CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The No. 4 Tennessee Lady Vols used hot shooting from 3-point range to rout No. 12 North Carolina, 81-65, on Monday night at Carmichael Arena as part of ESPN's Tip-Off Marathon. Tennessee defense was stifling in limiting UNC to just 30.4 percent from the floor.
The Lady Vols (2-0) shot a sizzling 8-of-19 on 3-pointers led by Ariel Massengale's career-best five 3-pointers. The junior guard tallied a career-high 20 points, while grabbing a career-high tying six rebounds and handing out seven assists.
Junior post Isabelle Harrison netted 14 points as she was nearly perfect from the floor (4-of-5 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the line). Redshirt junior guard Andraya Carter tallied 10 points as she did miss a shot making all three field goals and both foul shots.
Cierra Burdick led the Lady Vols' glass game with nine rebounds as Tennessee outrebounded UNC, 49-44.
The Tar Heels (1-1) were led by Allisha Gray, who scored 15 points. Brittany Rountree (13), Xylina McDaniel (12), and Stephanie Mavunga (11) also scored in double-figures.
Tennessee opened the game hot from beyond the 3-point arc. Massengale knocked down four 3-pointers and Carter connected on both of her trifecta attempts as Tennessee led 40-28 at halftime. UT made 7-of-15 3-pointers in the first half while UNC converted just 2-of-10 treys.
Massengale (12) and Carter (10) combined for more than half of Lady Vols' first-point point total.
Tennessee built a first-half lead as large as 14 points with 8:36 left in the half on the first 3-point field goal of Jordan Reynolds's college career.
The second half was more of the same for Tennessee as the Lady Vols continued to bomb away from beyond the arc. Tennessee scored the first seven points of the second half. Massengale's fifth trey of the game put UT up 45-28. Harrison added a jumper for a 19-point lead.
The Tar Heels missed their first eight shots from the field in the second half and were held without a field goal for more than eight minutes bridging the halves (0-of-12).
Simmons' layup with 13:51 left in the game, put UT ahead by 20-plus points for the first time, 53-32.
North Carolina continued to chip away and cut its deficit to 11 points on a 3-pointer by Mavunga with 5:46 left in the second half, 68-57.
But Tennessee answered the Heels and regained a lead of 15 minutes later and held it for the remainder of the game.
The Lady Vols return home to host their regular-season home opener on Thursday night at Chattanooga comes to Thompson-Boling Arena. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
(E-mail Larry Fleming at email@example.com)