Shekinna Stricklen added 12 points while Alicia Manning had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Lady Vols (5-2), who saw their 12-point halftime lead cut to 41-37 before using an 15-4 run to take control. Stricklen had six points during the burst.
Her layup made it 56-43 with 11:19 left and DePaul (8-2) couldn't get within single digits the rest of the way.
Tennessee coach Pat Summitt was honored during No. 1 Baylor's 73-59 victory over St. John's with the Maggie Dixon Courage award. Summitt announced in August that she had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. Both the Lady Bears and Red Storm came out of their timeouts to applaud the winningest coach in college basketball.
Jasmine Penny scored 16 points and Keisha Hampton added 14 for DePaul.
It was the second time Tennessee played in the Classic named for the former Army women's coach. The Lady Vols beat Rutgers two years ago. The Scarlet Knights had played in all four of the previous Garden events. Army hosted Ohio State at West Point the first year.
The 28-year-old Dixon died April 6, 2006, of arrhythmia, probably caused by an enlarged heart. Her death came three weeks after she finished her first season as Army coach. She won the admiration of the academy and all of college basketball for leading Army to its first NCAA berth, where the Cadets lost in the first round to Summitt's Lady Vols.
While this was DePaul's first appearance in the Classic, the school has played in the Maggie Dixon Surf'N Slam Classic in San Diego. The Blue Demons have also hosted a tournament in honor of the coach the past few seasons. She got her start as an assistant coach at DePaul under Doug Bruno before she went to Army.
Both Tennessee and DePaul will stay in the Tri-State area after the game. On Tuesday night, the Lady Vols play at No. 11 Rutgers while DePaul visits Princeton.
It will be the Blue Demons' fourth game in seven days. The roster has been depleted by injuries and DePaul had nine players available against the Lady Vols.
Deanna Ortiz was sidelined with a right ankle sprain suffered in Friday's win over SIU-Edwardsville. Taylor Pikes is still recovering from an ACL injury last season. Freshman Chanise Jenkins has an injured left foot and classmate Alexa Gallagher hasn't played this season because of knee issues.
Tennessee was playing its first game without freshman point guard Ariel Massengale. She had started every game averaging 7.2 points and 5.8 assists.
She injured a finger on her left hand while diving for a loose ball at the end of practice on Thursday and will be sidelined for a few weeks.
No. 7 Lady Vols Down No. 20 DePaul
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