KNOXVILE, Tenn. — Tamari Key had the fourth triple-double in Tennessee history with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocked shots as the No. 20 Lady Vols turned aside a challenge from Florida for a 79-65 win on Sunday.
The 6-foot-5 sophomore from Cary, North Carolina, had a career-high for points on 10-for-12 shooting, and the 10 blocks are a best by one, and two shy of Kelly Cain’s single-game record set in 2010.
Key scored nine points and blocked four shots in the fourth quarter when the scrappy Gators came as close as 60-59. The Lady Vols called a quick timeout and then scored 10 straight points and closed out the quarter on a 19-6 pace.
Rae Burrell added 21 points with nine rebounds for Tennessee (12-3, 6-1 Southeastern Conference), who have won three in a row. Rennia Davis added 14 points, seven boards and four assists. Kasiyahna Kushkituah, making her first start, chipped in eight points, 12 rebounds, four assists and a blocked shot.
Key and 6-4 Kushkituah helped the Lady Vols dominate the inside as Tennessee outrebounded Florida 57-42, helping with a 22-11 disparity in second-chance points an 56-16 advantage on points in the paint. Tennessee had 14 blocks, one short of the school record.
Kiara Smith and Lavender Briggs each scored 23 points for the Gators (9-8, 2-7). Briggs made five 3-pointers as Florida put up 30 shots from behind the arc, making eight. Briggs and Smith were a combined 19 of 49 shooting. The rest of the team was 6 of 31.
Tennessee’s freshman Marta Suarez was out with a lower extremity injury suffered late in the Lady Vols win against Ole Miss on Thursday. It was the first time Suarez didn’t start.
Florida’s next scheduled game, Vanderbilt on Thursday, is off as the Commodores canceled their season. This gives the Gators a week off before traveling to LSU on Feb. 11. Tennessee takes on Mississippi State Thursday in Starkville.