No. 13 Tennessee used a strong defensive performance and balanced scoring to defeat Rutgers 66-47 Sunday.
The victory was the 1,200th in Tennessee’s program history, an NCAA best. It was also the ninth consecutive win over Rutgers for the Lady Volunteers (9-3).
After dropping consecutive games vs. No. 3/3 Baylor and No. 1/1 Stanford, the Lady Vols entered on the momentum of a 75-40 home win over Davidson on Friday night.
Tennessee led by as many as 28 points in the second half after leading 33-13 at halftime.
The Scarlet Knights (8-4) shot 34.6 percent (18 of 52) from the field and just 22.2 percent (6 of 27) in the first half.
Rutgers’ 13 first-half points were the fewest Tennessee has allowed in a first half this season. Rutgers missed its first seven shots as the Lady Vols jumped out to an early 8-0 lead.
Tennessee’s Isabelle Harrison recorded a double-double with a game-high 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Kahleah Copper led the Scarlet Knights with 13 points.
Rutgers cut Tennessee’s lead to 33-16 to start the second half but never got any closer after the Lady Vols went on a 7-0 run to take a 40-16 lead.
A jumper by Meighan Simmons with 13:06 left gave Tennessee a 48-20 lead, its largest of the day.
Simmons scored 11 of her 15 points in the first half. Tennessee’s Bashaara Graves had a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
The Lady Vols shot 44.1 percent (26 of 59) from the field, and outscored the Scarlet Knights 30-22 in the paint and 19-12 in fast-break points.
Tennessee scored 24 points off 24 Rutgers turnovers, while the Scarlet Knights managed just eight points off 18 Lady Vols turnovers.
Rutgers’ leading scorer and rebounder, Monique Oliver, injured her left ankle midway through the first half and didn’t return. She played just nine minutes and had no points or rebounds.
Erica Wheeler, with 11 points, was the only Scarlet Knights player besides Copper in double figures.
This will mark Tennessee’s final non-conference game until Notre Dame on Jan. 28, as the Lady Vols embark on the always-difficult SEC gauntlet next week.