DES MOINES, Iowa — Tennessee shed its all-senior starting lineup to start the second half against Kansas on Saturday.
The Lady Vols might do the same from the opening tip against Baylor on Monday (TV: ESPN, 7 p.m.) in the final of the Des Moines Regional.
"I think that's something that our staff will talk about," UT head coach Pat Summitt said in a comment posted on the school's athletic website. "I think that might be what we really need to do."
Guards Meighan Simmons and Ariel Massengale — who combined 34 points, five assists, seven rebounds and three steals in an 84-73 women's basketball victory over the Jayhawks — are likely starting candidates. They replaced Briana Bass and Alicia Manning after the break on Saturday.
"I think we're really going to talk about it," assistant coach Dean Lockwood said. "At this point — next game means the Final Four — we have to be very, very efficient. So we're really going to look at the efficiency of the groups."
Bass and Manning — along with Shekinna Stricklen, Glory Johnson and Vicki Baugh — have started the past seven games. Tennessee has won all seven, which constitutes its longest winning streak of the season.
Nonetheless, the Lady Vols have started slowly in all three NCAA games and trailed 35-30 at halftime against Kansas.
Injury Update: Stricklen suffered a leg cramp in the second half but returned to the game. Guard Taber Spani, meanwhile, tweaked her left knee in the first half and pulled herself. She played only five minutes.
Baugh said that she's been bothered by tightness in both hamstrings. Her condition might have been exacerbated by Saturday's morning tipoff.
Strategy Pays Off: Tennessee had one of its best free-throw shooting performances of the season, hitting 21 of 24 attempts (87.5 percent).
UT guard Kamiko Williams said that the attempts were a byproduct of Tennessee's strategy.
"We knew they were playing a zone," she said. "The coaches were stressing to penetrate the gaps because they can't guard penetration that well and will foul."
Something to Say: Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson paid her respects to Summitt during the postgame handshake, telling her: "I've always had great respect for you and I always will."
During the postgame interviews, Henrickson said, "It's not just that she's won all those game, which is amazing to me, it's how she's handled success and all of that."
Moving Up: With her 18 points, Johnson surpassed former Lady Vol Dana Johnson and moved into 13th place on UT's career scoring list with 1,624 points. With her seven rebounds, the senior forward became the second Lady Vol to surpass 1,200 career rebounds with 1,204.