No. 9 Tennessee women beat Auburn 75-66

Updated at: 01/17/2013 9:37 PM
By JOHN ZENOR

(AP) AUBURN, Ala. - Meighan Simmons scored 18 of her 29 points after halftime and No. 9 Tennessee rallied from a 12-point deficit in the second half for a 75-66 victory over Auburn on Thursday night.

The Lady Vols (14-3, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) used a 40-15 run to take control of a game they’d trailed most of the way en route to their seventh consecutive win.

Simmons scored nine points on two 3-pointers and a three-point play during a 15-2 spurt that started the turnaround. Kamiko Williams’ drive with 10:05 left gave Tennessee its first lead _ 49-47 _ since the game’s opening basket.

Simmons, who had 27 points in a overtime win over Florida, made 10 of 14 shots _ including 4 of 6 from 3-point range.

Taber Spani had 12 points for the Lady Vols and Ariel Massengale added 11.

Hasina Muhammed and Blanche Alverson scored 15 points apiece to lead five Auburn players in double figures. Najat Ouardad had 11 points, eight assists and four steals, while Tyrese Tanner and Peyton Davis each had 10 points.

The Tigers led by as many as 12 five minutes into the second half.

Tennessee shot 54 percent (15 of 28) after erasing most of an 11-point deficit to trail 32-27 at halftime. The Lady Vols were also 8 of 16 from 3-point range and made all four long-range attempts in the second half.

Simmons had four steals and was perfect on five free throw attempts.

Bashaara Graves and Isabelle Harrison both had 11 rebounds for the Lady Vols, who have won five straight over Auburn.

The Tigers, meanwhile, have dropped two straight to ranked teams, including a 22-point loss at No. 20 Texas A&M.

The Lady Vols pushed the lead to 65-59 when Spani hit a basket, was fouled and made the free throw with 4:12 remaining. Simmons hit two free throws during that stretch after Auburn was hit with a technical foul for a substitution miscue that left six players on the court. The Tigers never rebounded from there.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)