Horston, Burrell-less Lady Vols smother UCF 49-41

NCAA Women's Basketball

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP)Jordan Horston had 14 points and 11 rebounds – her first double-double in nearly two years – and No. 15 Tennessee beat UCF 49-41 on Friday night.

Horston, who started in an exhibition win over Georgia College on Nov. 3 but did not play (ankle) in Tennessee’s season opener, blocked a shot by Tay Sanders and then was assessed a technical foul apparently for something she said. Diamond Battles made the ensuing free throws with 46.9 seconds to play to pull UCF to 46-41 but Alisha Lewis missed a deep 3-point shot with nearly 20 seconds on the shot clock and the Knights did not score again.

Battles sandwiched a pair of 3-pointers around two free throws in an 8-0 run over the final 71 seconds of the third quarter to trim UCF’s deficit to 34-30. The Knights, however, then went scoreless for more than six minutes going 0 for 5 from the field and committing four turnovers – including three on consecutive possession – in that span as Tennessee stretched its lead back into double figures.

Rae Burrell, the Lady Vols’ leading returning scorer (16.8 points per game), did not play. Burrell left Tennessee’s 59-49 win over Southern Illinois on Wednesday night with 1:24 left in the second quarter after suffering a knee injury.

UCF (1-1) – which led Division I last season in scoring defense (50.5 per game), allowing its opponents to shoot just 34% from the field (No. 7 nationally) – stifled Duquesne in a 68-39 season-opener win. The Knights limited Tennessee to its fewest points since a 69-48 loss to then-No. 1 South Carolina on February 2, 2020.

Battles finished with a career-high 21 points.

UCF scored just five points on 1-of-10 shooting from the field in the second quarter and the Lady Vols scored 13 of the final 15 first-half points to take the lead for good at 26-14.

More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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