Third-ranked Baylor raced out to a 17-0 lead as the Bears ended Tennessee’s seven-game win streak, handing the No. 10 Lady Vols a 76-53 defeat on Tuesday night.
Baylor moved to 9-1 overall as Brittney Griner tallied 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Kimetria Hayden netted 16 points. Brooklyn Pope corralled a game-best 16 rebounds to go along with 11 points.
Tennessee (7-2) was led by Meighan Simmons, who scored 16 points. Kamiko Williams had a season-high 15 points, two off her career-high of 17. Williams posted her first-career double-double with a career-high 10 rebounds.
Tennessee played without 6-3 center Isabelle Harrison, who was sidelined with a sprained ankle.
The loss of 23 points equalled the eight-largest in school history.
Baylor outrebounded the Lady Vols, 54-47.
The Lady Vols missed their first 11 shots of the game before scoring for the first time, with 13:05 left in the first half, on a Cierra Burdick jumper to make it 17-2.
Tennessee tried to climb out of the early hole, but it proved to be too tall of a mountain.
UT cut the deficit to 12 at 21-9 and 23-11, but Baylor continued its sharp shooting in the first half and regained a 20-plus point lead at 32-11 on a 3-pointer by Hayden with 6:49 left in the first half. The run expanded to 13-0 to gave Baylor a 36-11 lead with five minutes left in the half. Taber Spani ended the drought with a 3-pointer at the four-minute mark.
Tennessee trailed 41-16 at halftime. The 25-point deficit was the largest at halftime in school history. The previous largest margin was 20 against Rutgers in 2009 as the Lady Vols rallied from down 33-13 to win 55-51 on the road.
Both Griner and Hayden had 11 points at halftime.
The Lady Vols began the second half scoring eight of the first 12 points as Simmons canned a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 45-24.
Tennessee continued to battle and chip away, but the margin never got below 19 points in the second half. A Williams’ jumper made the score 70-50 with three minutes left. Nia Moore’s layup with 93 seconds left, cut the score to 72-53.
The Lady Vols return home to host No. 1 Stanford on Saturday at 4:00 PM.