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Lady Vols throttle Saint Louis in NCAA first-round win, 95-50

Tennessee advances to the second round behind a 29-0 run against the Billikens in Thompson-Boling Arena.
Credit: AP
Tennessee forward Rickea Jackson (2) shoots past Saint Louis forward Peyton Kennedy (32) in the first half of a first-round college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee women's basketball raced past Saint Louis in its NCAA tournament opening-round matchup in Thompson-Boling Arena on Saturday afternoon.

The Lady Vols closed the first half on a 21-0 run and turned it into a 29-0 run to start the third quarter en route to a 95-50 victory and a spot in the NCAA second round.

13 Lady Vols found their way on the score sheet as Tennessee's 95-point outing was its fourth-most of the season and most since the calendar flipped to 2023. The team's 50 points allowed ties its second-fewest of the season.

Saint Louis trailed 24-22 in the second half, but Tennessee stepped on the gas for the huge scoring stretch and did not look back in the victory. The Lady Vols were led in scoring by the usual duo of Rickea Jackson and Jordan Horston against Saint Louis. Jackson posted 18 points along with three assists and three rebounds, while Horston tallied 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting and also picked up four assists and eight rebounds.

The Lady Vol defense played a huge factor in the win and held Saint Louis without a point for 8:39 during Tennessee's 29-0 scoring run. The Lady Vols totaled ten steals and forced 14 Saint Louis turnovers in the lopsided effort.

Tennessee was able to utilize its big lead by resting its starters for a large portion of the second half. Karoline Striplin played just 10 minutes in the second half, which was the most of any Lady Vol started in the final 20 minutes of play.

The Lady Vols have advanced to the NCAA second round in all but two NCAA tournaments. Tennessee will play Toledo in the second-round matchup on Monday, March 20 inside Thompson-Boling Arena.

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