Player of the Week: Tennessee's Jaime Nared
Nared posted the best back-to-back games of her career last week, helping Tennessee upend #14/12 Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. The 6-foot-2 standout from Portland, Ore., averaged 26.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists as the Lady Vols improved to 19-4 overall and 7-3 in SEC play. Against A&M, she helped UT avenge a loss earlier this season in College Station, connecting on eight of 15 shots from the field for 23 points on 53 percent shooting. She added six free throws on eight attempts and contributed six rebounds and four assists to the victorious cause. Against Vanderbilt on Sunday, Nared matched her career high with 30 points against the Commodores, all of them vital as the Lady Vols held off the home team. Nared hit seven of 14 field goal attempts and 15 of 17 tries from the charity stripe vs. VU, including 10-of-10 accuracy in the final five minutes. That total of 15 tied for fourth most all-time in school history. In addition to notching her ninth 20+ point effort of the season and 18th of her career, Nared pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the year and 18th of her career. Nared now is 132 of 158 from the free throw line this season, leading the SEC in that category.
Freshman of the Week: Tennessee's Anastasia Hayes
Hayes came off the bench and provided the #11/13 Lady Vols with a second-half boost toward victories over #14/12 Texas A&M and Vanderbilt last week. The native of Murfreesboro, Tenn., averaged 13.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.5 steals as Tennessee improved to 19-4 on the season and 7-3 in SEC play. She now has scored in double figures in three of her past four games after enduring a stretch of only one game in double figures in her previous seven. Against the Aggies, Hayes helped UT avenge a loss earlier this season at College Station by entering the game and providing 16 points on six-of-nine shooting from the field. Having hit only five three-pointers on the season, she connected on two of three vs. A&M and added a pair of free throws to key the crucial victory. Nine of Hayes' points came in the decisive second-half, when she also grabbed four of her career-high five steals as Tennessee used a 25-8 blitz in the fourth quarter to seal the win. At Vandy on Sunday, Hayes filled the stat sheet and did the dirty work necessary for the Lady Vols to escape with their fifth road win of the season in eight tries. She was again clutch down the stretch, scoring seven of her 10 points in the final frame and finishing with an SEC-high six rebounds and four steals to help UT pull away in the final five minutes.