Angie Bjorklund made up for lost scoring time Thursday night.
So did Taber Spani.
Tennessee followed their lead and scored seemingly all the time in a 110-45 SEC women’s basketball rout of Alabama before a crowd of 12,897 at Thompson-Boling Arena.
UT’s points were its most since scoring 136 against Puerto Rico Mayaguez on Nov. 29, 2002 and its most in SEC play since getting 119 against Ole Miss on Feb. 8, 2001.
“Really anyone who went in the game did great things,’’ Spani said. “I think that really boosts everyone’s confidence.”
Tennessee’s Glory Johnson eventually soared past her teammates for a game-high 19 points
Bjorklund and Spani, who combined for zero points at LSU on Sunday, collaborated on 31 against the Crimson Tide. Bjorklund scored all of her 16 points in the first half for No. 5 Tennessee (14-2, 2-0 SEC), which won its 37th in a row against the Crimson Tide. Spani had 15, as did point guard Meighan Simmons, who also recorded a Lady Vols’ freshman record 11 assists.
Tierney Jenkins, who came into the game leading the nation in double-doubles with 11, scored 10 points for Alabama (11-4, 0-2) but fouled out with 8:18 left having gathered seven rebounds. Jenkins shot 5-for-20 from the floor, which reflected the Crimson Tide’s chilly 19.5 percent field goal shooting (16 for 82).
The Lady Vols made a point to take care of prevention, too.
“It was like one of those songs, ‘Mama said there will be days like this,’ ’’ Alabama coach Wendell Hudson said.
Bjorklund was a different scorer because she was a different shooter. She made all five of her field goal attempts (four 3 pointers) and two free throws.
“Perhaps she learned a lesson,’’ UT coach Pat Summitt said.
If so, it was to put in some extra time sharpening her release.
“Practice is what gets it done,’’ Bjorklund said.
The Lady Vols made 10 of their first 15 shots in bolting to a 24-3 lead. Alabama, meanwhile, was shooting 1 for 12 with leading scorer Jenkins off to a 0-for-4 start.
Alabama eventually mustered a semblance of a scoring response but three baskets weren’t nearly enough. Even worse, they inspired Tennessee to find a second scoring wind.
The Lady Vols kept their field goal shooting percentage above 60 percent for the majority of the first half in adding to their lead.
Summitt went deep into her bench before the break and reserve guard Briana Bass nailed a 3-pointer for her first basket since Dec. 1 against Lamar.
In the end, 11 Lady Vols played at least 12 minutes. Vicki Baugh (knee) and Alyssia Brewer (Achilles tendon) were held out of the game.
Shekinna Stricklen tumbled to the court early in the second half and eventually returned to the bench with an ice bag on her right elbow. Summitt said that the junior forward should be fine.
Alicia Manning scored all 11 of her points in the second half, becoming the Lady Vols’ fifth double-figure scorer.
Kamiko Williams, a 5-11 guard, had a stat line befitting a center with a game-high nine rebounds and four blocks.
Things went so well for Tennessee that Johnson covered for her errant inbounds pass in the second half with a resounding block of Jenkins’ shot.
“That block was awesome,’’ Spani said.
It was that kind of night.