Lady Vols Overpower Tigers

Auburn, Ala.--Tennessee's size and athleticism were too much for Auburn to cope with as the Lady Vols held off a second half run by the Tigers and pulled away for a 73-53 SEC women's basketball victory on Sunday.

The Vols built their advantage by dominating the boards and using that edge to trigger a devastating fastbreak to outscore the Tigers 18-2 in fastbreak baskets. The Vols enjoyed a 49-34 edge in rebounds.

Auburn could have tied for first place in the SEC standings with a win, but the Vols were not interested in sharing their spot atop the league. Coach Pat Summitt's team improved to 7-0 in the SEC and 19-2 overall while Auburn dropped to 5-1 in the SEC and 12-8 overall.

"I thought our team came ready to play," Summitt said. "You never know when you are on the road and in this environment. I was very pleased with our intensity, commitment to playing defense and rebounding the ball. We had a lot of good hustle plays. It was a really good effort overall against a very good Auburn team.

"Anytime you go on the road and you don't pack your defense and board play you can lose at any given time and I think our team has finally bought into that," said Summitt, who added. "We got a number of good things from a number of different players. I think our depth has really contributed to the success we have had. Also this team is very unselfish and very committed to defense and the boards."

A season-high crowd of 7,536 tried to help the Tigers rally as they had a 9-2 run midway through the second half and cut UT's lead to 10 points with plenty of time to play, but Auburn hit the wall at that point and the visitors controlled the play down the stretch.

Auburn coach Nell Fortner was impressed with the Lady Vols. "I think Tennessee is really good," she said. "I think they're definitely one of the top five teams in the country, and they are playing a style of basketball that's really tough to guard. It wears you out, and then they keep bringing players up off the bench, that continue to put the pressure on you.

"I thought our transition defense wasn't good today, which lead to about 18 points for them," Fortner said. "We've got some work to do to stay in a ball game with them, for sure."

Morgan Toles and Alli Smalley scored 13 apiece for the Tigers. Jordan Greenleaf added 10 points.

"We are not used to playing teams with that kind of size," Smalley said. "They are long and when they slow us down in their press. We lost our flow a little bit so we were not just knocking down shots when we getting open looks."

Tennessee got 18 points from Shekinna Stricklen and Glory Johnson came off the bench to contribute 16 points and 13 rebounds.

STRICKLEN, Shekinna 8-14 0-0 18; JOHNSON, Glory 7-12 2-2 16; CAIN, Kelley 3-7 3-4 9; BAUGH, Vicki 3-4 3-4 9; SPANI, Taber 3-8 0-0 8; BJORKLUND, Angie 3-6 0-0 7; SIMMONS, Meighan 1-8 2-2 5; WILLIAMS, Kamiko 0-4 1-2 1; BREWER, Alyssia 0-1 0-0 0; SMALLBONE, Sydney 0-0 0-0 0; MANNING, Alicia 0-0 0-0 0; AVANT, Lauren 0-1 0-0 0; BASS, Briana 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-65 11-14 73.

Toles, Morgan 6-13 1-1 13; Smalley, Alli 6-14 0-0 13; Greenleaf, Jordan 4-14 2-2 10; Alverson, Blanche 3-11 0-0 9; Tanner, Tyrese 2-9 0-0 4; Simmons, Parrisha 1-1 0-0 2; Williams, Jassany 1-2 0-1 2; Davis, Peyton 0-2 0-1 0; Hilliard, Chantel 0-0 0-0 0; Glymph, Camille 0-1 0-0 0; Jennings, Morgan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-67 3-5 53.

Tennessee 34 39 73
Auburn 19 34 53

3-point goals--Tennessee 6-16 (SPANI, Taber 2-4; STRICKLEN, Shekinna 2-4; SIMMONS, Meighan 1-4; BJORKLUND, Angie 1-3; WILLIAMS, Kamiko 0-1), Auburn 4-19 (Alverson, Blanche 3-9; Smalley, Alli 1-4; Tanner, Tyrese 0-5; Glymph, Camille 0-1).
Fouled out--Tennessee-None, Auburn-None.
Rebounds--Tennessee 49 (JOHNSON, Glory 13), Auburn 34 (Greenleaf, Jordan 9).
Assists--Tennessee 14 (WILLIAMS, Kamiko 4), Auburn 15 (Toles, Morgan 7).
Total fouls--Tennessee 13, Auburn 13.
Technical fouls--Tennessee-None, Auburn-None.

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