KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The Lady Vols started slow but made the shots they needed down the stretch to top Florida 74-70 Thursday on Senior Night at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Trailing 68-61 in the fourth quarter, Tennessee would go on a 13-2 run to close out the game.
Diamond DeShields did not skip a beat, despite missing the Lady Vols matchup with Arkansas Sunday after colliding with an Alabama player Feb. 16. DeShields finished with 15 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, one shy of a triple-double.
Mercedes Russell scored a team-high 17 points to go with 10 rebounds, accounting for her 16th double-double this season. Her 17 points brings her career total to 1,043, currently 42nd all-time on Rocky Top. Russell is 10 points shy of Taber Spani’s (2009-2013) all-time mark.
Ronni Williams, the SEC’s scoring leader (19.1 PPG), led all scorers with 22 points but fouled out with 1:37 left to play in the fourth quarter.
The Lady Vols honored seniors Jordan Reynolds and Schaquilla Nunn. Reynolds, who is wrapping up her fourth season, totaled 7 points. Nunn, a first-year graduate transfer from Winthrop, added another 7 points with 7 rebounds.
Thursday’s win marked number 50 against Florida. The Lady Vols now own a 50-4 all-time record against the Gators, winning 13 of the last 14 games.
Tennessee (18-10, 9-6 SEC) wrap up the regular season at Mississippi State on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET.