The No. 11 Lady Vols (20-4, 7-3) defeated the No. 18 Georgia Bulldogs 62-46 in the annual Live Pink, Bleed Orange game honoring cancer patients.
Jaime Nared led Tennessee in points (15) and Mercedes Russell (13), Rennia Davis (11) and Meme Jackson (11) also scored double-digit points in the 16-point win.
“I’m really happy for our basketball team,” head coach Holly Warlick said post-game. “We have been really good at focusing on one game at a time. We were really in-tune and understanding our game plan. I thought we were solid today.”
Warlick also mentioned of wearing pink uniforms for a good cause for one’s battling cancer, that “you could just feel it in the locker room, we were playing for people battling a disease and I think they took it to heart.
“It’s an inspiration every time I see anyone fighting cancer. They hit it head on and for us, as a basketball team, that’s life and this is a game. We see their hope in their eyes and we should be able to get up for a basketball game. If I’ve learned one thing, it’s about attitude.”
Senior Jaime Nared also paid homage of wearing pink against Georgia. “It means so much,” Nared said. “My aunt was going through breast cancer and we play this game and we can take it for granted sometimes. Just playing for people that’s fighting means so much and is amazing.”
The Lady Vols out-rebounded Georgia 50-30 and Russell recorded her 1,000th career rebound in the first half. Russell becomes the sixth Lady Vol to reach the 1,000-rebound mark.
“It’s extremely humbling and I’m honored,” Russell said of her career achievement.
Warlick said Russell “loves this program and has worked very hard in getting where she is and that “she is one of the smartest to ever wear the Lady Vol uniform and deserves to be with an elite group.”
The win gives Tennessee fours consecutive victories with four regular season games remaining before the SEC tournament in Nashville, Feb. 28-March 4.
The Lady Vols return to the court Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m. against Alabama.