HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Jaime Nared scored 19 points, Mercedes Russell added 17 points with 11 rebounds, and No. 13 Tennessee overtook James Madison in the fourth quarter for an 81-69 win in the season opener for both teams Friday night.
Tied at 62 with 8:12 left to play, Tennessee broke away for good with a 9-0 burst, capped by a three-point play from Diamond DeShields, and held off James Madison down the stretch. A free throw from Alexa Middleton with 1:23 left made it 77-67 and Tennessee protected the double-digit lead the rest of the way.
Middleton had 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and DeShields finished with 10 points. Nared got all her points, including three 3-pointers, in the first half and fouled out in the fourth quarter.
James Madison was led by Precious Hall, who scored a career-high 39 points, including seven 3-pointers. Kamiah Smalls had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Dukes.
MSU women's basketball coach Vic Schaefer joins The Paul Finebaum Show to discuss early preparation for the upcoming season.