KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Isabelle Harrison scored 21 points and Cierra Burdick had a double-double Thursday night as No. 7 Tennessee trounced No. 9 Texas A&M 81-58 for its ninth consecutive victory.
Harrison, who totaled five points in Tennessee’s previous two games, avoided the foul trouble that had plagued her recently. The 6-foot-3 center scored Tennessee’s first eight points and finished with eight rebounds.
Burdick added 14 points and 11 rebounds. Ariel Massengale also scored 14 points, eight during a 14-0 run that put the game away.
Tennessee (13-2, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) shot 33 of 63 against a Texas A&M team that was leading the nation in field-goal percentage defense (.323).
Courtney Walker scored 25 points and Courtney Williams added 11 for Texas A&M (14-3, 2-1).
The Lady Vols earned their third win over a top-10 team this season. They also beat Stanford 59-40 when it was ranked seventh and Oregon State 74-63 when it was ranked 10th last month. Oregon State is 11th and Stanford 15th in the current rankings.
This marks the first time Tennessee has beaten as many as three top-10 teams in one season since 2007-08, when the Lady Vols had eight top-10 victories on their way to a national championship.
Texas A&M had thrived on its ability to shut down opposing offenses this season, but Tennessee built a 47-31 halftime lead by scoring virtually at will. The Lady Vols shot 20 of 34 in the first half
Harrison helped Tennessee get off to that fast start.
A first-team all-SEC selection last season, Harrison wasn’t merely relying on post moves, either. She made one jumper from just inside the 3-point arc and sank another from about 15 feet.
She wasn’t the only Lady Vols player to break out of a slump.
Reserve center Nia Moore had scored a total of two points in the six games leading up to this one, but she had nine points and five rebounds by halftime.
Tennessee cooled off in the second half, allowing Texas A&M to creep back into the game. But after the Aggies cut the margin to nine midway through the second half, the Lady Vols reeled off 14 straight points and weren’t threatened again.
Texas A&M: Sophomore center Jada Terry made her ninth start of the season and first since Dec. 21. She had eight points and two rebounds.
Tennessee: The Lady Vols earned their 14th straight home victory. They haven’t lost at Thompson-Boling Arena since falling 75-71 to Kentucky on Feb. 16.
Texas A&M: Hosts LSU on Monday.
Tennessee: At Arkansas on Monday.
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