It was a tough weekend for Tennessee basketball fans. The Volunteer men lost on a last second shot Saturday night and the Lady Vols 57 game NCAA home winning streak ended Sunday afternoon.
The Oregon State Beavers used a tough 2-3 zone and a solid inside offensive game to stifle the Lady Vols 66-59 at Thompson-Boling Arena.
The Lady Vols jumped out to an early 19-9 first quarter lead as Jamie Nared scored 6 points. OSU bounced back with a 9-0 run in the second quarter to cut the halftime Vol lead to 26-24. Only a Reenia Davis three for the Vols at the end of the period gave them seven points for the quarter.
OSU’s offense effectively used a screen and roll with center Marie Gulich. Gulich, 6’8”, who went head to head with Mercedes Russell and helped the Beavers offense put pressure on Tennessee’s guards.
Despite foul troubles, Gulich had 16 points and 12 rebounds. Russell totaled 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Vols. She also surpassed Candace Parker in double/doubles in Lady Vols history. Russell is second only the Chanique Coldshaw in that statistic.
The Beavers controlled the second half leading 44-39 at the end of three periods. OSU’s free throw shooting was also a key. They hit 16 of 23 from the stripe to the Lady Vols 6 of 10.
The Beavers pulled ahead 54-42 with 3:30 left and weren’t seriously challenged the rest of the way. A Nored three cut the lead to 55-47 but Tennessee ran out of time.
It was the third time since 2009 that the Lady Vols have failed to reach the NCAA Regional Semis. They finish with a 25-8 record.