SAN FRANCISCO – Tennessee left its hurt and disappointment in San Francisco on Tuesday night.
The Lady Vols rebounded from their loss at Stanford on Saturday with an 89-34 women’s basketball rout of San Francisco before a crowd of 3,255 at War Memorial Gym.
Angie Bjorklund scored a game-high 19 points for No. 4 Tennessee (10-1), which built a 31-point lead by halftime. Kamiko Williams came off the bench to set a season-high with 14 points.
The Lady Vols shot 53.1 percent from the floor (34-for-64) and had 17 assists after having just four against Stanford. They also amassed a 52-32 rebounding advantage.
Every Lady Vol scored and played at least 13 minutes.
“I thought we did a good job,’’ Bjorklund said. “I thought we responded well to the loss.”
The Lady Vols used their time well in the aftermath of Saturday’s 67-52 setback. The players wrote individual critiques of their play. UT coach Pat Summitt said that she met with each player individually.
Tuesday’s game then provided the opportunity to convert the talk to action.
“I think they’re both important to see where we’re at,’’ Bjorklund said. “I think it gives us the opportunity to take what we learned and apply it.”
Williams likely benefited the most on both fronts. The freshman guard said that she opened up to Summitt in their conversation, which served as a stress relief.
“I was a little nervous,’’ Williams said. “My hands were trembling. I shed a few tears.”
She was much more composed against San Francisco, shooting 6-for-8 from the floor, grabbing eight rebounds and gathering four steals and three assists in 22 playing minutes.
“I told her it’s a matter of maturity and how long it’s going to take for her to commit to this every time she takes the floor,’’ Summitt said.
Led by Rheina Ale’s 11 points, the Dons (4-10) had their moments at the outset, leading on two separate occasions and causing Summitt to call a timeout.
That was the extent of their success. Tennessee took control and pulled away with a 24-3 scoring run. Bjorklund led the charge, scoring 16 points in just 13 playing minutes. The junior guard’s first 3-pointer moved her into third place on Tennessee’s career list for treys.
Bjorklund’s shooting exhibition was instrumental in building a 37-11 lead, which enabled the Lady Vols to play their reserves early and often. Every player broke a sweat before the halftime break. No matter who was playing, the lead kept growing, reaching 48-17 at halftime.
Not only was the opposition overmatched, but the USF crowd was unusually accommodating as well. One fan apologized to Lady Vols guard Briana Bass, who was momentarily hobbled by a sideline collision while she was chasing a loose ball.
The Lady Vols again went to their bench early in the second half in an apparent attempt to keep the lead in check against USF and its coach, former Lady Vol Tanya Haave.
But Tennessee’s reserves were having their moments, too. Three of them combined for arguably the prettiest play of the game with the passing combination of Williams to Alicia Manning to Sydney Smallbone leading to a Smallbone layup.
UT breaks for Christmas, returning to play Old Dominion on Dec. 30 in Thompson-Boling Arena.