Knoxville, Tenn.--(UTSports) KNOXVILLE - Behind a career-high-tying 16 points by Cierra Burdick, the No. 10 Tennessee women’s basketball team used a first half rally to defeat Arkansas 70-60 Thursday at Thompson Boling Arena.
The Lady Vols rallied from an eight-point deficit with just under six minutes remaining in the first half to enter the break with a two-point lead thanks to a 9-2 run and some hustle play by Burdick.
Burdick, in addition to her 16 points, took down a team-high seven rebounds and dished out a team-best four assists. The Charlotte, N.C., native finished the night with 7-of-9 shooting, including a perfect 2-of-2 from behind the arc.
Burdick entered the game with just one three-pointer made on nine attempts this season. She also added two blocked shots, her second multi-block game of the year.
Tennessee improves to 17-4 and 6-2 in conference play while Arkansas fell to 15-6 and 2-6 in the SEC.
Also with 16 points on the night, senior Meighan Simmons moved up into eighth place on the UT all-time scoring chart past Sheila Frost (1,790 – 1986-89). Simmons now has 1,799 points in her career.
After a back-and-forth beginning to the first half, the Lady Vols fell behind by eight points with six minutes remaining, the largest lead of the game for the Razorbacks.
The Lady Vols did not stop fighting and finished the half on a 9-2 run in the final 4:47 to take a 38-36 lead heading to the locker rooms.
Burdick was instrumental in the Lady Vols’ rally as she blocked a shot, gathered the rebound and threw it in to Andraya Carter while falling out of bounds. Carter pushed the ball up the court, dishing it to Simmons who tallied her seventh and eighth points of the night on a jumper that moved her into eighth place all-time on the UT scoring chart.
One play later Carter reeled in a rebound and dished it out to Jordan Reynolds who hit a three from the top right corner of the arc sending it through the net to give the Lady Vols their first lead with four seconds remaining in the half since the 14:22 mark.
The Lady Vols continued to add to their lead in the second half behind 4-of-5 shooting from Burdick and Isabelle Harrison. Harrison finished the night with 12 points, the 19th time this season she has hit the double-digit mark.
The Lady Vols were once again without Ariel Massengale who suffered an injury vs. Florida (Jan. 23).
Tennessee returns to action on Sunday, Feb. 2, when they begin a two-game road swing starting at Alabama at 4:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
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