Knoxville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Isabelle Harrison, Meighan Simmons and
Mercedes Russell all scored 12 points to lead the Tennessee Volunteers to an
easy 70-46 victory over the Northwestern State Demons in the first round of
the NCAA Tournament at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Bashaara Graves hauled in 12 rebounds for the top-seeded Lady Vols (28-5), who will take on St. John's the second round on Monday.
For No. 16 seed Northwestern State (21-13), Trudy Armstead poured in 12 points and Beatrice Attura netted 11.
The Lady Vols were ice-cold out of the gates, shooting just 22.6 percent from the field in the first half, but Northwestern State wasn't much better (.286). Tennessee made all six of its free-throw tries in the opening stanza and carried a small 22-20 lead into halftime.
Tennessee made up for lost time after intermission, draining 58.1 percent of its field goal attempts over the final 20 minutes en route to the 24-point victory.
The Lady Vols dominated on the glass, outrebounding Northwestern State by a 47-27 margin.
Tennessee is a perfect 53-0 all-time in its home arena during the NCAA Tournament.