KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Senior Cierra Johnson’s two free throws gave Alabama the 63-62 edge with 15 seconds left, when Tennessee’s Rennia Davis knocked in a 30-foot prayer with 0.8 seconds on the clock to give the No.23-ranked Lady Vols (15-3, 5-1 SEC) the 65-63 victory over the Crimson Tide (11-7, 1-4 SEC) inside Thompson-Boling Arena on Monday night. The Tide had won the previous five matchups against UT.
Redshirt junior Jordan Lewis went over 1,000 career points after totaling a team-high 17 in the loss. With 14 points and 10 rebounds, junior Jasmine Walker has had a double-double in all three Southeastern Conference road contests this season.
“What a great game, but that was tough to lose,” said head coach Kristy Curry. “Our kids really fought and did what we asked them to do. I thought we missed a lot of shots and we had great shots, but sometimes when your shot doesn’t go in you let it affect you, but I thought our kids just kept believing and they played their guts out. I thought they deserved to win, we were just one stop away.”
The Crimson Tide started the game slow with the Lady Vols jumping out to the 10-4 lead in the first five minutes of action. UT held the 13-8 advantage heading into the second.
Both teams struggled to find their offense in the second quarter, as Alabama found themselves down 20-11 with 3:39 to go before the half. Junior Ariyah Copeland’s layup with 32 seconds made the score 24-17 in favor of Tennessee heading into the break.
The Tide’s offense got going in the third quarter, after scoring more points in the third period than in the entire first half. Sophomore De’Sha Benjamin hit a triple with 3:17 in the frame to tie the game at 33-33. UT responded with back-to-back 3-pointers and held the 41-37 edge going into the final 10 minutes to play.
Following a Lewis layup to start the fourth, Tennessee went on a 9-0 run to go up 50-41 with 5:24 to go. Alabama battled back to tie the game at 56-56 after sophomore Megan Abrams drained a corner three with 2:08 on the clock.
The Tide took its first lead of the game when Lewis splashed a three-pointer with 1:24 to go to make it 59-58 in favor of UA. Tennessee briefly retook the lead with 50 seconds on the clock before Johnson’s jumper in the paint put Alabama back on top 61-60 with 39 seconds to go. In the final 19 seconds, the two teams traded free throws before Davis knocked in the dagger three to seal the 65-63 victory.
Walker earned her 10th career double-double with her performance on Monday night. In SEC road games, the junior is averaging 17.7 points and 10.3 rebounds per contest.
Lewis was clutch down the stretch, scoring 12 of her 17 points in the fourth quarter on 5-of-7 shooting. Her two assists moved her to just two away from taking over the No. 8 spot in all-time career assists at Alabama.
Alabama will return home for three-straight home games beginning on Thursday against No. 15 Texas A&M at 7 p.m. inside Coleman Coliseum. The game between the Crimson Tide and Aggies will be streamed live on SEC Network+.