No. 6 Lady Vols pull away from No. 25 Vanderbilt, 87-64

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- A 21-4 run over a six-minute span midway through the second half helped lift the #6/7 Lady Vols to a 87-64 victory over #25/24 Vanderbilt on Saturday before 17,879. Shekinna Stricklen led the way with 20 points and Glory Johnson posted her sixth double-double in the last seven games with 16 points and 13 rebounds.Vicki Baugh contributed 16 points and seven rebounds for the Lady Vols, who rebounded from a 61-60 loss at #9 Kentucky on Thursday night. Tennessee improved to 13-4 overall, 4-1 in the SEC.

Meighan Simmons chipped in with 10 points and Ariel Massengale set her career-high in assists with 12 to go along with six points. The 12 assists tie for the fifth-most in Tennessee history. That mark was first accomplished by Associate Head Coach Holly Warlick in 1980.

Christina Foggie led all scorers with 24 point for the Commodores (14-3, 2-2). Stephanie Holzer added 14.

After a very tight game for the first 25 minutes, where neither team led by double-figures, the Lady Vols turned up the defensive intensity and created offensive opportunities. Tennessee had 14 steals and shot 52.9 from the floor. It was the third time this season, Tennessee shot 50 percent from the floor. Johnson tied her career-high with five steals.

The Lady Vols limited the NCAA's best 3-point shooting team to just 31.3 from beyond the arc (5-of-16). Vanderbilt came into the game making 44.1 percent of its shots from trifecta land.

As part of the 21-4 run, the Lady Vols used a 10-0 run to break open the game midway through the second half. Tenacious defense helped create easy offensive opportunities for UT. After neither team led by double-figures for the first 28 minutes of action, the Lady Vols ballooned to a 15-point lead with 10:26 left in the game.

A Stricklen 3-pointer with 14 minutes left in the second half, gave the Lady Vols a 51-43 advantage after the teams had played even early in the second half. Tennessee then took the first double-figure lead of the game on a pair of Baugh free throws with 11:44 left. Just seconds later Johnson stole the ball and laid one home for a 57-45 lead for Tennessee. On the next possession, Simmons stole another pass and Massengale finished 10 consecutive points for the Lady Vols.

The lead ballooned to 20 on a Baugh jump shot with 4:30 left, giving the Lady Vols a 77-57 lead.

Tennessee held a 39-36 advantage at halftime thanks to 50 percent shooting from the floor (16-of-32) with eight points apiece from Baugh and Johnson. The half featured three ties and team led by double-figures.

Johnson went down with an apparent shoulder injury with 1:49 left in the half as she got tangled up with Elan Brown going after a loose ball. After halftime, she returned with vengence and as she racked up the double-double.

A Briana Bass 3-pointer followed by a Baugh lay-up gave the Lady Vols a 35-26 lead with 3:34 left in the first half. Vanderbilt came right back with consecutive 3-pointers by Foggie to cut the UT lead to 35-32 with 2:49 left.

Johnson's putback with 6:30 left in the first half gave Tennessee the first lead larger than six points in the first half, 25-19. That finished a mini 6-0 run for UT.

The Lady Vols return to action on Thursday as Tennessee hosts LSU at 7 p.m. That game will air on CSS and be heard on the Lady Vol Network.

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