In a game that was delayed due to a problem with the lighting, the Lady Vols came out smoking. Tennessee jumped to a 10-0 lead and held the Lady Sooners scoreless for the opening 4:59 of action. Oklahoma rallied briefly and held its only advantage of the game at 17-16 after sinking two free throws with 8:51 remaining, but UT got back on top quickly and finished the half with a 20-11 run for a 36-28 lead at the half.
Tennessee displayed excellent on-the-ball defense throughout the game and forced a steady stream of Sooner turnovers (27) with 17 steals, but the offense didn't get into sync until the second half. Running a new spread offense that requires perpetual motion, good ball movement, sound spacing and consistent reads, the Lady Vols took time to find their flow. However they opened the second half with a 17-to-5 run to build a 20-point lead at 53-33 with 15:52 remaining.
The Lady Sooners, who reached the NCAA Final Four last season for the first time in school history, never threatened again although they did cut UT's cushion to 62-50 at the 10:10 mark. Once again, Tennessee answered the bell, outscoring Oklahoma 20-10 over the next six minutes of play.
The victory, which was No. 789 of Pat Summitt's storied head coaching career, unveiled a quick, deep, talented Tennessee squad. Newcomers Shanna Zolman and Tye'sha Fluker each had their moments. Fluker, a 6-5 center, scored five points and exhibited a soft touch while connecting on a three-pointer. Zolman, a 5-9 four-time All-American guard, finished with six points highlighted by a 4-of-4 effort from the foul line.
Oklahoma was led by freshman post player Teresa Schuknecht who had 27 points and 12 rebounds, hitting 13-of-15 of her free throw attempts. Erin Higgins had 18 points and Caton Hill added 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Tennessee will play an exhibition game in Knoxville on Nov. 16 before taking on No. 1 Duke in the Jimmy V Classic Nov. 24 in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.