The No. 3 Tennessee Lady Vols used a big second half to defeat the SMU Mustangs, 87-47, on Friday, winning the Lucaya Division championship of the 11th-annual Junkanoo Jam.
That big second half that saw the Lady Vols outscore the Mustangs 48-20 was due mainly to the team's hot shooting as they rebounded from a first half in which they shot 38.5 percent, to shooting 55.9 percent from the field in the second period of action.
Junior point guard Ariel Massengale led all scorers with 16 points to go along with a team-high five assists. The Bolingbrook, Ill., native shot 5-for-11 from the field.
Sophomore forward Bashaara Graves posted her second double-double of the year with 10 points and 10 assists. Junior center Isabelle Harrison had 10 points, coming off a big surge early in the second half and played just seven minutes because of foul trouble. Sophomore forward Jasmine Jones was strong off the bench, scoring 13 points off 5-of-8 shooting and corralling four rebounds.
Tennessee outrebounded the Mustangs 54-31 in the game.
To get the opportunity to play for the Lucaya Division championship, the Lady Vols first had to defeat the Virginia Cavaliers in their opening game in Freeport, Bahamas on Thursday.
The Lady Vols overcame a four-point deficit going into halftime as senior guard Meighan Simmons shot the lights out – the start of the second half was actually delayed due to a power outage that lasted roughly four minutes – and tied a career-high as she drained eight 3-pointers and scored a total of 32 points.
Massengale also helped lead the charge offensively as she dished out a career-best 13 assists and scored 10 points for her second career double-double.
Defensively, the Lady Vols also did their part as the Cavaliers shot 44.8 percent in the first half, but were limited to 32.4 percent in the second half.
The win marked UT's first holiday tournament title since winning the 2005 Paradise Jam during Thanksgiving break in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Up next for Tennessee are the Texas Longhorns on Dec. 8 at Thompson-Boling Arena. The game is set for a 1 p.m. tip-off and it will be televised on FOX Sports South.