No. 13 Tennessee (2-0) got hot from 3-point ranger after intermission to pull away for an 85-55 victory over Navy (0-2) in Knoxville on Sunday.
Navy hung close for a half, trailing by just one point with seven minutes left before the break. The Volunteers used a 16-9 run to take a 43-35 lead into the locker rooms.
"Tough game for us," said Navy head coach Stefanie Pemper. "I thought we came out with a good attitude and great confidence. We hit some shots and got some stops."
Tennessee then began the second half on a 19-9 run. The Lady Vols were 8 for 10 from the field during that run, which included a pair of three-point field goals and a free throw. Navy sliced the margin to 13 points, but Tennessee made all five of its 3-point attempts down the stretch.
"We really needed to keep scoring with Tennessee," said Pemper. "That's what we didn't do. Credit Tennessee. They picked up their pressure in the second half and got into the passing lanes and forced us into some turnovers. Plus they really got hot from the three-point line."
Tennessee shot 51.7 percent from the field for the game, which included a 12-for-14 effort from 3-point range. Navy made 36.4 percent of its field goal attempts on the afternoon. That included a 6-for-20 (30 percent) effort from outside of the arc. The Lady Vols also held a 47-29 advantage on the glass.
Ashanti Kennedy led Navy with 16 points and Taylor Dunham added 14 points. Kennedy and Laurel Jaunich shared the team rebounding lead with six apiece.
"I'm proud of our team," said Pemper. "We're going to build off of this. We want to get to the point where we are executing and playing good basketball. I think tonight we had some moments where we did just that. Players made some really smart plays. We struggled when Tennessee switched everything with their length and athleticism. We're not going to play a lot of people who have that length and athleticism. I'm proud of how our women stepped up. We're playing 10 people pretty regularly, and we are trying to figure out how we can find some identities within that."
Tennessee's Alexa Middleton made six of seven from 3-point range en route to a game-high 21 points.