Middleton scores 29, Lady Vols beat Troy 110-84
Alexa Middleton scored a career-high 29 points and Jaime Nared, Mercedes Russell and Jordan Reynolds posted double-doubles to lead Tennessee to a 110-84 win over Troy.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (UTSports.com)-- Alexa Middleton scored a career-high 29 points and Jaime Nared, Mercedes Russell and Jordan Reynolds posted double-doubles to lead Tennessee to a 110-84 win over Troy on Wednesday at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Tennessee played without its second-leading scorer, Diamond DeShields, who was held out due to injury. UT finished the game strong, scoring a program-record 38 points in the fourth quarter.The Lady Vols' (7-4) 110 points in the win were their most since a 111-44 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) on Dec. 3, 2014. UT shot 51.3 percent from the floor and limited Troy (6-4) to just 34.3 percent shooting.
Middleton scored 15 of her 29 points in the first half and was 7-of-10 on 3-pointers, tying for the fourth-most by a Lady Vol in a single game. Nared scored 15 of her 21 points in the second half and finished with a career-high 14 rebounds. Russell had 18 points and 11 rebounds. Reynolds scored 12 points, dished out a career-high 13 assists and had eight boards. Meme Jackson posted career bests with 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Schaquilla Nunn added 10 points and eight rebounds.
Claresa Banks led Troy with 19 points. Jayla Chills had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Trojans.
The Lady Vols enjoyed a fast start, shooting 60.0 percent (12-of-20) in the first quarter to seize a 35-15 lead. Middleton scored eight points in the first and her two free throws at the 6:14 mark sparked a 13-2 Tennessee run that gave the Lady Vols a 25-8 advantage and control of the game. UT had five players with six points or more in the first quarter and led by as many as 24 points.
Troy roared back to life in the second quarter, outscoring Tennessee 27-12 to cut the Lady Vols' lead to just 47-42 by halftime. Kayla Robinson's layup with 3:55 left started a 19-2 Troy run to the end of the half.
Tennessee pushed its lead to 15 points with a big third quarter and enjoyed a double-digit lead for the rest of the game. Nared led the way in the third with 10 points and six boards.
Tennessee plays UNCW on Dec. 29 at Thompson-Boling Arena. The 7 p.m. ET game will feature a live broadcast on SECN+. The Lady Vols begin SEC play Jan. 1 at home against Kentucky.