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Tennessee falls to Virginia Tech in the Sweet 16, 73-64

The Lady Vols fell behind as many as 18 points in the second half, but trimmed the deficit to one point. However, Virginia Tech pulled away.
Credit: AP
Virginia Tech guard Georgia Amoore (5) goes up for a shot against guard Tess Darby (21) during the first half of a Sweet 16 college basketball game of the NCAA Tournament, Saturday, March 25, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

SEATTLE — Tennessee women's basketball fell short of a comeback win against Virginia Tech 73-64 in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in Seattle on Saturday.

The fourth-seeded Lady Vols fell behind 9-0 to start the game. The region's top-seeded Hokies' leading scorer Elizabeth Kitley scored four points during that stretch. VT got up double digits early when Cayla King made a three-pointer to increase the lead to 16-6.

Tennessee got within five points when Rickea Jackson made a three-pointer of her own, cutting the lead to 16-11. They'd trail 18-13 going into the second quarter.

The Lady Vols hung around and remained down five points with 6:46 left in the first half. Virginia Tech ended the half on a 10-2 run though, Georgia Amoore made a jump shot to get the Hokies back up double digits and then another three soon after to make the score 35-22.

That would be the score at halftime. Amoore scored 15 first-half points to lead the Hokies, with 12 coming in the second quarter. Jackson had seven points. UT shot just 30.3% from the field in the first half.

VT started the second half strong too. Amoore made another three-pointer and then Kitley made a layup to increase the lead to 40-22.

Tennessee trailed 49-33 with 1:23 in the third quarter, but close the quarter out strong with a 7-0 run to get back within single digits. Jackson scored on a layup, Jordan Horston scored on an and-one layup and then Jordan Walker scored on a layup off a steal from Sara Puckett to make it 49-40.

The Lady Vols got even closer in the fourth quarter. Trailing 51-43, Jackson made a jumper, Horston did the same, Walker scored off a steal she came up with and then Walker scored again off a  to make it 51-49.

The Lady Vols got within one point when Jasmine Powell made a three-pointer to make it 53-52 with 6:10 to go.

Virginia Tech's Kayana Taylor scored on an and-one layup moments later to extend the Hokies' lead to 56-52. That started an 8-0 run that put VT up 61-52.

Amoore put Virginia Tech back up double digits on a jumper to make it 67-56. They held on from there. Amoore led VT with 29 points six rebounds and five assists. Hoerston finished with 17 points and Jackson had 15 points.

Tennessee's season comes to an end. They haven't advanced past the Sweet 16 since 2016.

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