Despite loss, Lady Vols regain spot in AP poll

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONHolly Warlick: We found a way to win | 0:58

Lady Vols Coach Holly Warlick was concerned about letdown after Monday's upset of South Carolina. But that wasn't the case against LSU. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONVideo: Lady Vols prepare to take on LSU | 0:48

The Tennessee women's basketball team prepares to take on LSU on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, at Thompson-Boling Arena.

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vols' Auburn loss still relevant | 0:36

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick uses result in preparation for LSU. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONWillpower pays off for Lady Vols in South Carolina upset | 0:58

Holly Warlick compliments her team after win at South Carolina on Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONSouth Carolina adds to its arsenal | 0:39

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick previews Monday's game against South Carolina. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONDiamond DeShields carrying heavy load | 1:02

UT coach Holly Warlick talks about the play of the Lady Vols redshirt junior guard. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONWarlick reviews Lady Vols' win over Florida | 0:58

Tennessee women's basketball coach Holly Warlick reviews her team's win over Florida on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONHolly Warlick discusses upcoming Florida game | 4:10

The Tennessee women's basketball team plays at Florida on Thursday night at 7 p.m. Head coach Holly Warlick previewed the matchup before the Lady Vols departed for Gainesville. Rhiannon Potkey/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONHolly Warlick praises Alexa Middleton after Lady Vols' win over Vanderbilt | 0:51

Tennessee women's basketball coach Holly Warlick compliments the play of Lady Vols junior guard Alexa Middleton after UT's win over Vanderbilt on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017. (Video by Dan Fleser/News Sentinel) Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vols coach Holly Warlick on loss to Auburn | 1:19

Tennessee women's basketball coach Holly Warlick reviews the Lady Vols' loss to Auburn on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017. (Video by Dan Fleser/News Sentinel) Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vols have not won back their locker room | 1:07

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick said the subject didn't come up after win over Notre Dame. Dan Fleser

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONHolly Warlick: They got it done | 0:49

Tennessee womens basketball coach Holly Warlick reviews comeback win over Notre Dame on Monday, Jan. 17, 2017. Dan Fleser

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONThis night was bigger than us | 0:30

Tennessee Lady Vol Schaquilla Nunn reviews Tennessee's 71-69 win over Notre Dame on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. Dan Fleser

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONSEC women's coaches salute Pat Summitt | 2:43

Before Tennessee played Notre Dame on Monday night as part of the SEC's We Back Pat week, SEC women's coaches saluted Pat Summitt in a video board tribute. Rhiannon Potkey/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vols get outworked in loss to Ole Miss | 1:00

Tennessee Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick says her team was "outworked" and "shot happy" in road loss in Oxford, Mississippi, to Ole Miss on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. Dan Fleser

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONHolly Warlick: Defense isn't as easy as it sounds | 0:45

Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick talks about priorities for playing Ole Miss, other opponents on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONHolly Warlick after Mississippi State loss, 4.8.17 | 1:15

Tennessee's head coach was more concerned with turnovers and defense than Tennessee' ranking Sunday night, when the Bulldogs beat the Lady Vols at home 74-64. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONWhy Mississippi State Bulldogs are a 'really good basketball team.' | 0:48

Lady Vols coach details why Mississippi State Bulldogs are a "really good basketball team." Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONWhat goes into a winning streak | 0:38

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick details what's behind Lady Vols' 5-game streak. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vols, Mercedes Russell in good shape | 1:22

"From the start we've been coming out with a lot of effort." Lady Vols center Mercedes Russell talks about team's 5-game winning streak and adjusting to more playing minutes. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vol Jaime Nared praises Mercedes Russell | 1:01

Tennessee Lady Vol forward Jaime Nared says teammate Mercedes Russell's summer work is paying off and it showed against Kentucky. Dan Fleser

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vols brace for start of SEC play | 0:38

Tennessee women's basketball coach Holly Warlick says the Southeastern Conference is especially tough this season. Dan Fleszer

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONJordan Reynolds achieves rare feat | 0:37

Lady Vols point guard talks about becoming third player in program history to record a triple double. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vols are back; DeShields' status uncertain | 1:18

Tennessee assistant coach Dean Lockwood lays out post-Christmas playing agenda for team. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vols hang tough against Troy | 1:04

Coach Holly Warlick talks about her team withstanding a poor second quarter for a 110-84 victory. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vols hustle to win over Stanford | 1:11

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick was fired up, watching the effort that went into Sunday's game. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONStanford present great challenge for Lady Vols | 0:40

Tennessee women's basketball coach Holly Warlick says Sunday's game is opportunity for team to keep moving forward Dan Fleser

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONHolly Warlick tells Alexa Middleton- Keep it simple | 0:54

The Lady Vols coach wants the reserve guard to play to her strengths when coming in to a game off the bench. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONTennessee coach Holly Warlick lauds App State coach Angel Elderkin | 0:43

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick lauds App State coach Angel Elderkin, who's battling cancer, and bemoans another slow start by UT. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONHolly Warlick discusses Lady Vols' loss to Texas | 0:55

Despite losing at Texas, Tennessee Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick noticed improvement in how her team competed, compared to the Baylor loss. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONTennessee's Holly Warlick previews Sunday's game with Texas | 0:33

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick previews the Lady Vols game with the No. 14 Longhorns on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, in Austin, Texas. Dan Fleser

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vols need better start | 0:43

Tennessee's Mercedes Russell looks ahead to Texas by looking back at Baylor loss. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vols coach Holly Warlick on loss to Baylor | 1:06

Tennessee women's basketball coach Holly Warlick discusses the Lady Vols' loss to Baylor on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONBaylor big test for Lady Vols | 0:37

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick breaks down Lady Bears' scoring ability. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vols coach Holly Warlick on Gatlinburg wildfires | 0:00

Tennessee women's basketball coach Holly Warlick discusses the wildfire disaster in the Gatlinburg area during her postgame news conference Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONHolly Warlick: Lady Vols problems 'fixable' | 0:50

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick says the team's focus is more of a concern than, for instance, their shot selection. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONToo many turnovers for Lady Vols | 1:10

Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick talks about turnovers' impact on the loss Sunday night at Virginia Tech. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vols recruiting class fills needs | 0:53

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick details strengths of four signees for the Lady Vols basketball team. Dan Fleser

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vols go back to work | 0:46

Coach Holly Warlick details recovery from loss at Penn State. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONRennia Davis dunking before a high school game | 0:05

Think Tennessee might be excited about recruit Rennia Davis? Here she is dunking the ball before a high school game early in November 2016. (Video courtesy of Rennia Davis family) Courtesy of Rennia Davis family

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vol commit visits East Tennessee | 0:32

Lady Vols signee Anastasia Hayes and her Riverdale High team played at William Blount Tuesday night. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONBalance is key to fast start for Lady Vols | 0:31

Lady Vols guard Alexa Middleton says balance is key to fast start this season. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONThree reasons for Holly Warlick to be excited | 2:05

Lady Vols coach details the attributes of Tennessee's 3 women's basketball signees. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vols' Diamond DeShields on her performance against ETSU | 0:54

Tennessee Lady Vols guard Diamond DeShields talks about her 28-point performance in UT's win at East Tennessee State on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONHolly Warlick: Mercedes Russell off to fast start | 0:52

Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick compliments the play of Tennessee's 6-foot-6 center Mercedes Russel. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vol guard gives hot take on hot shooting | 0:35

Alexa Middleton says practice makes near-perfect 3-point shooting at a media availability after the Lady Vols' 85-55 win against Navy Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONSolving a 'Precious' problem | 0:52

Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick talks about Tennessee's win over James Madison on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016. Dan Fleser

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vols' Diamond DeShields on her performance in exhibition opener | 0:37

Lady Vols guard Diamond DeShields talks about her performance in Tennessee's exhibition win over Carson-Newman on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONKamera Harris adjusting to college life | 0:43

Tennessee Lady Vols freshman Kamera Harris talks about her adjustment to college life. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONSchaquilla Nunn interview | 1:08

Lady Vols post player Schaquilla Nunn interview Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vols guard Jordan Reynolds on differences between this season and last | 0:43

Lady Vols guard Jordan Reynolds describes differences between this season and last Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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VIDEOS: LADY VOLS BASKETBALL 2016-17 SEASONLady Vols guard Diamond DeShields talks about last season's struggles. | 1:11

Lady Vols guard Diamond DeShields talks about last season's struggles. Dan Fleser/News Sentinel

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  • Holly Warlick: We found a way to win
  • Video: Lady Vols prepare to take on LSU
  • Lady Vols' Auburn loss still relevant
  • Willpower pays off for Lady Vols in South Carolina upset
  • South Carolina adds to its arsenal
  • Diamond DeShields carrying heavy load
  • Warlick reviews Lady Vols' win over Florida
  • Holly Warlick discusses upcoming Florida game
  • Holly Warlick praises Alexa Middleton after Lady Vols' win over Vanderbilt
  • Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick on loss to Auburn
  • Lady Vols have not won back their locker room
  • Holly Warlick: They got it done
  • This night was bigger than us
  • SEC women's coaches salute Pat Summitt
  • Lady Vols get outworked in loss to Ole Miss
  • Holly Warlick: Defense isn't as easy as it sounds
  • Holly Warlick after Mississippi State loss, 4.8.17
  • Why Mississippi State Bulldogs are a 'really good basketball team.'
  • What goes into a winning streak
  • Lady Vols, Mercedes Russell in good shape
  • Lady Vol Jaime Nared praises Mercedes Russell
  • Lady Vols brace for start of SEC play
  • Jordan Reynolds achieves rare feat
  • Lady Vols are back; DeShields' status uncertain
  • Lady Vols hang tough against Troy
  • Lady Vols hustle to win over Stanford
  • Stanford present great challenge for Lady Vols
  • Holly Warlick tells Alexa Middleton- Keep it simple
  • Tennessee coach Holly Warlick lauds App State coach Angel Elderkin
  • Holly Warlick discusses Lady Vols' loss to Texas
  • Tennessee's Holly Warlick previews Sunday's game with Texas
  • Lady Vols need better start
  • Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick on loss to Baylor
  • Baylor big test for Lady Vols
  • Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick on Gatlinburg wildfires
  • Holly Warlick: Lady Vols problems 'fixable'
  • Too many turnovers for Lady Vols
  • Lady Vols recruiting class fills needs
  • Lady Vols go back to work
  • Rennia Davis dunking before a high school game
  • Lady Vol commit visits East Tennessee
  • Balance is key to fast start for Lady Vols
  • Three reasons for Holly Warlick to be excited
  • Lady Vols' Diamond DeShields on her performance against ETSU
  • Holly Warlick: Mercedes Russell off to fast start
  • Lady Vol guard gives hot take on hot shooting
  • Solving a 'Precious' problem
  • Lady Vols' Diamond DeShields on her performance in exhibition opener
  • Kamera Harris adjusting to college life
  • Schaquilla Nunn interview
  • Lady Vols guard Jordan Reynolds on differences between this season and last
  • Lady Vols guard Diamond DeShields talks about last season's struggles.

Tennessee‘s Diamond DeShields (11) jumps for a layup during an NCAA basketball game between Tennessee and LSU on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville.(Photo: Calvin Mattheis/News Sentinel)

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Despite losing a women‘s basketball game, Tennessee regained a spot Monday in the Associated Press‘ Top 25 weekly poll.

The Lady Vols resurfaced at No. 24 after a nine-week absence. They were rewarded for beating conference leader South Carolina last Monday in Columbia, S.C. The victory wasn‘t trumped by an 81-78 double-overtime loss to Georgia, which entered the game tied for ninth in the SEC standings.

After a whirlwind week, the Lady Vols are tied for fourth in the conference with Kentucky and Missouri. The Tigers visit Thompson-Boling Arena on Thursday.

In the meantime, here are three observations about Sunday‘s agonizing loss:

1. Turnovers about execution but also imbalance

Tennessee had averaged only 11 turnovers the last four games, which amounted to its most sustained efficiency of the season. And then came 24 turnovers against an aggressive Georgia defense.

The 10 turnovers charged to Diamond DeShields offset her game-high 34 points and four steals. Four of her turnovers were in the final 2 minutes, 17 seconds of regulation and another came in the second overtime. They corresponded with seven Georgia points.

Two of the late turnovers in regulation – a stolen entry pass and a strip steal while driving – came with the redshirt junior guard essentially running the possession. The other was a tie-up off an inbounds, a possession that initially was manned by forward Jaime Nared. The fourth came when she threw an inbounds pass over everyone with 1.9 seconds left.

The overtime turnover was a ball-handling mistake.

“I think Diamond at times has a mindset that she needs to do everything,” UT coach Holly Warlick said. “I’m not going to blame her. She scored 34 points.”

There was a noteworthy correlation between DeShields’ struggles and the nine turnovers she committed in a loss at Auburn on Jan. 19. Against Georgia, six of the eight Lady Vols who played combined for 20 points and 10 turnovers. At Auburn, five Lady Vols scored a collective six points and committed 10 turnovers.

Whatever the cause, the disproportion played a part in both situations.

2. Nared needed better chance for better start

Tennessee’s Nared had scored in double figures in 19 consecutive games and had averaged 26.5 points the previous two. Therefore, it was perplexing that she hardly touched the basketball during the first quarter.

Nared scored 11 points in the first 10 minutes against LSU Thursday and had 16 by halftime.

Against Georgia, Nared’s first touch occurred after a Mercedes Russell block. Nared drove from the frontcourt all the way to the basket and drew a foul against Mackenzie Engram, who played 46 minutes and had 18 points and 13 rebounds. Nared’s second touch came via an offensive rebound.

Nared, who finished with five points, attempted one field goal in the quarter, when UT shot 3 for 13 from the floor and fell behind by eight points. If anything, a few more attempts might have resulted in more fouls against either Engram, who finished with three fouls, or Caliya Robinson, who scored 28 points but also had four fouls.

3. Defense didn’t make enough difference

DeShields was especially frustrated by Georgia guard Haley Clark dribbling the length of the floor in seven seconds and scoring the game-tying basket with two seconds left in regulation.

“Stuff like that shouldn’t happen,” she said.

Conversely Robinson looked like a budding star, shooting 13 for 17 from the floor. The 6-foot-3 sophomore forward’s size and athleticism created matchup problems, particularly with Nared in foul trouble by the second quarter.

“I just thought she was outstanding tonight,” Warlick said of Robinson. “… Maybe we should’ve fouled her more. She was 1 for 4 (at the free throw line).”

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