Knoxville, Tenn. – On “Live Pink, Bleed Orange” day at Thompson-Boling Arena, the Lady Vols sent the crowd of 14,716 home happy with an 83-64 victory over Vanderbilt. The No. 12/10 Lady Vols remained perfect all-time in home games against the Commodores, winning all 28 match-ups in Knoxville.
Tennessee won its third game in a row and moved to 20-5 overall and 11-1 in the league. The Lady Vols took over first place in the SEC with the victory as Texas A&M (10-1 in the SEC) plays Kentucky on Monday night.
Five Lady Vols scored in double-figures led by Meighan Simmons (17), who led UT in scoring for the 14th time this season.
Freshman Jasmine Jones was an unlikely offensive source for the Lady Vols as she tallied 12 points, 10 in the first half.
Sophomore Ariel Massengale added an SEC season-high 14 points, freshman Bashaara Graves added 13 while Taber Spani had 12.
Vanderbilt fell to 16-9, 6-6 in the SEC. The Commodores were led by Jasmine Lister, who netted a game-high 24 points.
The victory also gave the Lady Vols their 37th consecutive season with 20 or more wins. Since 1976-77, Tennessee has won at least 22 games in every season.
Holly Warlick became the first head coach in the history of Tennessee women’s basketball to win 20 games in her first season at the helm. Pat Summitt went 16-8 in her first season leading the Lady Vols in 1974-75.
Up by 10 at halftime, the Lady Vols came out strong in the second half, expanding the lead to 16 in a little over two minutes as Simmons finished a 3-point play with 2:13 elapsed, 49-33.
The lead ballooned to 20 at 60-40 on a 7-0 run keyed by a 3-pointer from Spani with 13 minutes left.
Vanderbilt got within 10 on three occasions in the final 8:40 of the game, but the Lady Vols were able to maintain the double-figure lead.
Tennessee shot 55 percent from the floor including 55.9 in the second half.
Tennessee held its largest lead of the first half heading into halftime as Jones knocked down jumper with nine seconds left in the half. That gave UT a 39-29 edge at intermission. It was the first double-figure lead of the game.
Just prior, Jones keyed a Lady Vols 8-1 run late in the first half with back-to-back jumpers giving UT a 33-24 lead with 3:51 left in the first half.
Tennessee went on a 10-0 run after Vanderbilt scored the game’s first basket to lead 10-3 on an Massengale 3-pointer with less than three minutes elapsed. UT start 6-of-8 from the floor.
Vanderbilt’s 7-0 run brought the Commodores cut the deficit to 14-12 with 12 minutes left as Jasmine Jenkins laid one home.
Vandy briefly tied the game at 16, but Simmons answered with a 3-pointer with 10 minutes left in the game to regain the lead, 19-16.
The Lady Vols return to action on Thursday as they welcome Auburn for a 7 p.m., tip-off.
Courtesy Lady Vols Media Relations