ATLANTA – Bashaara Graves scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds Sunday, and fellow Tennessee forward Cierra Burdick added 16 points as the No. 20 Lady Volunteers beat No. 22 Georgia Tech 71-54 to spoil the Yellow Jackets' debut in McCamish Pavilion.
The Yellow Jackets (0-1) trailed 45-30 at halftime before starting the second half with a 13-0 run. The Lady Vols (1-1) bettered that with an 18-0 knockout streak to even their record in their second game since legendary coach Pat Summitt stepped down.
Junior Tyaunna Marshall scored 18 and Dawnn Maye added 12 for Georgia Tech in its new on-campus arena.
The second game of the post-Summitt era went a lot better for Tennessee than the first.
Tennessee lost 80-71 Friday at Chattanooga after the Mocs broke a halftime tie with a 52-point second half in which they shot 56.3 percent. The Lady Vols had 26 turnovers and just six assists in that game.
Sunday, the Lady Vols had 17 of each, and it was the Yellow Jackets who were loose with the ball in their first game. Tech had 20 turnovers and just eight assists.
Summitt, who announced last year that she has early-onset dementia before stepping down in April, sat five rows behind the Tennessee bench at the game with Chattanooga, but was not at Georgia Tech.
Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick, who played for Summitt and then was an assistant for her for 27 seasons, said after the Chattanooga game that her inexperienced team did not yet appreciate the importance of playing earnest defense.
Without a starter back from the team that lost an NCAA regional final to eventual national champion Baylor last spring, Tennessee defended more passionately at Georgia Tech.
The Lady Vols also dominated the paint in the first half. They led 45-30 at intermission on the strength of 15 points by Burdick and 14 points and eight rebounds from Graves.
Georgia Tech starting power forward Danielle Hamilton-Carter and starting center Nariah Taylor, meanwhile, were each scoreless in the first half without attempting a shot.
The Yellow Jackets, however, rallied furiously at the start of the second half. Marshall got to the rim for seven points during their 13-0 run, and Maye's layup with 15:25 remaining pulled Georgia Tech within 45-43.
Then, the Lady Vols snapped back to life.
A jumper by Jasmine Jones ended Tennessee's scoreless streak a minute later and started an 18-0 run for the visitors.
When Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph called for a timeout with 9 minutes left, the Lady Vols led 60-43 after Ariel Massengale's layup off of Tennessee's ninth steal of the game.
The Yellow Jackets to that point had seen Marshall, Maye and Wallace — two returning starters and a sophomore who become a starter late last season and then made 19 3-point shots in Tech's three NCAA tournament games — take 40 of their team's first 51 shots and score 38 of the first 43 points.
When Hamilton-Carter scored from point-blank range with 6:46 left in the game, that ended a scoreless streak of 8:38, but the Jackets trailed 63-45.