No. 13 Tennessee women defeat Rutgers 66-47

Tennessee's Kamiko Williams and Rutgers' Shakena Richardson chase after a loose ball during their NCAA college basketball game in Knoxville, Tenn., Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012.

Photo by Saul Young

Tennessee's Kamiko Williams and Rutgers' Shakena Richardson chase after a loose ball during their NCAA college basketball game in Knoxville, Tenn., Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012.

Tennessee's Taber Spani is pressured by Rutgers' Kahleah Copper, left, and Shakena Richardson during their NCAA college basketball game in Knoxville, Tenn., Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012.

Photo by Saul Young

Tennessee's Taber Spani is pressured by Rutgers' Kahleah Copper, left, and Shakena Richardson during their NCAA college basketball game in Knoxville, Tenn., Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — 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 eighth consecutive win over Rutgers for the Lady Volunteers (9-3).

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.

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Comments » 4

SummittsCourt writes:

Good win Lady Vols! Looks like this team is getting their groove back.

jt45 writes:

Nice job by Harrison today, hope their ready for Staleys girls on Thursday.
The next 2 games should be a good test for this young team.

Good Win.

SoddyVol writes:

First half was 20 minutes of pure enjoyment. All starters played great defense. If one is to praise Simmons, this first half would be the time. Simmons brought on a strong defense that really helped get the lead.

Harrison has greatly toughened up but will most likely be very sore tomorrow. She sure deserved "Player of the Game". Maybe I should praise Burdick for her very good play except for 2 or 3 poor passes. Others were also very good today.

I bet Graves learned a lot today, playing against a fairly tough inside game by Rutgers. She also came through for the Vols.

RLL59 writes:

Good outing for the players and the coaches. It's interesting that the Lady Vols basically used 7 players with all the starters logging between 29 and 33 minutes. The trapping defense worked well, enabling the Lady Vols to be more aggressive without surrendering easy baskets as has occurred in earlier games. The players and coaches were ready for this game ...though Rutgers played a solid second half, basically playing the Lady Vols even after the break.

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