|Tennessee's Alicia Manning, left, shoots as UCLA's Kacy Swain defends during the first half of their NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)|
Hot-shooting Tennessee women beat UCLA 85-64
LOS ANGELES—Meighan Simmons scored 18 points, Glory Johnson added 17 and No. 6 Tennessee made 18 of its first 20 shots in beating UCLA 85-64 on Saturday.
Vicki Baugh had 14 points and 12 rebounds, Taber Spani added 14 points and Shekinna Stricklen scored 11 for the Lady Vols, who shot 36 of 52 (69.6 percent) from the floor -- not far off the school record of 72.1 percent against Old Dominion on Jan. 4, 1989.
Rebekah Gardner scored 15 of her career-high 24 points in the first half for UCLA (5-4), and Thea Lemberger and Markel Walker added 11 points each for the Bruins.
The win was the fourth straight for the Lady Vols (7-2) and their 18th in 19 meetings all-time against UCLA. It also raised Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt's career record to 1,078-201.
The 59-year-old Hall of Famer, in her 38th season at Tennessee, is the only coach in NCAA men's and women's basketball history to reach 1,000 wins. She remains on the job despite having been diagnosed last May with early onset Alzheimer's.
The Lady Vols never trailed, making their first eight shots, including three 3-pointers, for a 19-8 lead. The Bruins went on a 10-3 run to draw within four points before Tennessee had a 21-9 burst to make it 43-27. The Lady Vols then missed five of six shots, leaving them shooting 19 of 25 (76 percent) and with a 45-34 lead at halftime.
Tennessee outscored the Bruins 9-2 to begin the second half for a 54-36 lead. UCLA wasn't closer than 13 points after that. A layup by Baugh with 7:29 remaining made it 74-52, with Tennessee shooting 32 of 43 (74.4 percent) from the field at that stage.
There were only four fouls called and just one free throw in the first half, and 17 fouls and 18 free throws in the game.
The Lady Vols conclude a two-game trip through California on Tuesday night against No. 4 Stanford (7-1), an 85-66 winner over Princeton earlier Saturday.
Tennessee played its third straight game without starting point guard Ariel Massengale, who dislocated her left middle finger during practice earlier this month.
The game was supposed to pit former Tennessee star Nikki Caldwell against her former team and mentor, but that changed when Caldwell quit as UCLA coach last summer to take the LSU job. The Bruins lost to Caldwell and the Tigers 58-41 last Tuesday night in Baton Rouge.
UCLA, ranked 22nd in the preseason AP poll, is playing without senior forward Jasmine Dixon, its second-leading scorer and top rebounder last year. Dixon tore her Achilles tendon before the season.