In Portland, Ore., the number "0" is held in high regard, as it is stitched on back of the the Trail Blazers' first all-star point guard since 1993, Damien Lillard.
For Tennessee's Jordan Reynolds – a Portland native – the number "0" on the back of her jersey is a way of honoring Lillard, her favorite NBA player, but Sunday she took after the all-star point guard in the closing minutes of the SEC title game.
The freshman point guard converted on a 3-point play to tie the game at 63 with 4:07 left to play and hit a clutch pull-up jump shot to push Tennessee's late lead up to four.
After averaging more than 15 minutes per game in the regular season and scoring 3.8 points per contest, the true freshman put up the best performance of her career Sunday as she scored all of her 11 points in the second half in the one-point comeback win over Kentucky.
"I had a lot of confidence because my teammates installed it in me," the point guard said before practice Wednesday. "If you are in during crunch time that means your teammates trust you enough to do whatever in your power to help them win."I appreciate them allowing me in there with them and to help contribute especially in a championship game."
Since her late game heroics on the biggest stage of her career, she has received a bevy of praise from those around her.
"The first day after (the championship game), my phone was pretty blown up," she said. "It was awesome and it's a great feeling to know that we are champions. Not winning the regular season was a bummer, but being able to redeem ourselves with this championship means a lot to our team."
This past summer Reynolds came to UT ranked one of the top 10 guards in the 2013 recruiting class and was rated the No. 26 player by Women's Basketball Insider.
From the first few months on campus, her teammates were aware of what she could bring to the court.
"I've known since the summer what she is capable of," junior forward Cierra Burdick said. "I think there was a lot of hype around Mercedes (Russell) and people kind of overlooked Jordan. She's a heck of a basketball player."
In three games this past weekend, the 5-foot-11 guard scored 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting (.625), nabbing four steals in 58 minutes of playing time.
What has impressed her head coach the most is that Reynolds hasn't played with the mentality of a freshman.
"She's a competitor," Tennessee head coach Holly Warlick said. "She plays the game and doesn't have the fear of the game right now. We needed her in and we have a lot of confidence in her right now."
With the NCAA Tournament approaching, Reynolds will be looked upon to continue to come off the bench and provide a spark for a Lady Vols squad hoping to make its first Final Four appearance since 2008.
"I just want to do whatever I can for my team from here on out," Reynolds said. "Now it's win or go home and we don't want to go home. We practice too hard and stay up late and do whatever we can to prepare for these games. We just have to put it all out there."