Once again, the No. 10 Lady Vols bounced back from a loss and took care of business on their home court Thursday night as they defeated the Auburn Tigers, 93-63.
Second-year head coach Holly Warlick's team has yet to lose back-to-back games all season long, as they are now 6-0 in contests following a loss.
Senior guard Meighan Simmons provided the difference for Tennessee (21-5, 9-3 SEC), notching her second-highest scoring output of the season with 26 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists.
After her sixth game of reaching the 20-point plateau in her past nine contests, she has now passed former Lady Vol Shekinna Stricklen on the all-time Lady Vol scoring list and now sits in seventh place with 1,891 points.
"When the ball was leaving her hand, I thought it was going in every time," Warlick said of Simmons, who shot 10-of-22 from the field and 4-of-9 from beyond the arc. "I don't see her taking bad shots right now. She had five assists and six rebounds, which I'm probably more proud of.
"If she continues to take good looks, she will keep shooting a high percentage and be this team's leading scorer."
While all five starters scored at least six points in the first half, it was Simmons who separated her team from the Tigers (14-12, 5-8).
In Auburn's previous four games, it held its opponents to 53 points per game; part of the defensive results stemmed from the team's success in the turnover department, where the Tigers rank 15th in the nation in steals per game.
However, Auburn had no answer to contain Simmons, who imposed her will and highlighted a 19-0 run that lasted 5:06 in which she scored 10 points.
The 5-foot-9 guard showcased her shooting ability by knocking down four straight field goals and capped the run by connecting on a 3-pointer from the top left of the key off an assist from Andraya Carter to put the Lady Vols up 32-11 with 8:35 left to play in the first half.
Simmons also scored seven points in UT's 9-3 run to end the first half with a 54-33 Tennessee lead.
By the break, Simmons already had 19 of her 26 points.
"There's really no explanation for it," Simmons said of her trend of success against Auburn, whom she has averaged 18.5 points per game against in her career. "I just try to come out and play hard. It's never really about me.
"I just want to do whatever it takes to come out and help us win."
The turnover issues from Sunday's 75-71 home loss to Kentucky were also stifled Thursday; UT only had 15 turnovers against the Tigers.
"When you don't turn the ball over 22 times, it usually helps," Warlick said. "I think we handled the full court pressure really well.
"I don't think we turned it over against their press, but there's always room to get better."
The biggest lead in the game for the Lady Vols was 38 points, capped by junior forward Cierra Burdick's two free throws that put her the team up 91-53 with 6:01 left to play.
Burdick finished with 17 points and was an impressive 7-for-8 from the free throw line.
UT, as a team, shot 49.3 percent from the field (33-of-67).
"When you see those couple of shots go in, your momentum gets going," Burdick said. "We love getting hype and chest bumping. We love to play with passion."
Junior forward Isabelle Harrison also posted her 13th double-double of the season with 10 points (4-of-6 FG) and 11 rebounds.
"This team is completely different from past years," Simmons said. "When adversity hits we come together even more and don't get discouraged.
"We prepared well and we have to take one game at a time."
The Lady Vols next matchup will be on the road against Missouri this Sunday, a team that defeated UT last year at Thompson-Boling Arena, 80-63.
"First and foremost we are focused on us," Burdick said. "Obviously we see what is going on in our conference, but we need to focus on our next game, which is Missouri. They have some good shooters, some of the best in the SEC.
"We just have to continue to play Lady Vol basketball."