Holly Warlick made the call and made a strong case for it.
"Holly really felt that, in the end, that would be our best defense,'' UT coach Pat Summitt said.
The Lady Vols played as if they felt just as strongly. They implemented the strategy in ruthless fashion, setting the tone for a 77-44 victory before a "Live Pink Bleed Orange" crowd of 14,267 at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Georgia coach Andy Landers glumly conceded afterward that the zone was the only defensive call necessary in achieving the rout.
"The way we were attacking it, it wouldn't have surprised me if they never got out of it,'' he said.
No. 4 Tennessee (26-2, 14-0 SEC) put together one of its most complete efforts of the season in clinching its second consecutive SEC regular season championship and the 16th in program history.
While the defense was limiting No. 22 Georgia (20-7, 10-4) to 25.8 percent shooting (16 for 62), UT was hitting at a 50 percent clip (31 for 62). The Lady Vols recorded 23 assists while committing only 12 turnovers. They outrebounded Georgia, 49-33.
Meighan Simmons led Tennessee with 14 points. Shekinna Stricklen and Taber Spani scored 11 apiece. Stricklen also had six assists and six rebounds.
UT forward Glory Johnson grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. Still, her nine points topped her storyline as they pushed her past the 1,000 career point mark. She's at 1,002 and counting.
"I didn't expect it,'' she said. "I want to thank my teammates. I'm a post player clearly, so if I wasn't getting the ball from guards and other post players, I wouldn't be able to do it."
UT senior guard Angie Bjorklund made her first appearance in seven games when she checked in with 13:38 left in the first half. By that point, her teammates had shot out to 15-7 lead.
The Lady Bulldogs, meanwhile, were shooting their way out of the game. Thirteen of their first 18 field goals attempts were 3-pointers, and they made just two.
That was just one more than Bjorklund, who scored her first basket since Jan. 23 at Auburn when she swished a trey in transition, giving UT a 34-16 lead.
"I think our two-three (zone alignment) was extremely effective,'' Johnson said.
"Our communication level, our energy level, high hands and quick feet kind of got to them and made them run down their shot clock and throw up shots that they weren't expecting. Having them shoot outside shots and missing, I think that worked to our advantage."
In particular, Landers said UT's high hands were bothersome.
"Their length allows them to spread out in that zone and create problems,'' he said. "They can cover a lot of areas with their length, and they did that."
The 5-foot-9 James had an even better appreciation for Georgia's predicament.
"They're pretty big out on the wings as well as down low," she said. "We had a hard time trying to make the passes that we are typically capable of making because of their length. Because of that, we couldn't execute the way we typically would and we also took some bad shots."
Landers said that the Lady Bulldogs were running their offense to the wrong people and on the wrong side of the floor.
And the 3-pointer was definitely the wrong shot, as evidenced by their 23.5 percent accuracy (8 for 34) from long range.
Since the game was one-sided, no Lady Vol played more than Stricklen's 29 minutes.
And center Kelley Cain didn't play at all, resting her sore right hip.