WACO, Texas - Since it didn't make nearly enough shots, Tennessee didn't have a shot against Baylor on Tuesday night.
The Lady Vols missed their first nine field-goal attempts and never rose above 30 percent accuracy, losing to the Lady Bears 65-54 before a Baylor-record crowd of 10,569 at the Ferrell Center.
"When you don't make shots, it's not pretty,'' UT coach Pat Summitt said. "We weren't as efficient as we had to be to play this team head-on."
Freshman guard Odyssey Sims scored a game-high 24 points for No. 2 Baylor (10-1). Center Brittney Griner had 21 points and blocked nine shots.
Freshman Meighan Simmons had 22 points for No. 6 Tennessee (9-2), extending her streak of double-figure scoring games to start her Tennessee career to 11. But the 5-foot-9 guard couldn't avoid her team's shooting struggles, needing 21 attempts for her points.
Several of her teammates fared far worse. Forward Shekinna Stricklen shot 1-for-9 and guard Kamiko Williams was 2-for-10. Angie Bjorklund was the only other Lady Vol scoring in double figures. She needed 12 shots for 10 points.
No Lady Vol approached break-even accuracy. Overall, Tennessee shot an artic-cold 25 percent from the floor (18-for-72), squandering 23 offensive rebounds and a 53-43 advantage on the boards.
The last time Tennessee shot below 30 percent for a game was Feb. 11, 2008, against Rutgers (29.7 percent).
"I don't know of any team I've been affiliated with that's held a Tennessee team to 25 percent shooting,'' Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said.
Tennessee struggled to score right from the start. The Lady Vols' first field goal - a Kelley Cain rebound basket - didn't occur until nearly six minutes had passed.
The Lady Vols managed to hang around by building their rebounding advantage and maximizing their baskets. At one point, they had six field goals but half of them were 3-pointers.
UT was lurking within 23-21 after a Williams jumper but Baylor closed the first half with an 11-0 scoring run.
"That was huge,'' Summitt said. "We didn't answer it."
Griner scored eight points during that stretch and set up Kimetra Hayden's transition basket with a block of Alyssia Brewer's shot attempt.
The Lady Vols closed within 34-27 early in the second half. They were lurking within 50-41 when Lady Vol Taber Spani missed an open 3-point attempt from the corner with 7:36 left. Tennessee's final shot at a rally turned out to be just a missed opportunity.
While Griner didn't dominate like she did in last March's 77-62 NCAA tournament victory over UT, her presence was reflected by Tennessee's measly 10 points from close range.
"We take pride in our defense,'' Griner said. "It seems like each time we're getting better on the defensive end."
Griner had help from teammate Brooklyn Pope. The 6-foot-1 forward had four blocks, including one of the game's most resounding rejections when she swatted Simmons' shot into the stands.
"We practice it every day,'' Pope said. "So if we don't do it, it won't be exciting when we get back to practice."
Sims, who still isn't completely recovered from a knee injury, made a scoring difference in the second half with 14 of her points. Her steal and driving layup with 6:09 provided a 56-44 lead.
"You haven't seen the real Odyssey yet,'' Mulkey said. "Wait until she's completely healthy."
Sims' play impressed Simmons.
"Today I saw a side of Odyssey I've never seen,'' she said. "What that means is I've got to get better. I have to get my teammates the ball like she did."
And she and her teammates have to make a lot more shots.
"I thought we kind of settled to play one-on-one,'' Bjorklund said. "We need to play more as a team. Once we moved the ball and played inside-outside, that's when we got more open shots instead of contested shots."