KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Texas has emphasized performing better away from home this year after going 4-7 in true road games last season.
So far, so good.
Lashann Higgs scored 18 points and led an efficient 3-point attack Sunday as the eighth-ranked Longhorns defeated No. 4 Tennessee 64-53, snapping the Lady Vols' 27-game home winning streak. Tennessee (5-1) hadn't lost at home since a 75-71 defeat by Kentucky in February 2014.
"I was really proud of our team's mentality," Texas coach Karen Aston said. "I think that's the main thing that we've talked about all summer and all fall was how to have a better road mentality. Really, this wasn't necessarily about who we were playing, but can we be better on the road."
Higgs played a major role in that reversal of fortune. The freshman guard entered the day having missed all seven of her 3-point attempts this season. She regained her shooting touch Sunday by going 3 of 5 from 3-point range, helping Texas shoot 6 of 13 from beyond the arc overall.
"It was huge," Tennessee coach Holly Warlick said. "We went to a zone, and she hit two in a row. You've got to pick your poison, and we were concerned with (Celina) Rodrigo and (Brooke) McCarty, and so she hit big shots."
Diamond DeShields had 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead Tennessee, but no other Lady Vol had more than six points.
"We tried to make sure if Diamond's going to score, no one else could," Texas center Imani Boyette said.
Tennessee cut an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit to four when Lady Vols guard Andraya Carter sank two free throws with 1:18 left. Carter then made a midcourt steal to start a fastbreak, but Te'a Cooper missed a contested layup with a minute remaining.
The Lady Vols wouldn't get any closer, missing their last nine field-goal attempts.
McCarty had 12 points and Boyette had 11 points and nine rebounds for Texas (5-0).
The matchup continued a pattern of close games for Tennessee, which had won its last four games by a combined margin of 20 points. The difference this time -- Tennessee failed to win.
"We were setting ourselves up for this," Carter said. "Our games leading up to this we should have won by way more. ... We came up against a team that was equally as talented as us, and they played together and they beat us. I think this just shows that while you can beat some teams not playing the way you're supposed to, you can't beat the top teams."
Texas: Although Texas and Tennessee play each other every year, it was first time the Longhorns have won back-to-back games against Lady Vols since winning four straight from February 2002 to November 2004. Texas beat Tennessee 72-59 in Austin last season.
Tennessee: The Lady Vols will make their first road trip on Dec. 11 to Wichita State, which is coached by former Tennessee player Jody Adams.
Tennessee forward Jasmine Jones and Cooper collided head-to-head while chasing a loose ball with 7:41 left in the fourth quarter. Jones was helped to the locker room with and didn't return to the game.
Warlick had no immediate update on the condition of Jones, who played just seven games last season due to concussion-like symptoms. Warlick also didn't have a timetable on the potential returns of forward Kortney Dunbar and guard/forward Jaime Nared. Dunbar sprained her right ankle Friday in a victory over Albany. Nared hasn't played all season due to a broken left hand.
DeShields shot 4 of 7 from 3-point range, but her Tennessee teammates were 0 of 8. ... Texas won despite shooting 16 of 27 on free throws.
Texas: Hosts No. 8 Mississippi State on Wednesday.
Tennessee: Hosts East Tennessee State on Wednesday.
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