KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee seemingly couldn't miss a shot in the first half. Vanderbilt couldn't make one for much of the second half.
That combination assured Vanderbilt's history of road futility in this series would continue for one more year.
Meighan Simmons scored 22 points to help No. 8 Tennessee rout No. 16 Vanderbilt 81-53 on Monday night for its sixth consecutive victory. Vanderbilt (17-6, 6-4 SEC) has never beaten the Lady Vols (20-4, 9-2) at Knoxville in 29 attempts, though it had won 74-63 at Nashville on Jan. 12 in the last meeting between these two teams.
"When you get beat down in Nashville, you're not happy campers," Tennessee coach Holly Warlick said. "We haven't been happy for a while. Yeah, we had a little chip on our shoulder, and I loved it. I love that we're competing. I thought tonight we played every play like it's our last play."
Tennessee shot a blistering 65.5 percent (19 of 29) in the first half and ended up shooting 58.2 percent (32 of 55) for the game. The Lady Vols never trailed and put the game out of reach when Vanderbilt missed its first 12 shots of the second half.
Isabelle Harrison scored 18 points and shot 8 of 10 for Tennessee, which clinched its 38th consecutive 20-win season. Andraya Carter added 11 points, seven assists and five steals without committing a single turnover.
The Lady Vols have gone on this winning streak without the services of starting point guard Ariel Massengale, who missed her fifth straight game Monday after inadvertently getting hit in the face while making a steal Jan. 23 in an 89-69 victory over Florida.
"I think it just shows we're getting better and better with every opponent we play against," Simmons said.
Christina Foggie scored 22 points and Marqu'es Webb added 12 points for Vanderbilt, which was held to its lowest point total of the season. Tennessee outrebounded Vanderbilt 34-20 and outscored the Commodores 36-18 in the paint.
"They just dominated us inside," Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb said. "They used their height this time. We really, from the tip, had trouble guarding their size inside. They buried us. They were on the boards, and basically in the paint we got killed. They were very aggressive from the tip at doing that, which they weren't last time."
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