Alabama State (20-11) making its first appearance in an NCAA Tournament was led by 6-5 center Crystal Kitt who scored most of her team-high 16 points in the paint. Leading scorer Shameka Jackson was the only other ASU player in double figures with 11 points.
Playing an up tempo game that put a lot of pressure on the ball and created transitional scoring opportunities, the Lady Vols held Alabama State to only 24 percent from the field on 17-of-70 shooting. Tennessee, which improved its NCAA record to 76-15 and 41-0 at home, connected on 31-of-60 from the field and 26-of-33 from the foul line.
After Tennessee opened its early advantage, Alabama State rallied to cut the deficit to six points midway through the opening stanza, but the Lady Vols went on another spurt to build their lead to 13 and went into intermission with a commanding 52-28 cushion.
Tennessee will next meet Virginia in Mideast Regional play on Monday at Thompson-Boling Arena. The eighth seeded Lady Cavaliers knocked off No. 9 seed Illinois 72-56 in Knoxville this afternoon.