-man job. At the end of the day we were all locked defensively and that's how we got the win."

The program secured its 489th win over a ranked opponent. In the current rankings, the Lady Vols have five remaining ranked opponents on their schedule, including the next matchup with No. 12 Texas.

Defense was 'Key' for Tennessee against the Bulls.

Forward Tamari Key led the Lady Vols on the defensive end. She forced six blocks and grabbed seven defensive rebounds.

Up front, the guards were active the entire possession, forcing 12 turnovers.

On the game, Tennessee out rebounded South Florida 48 to 42.

Head coach Kellie Harper said this win came down to focus and grit.

"Well, we know where we're at right now when we step out on the court." Harper said.

"Right now, we've got to hang our hat on our defense; we know that. We know it's not pretty on the other end. The team really bought into that, and when they were a little bit tired, a little gassed, a little bit down, they found a way to turn it up a notch. That grit was crucial to this win, and I think everybody was trying to do their part."

Tennessee returns to Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday to face No. 12 Texas. The Longhorns recently defeated the defending national champions, Stanford. 

Tip-off on The Summitt is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday.