No. 5 Tenn. 88, No. 4 UCLA 77
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Tamika Catchings scored 28 points in No. 5 Tennessee’s 88-77 victory over fourth-ranked UCLA on Sunday.
Reserve Kara Lawson added 13 of her 19 points in the second half while Semeka Randall had 11 and Kristen Clement 10 for the Lady Vols (3-1), who have won 11 consecutive meetings in a series that they lead 14-1. Tennessee’s only loss to UCLA came in 1981.
Maylana Martin led UCLA (2-1) with 24 points while Janae Hubbard added 12 and Michelle Greco and freshman Nicole Kaczmarski had 11 each before a Pauley Pavilion crowd announced at 5,052.
Catchings, a junior forward who is among the leading player of the year candidates, hit 12 of her 17 shots and pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.
Tennessee never trailed and there was only one tie, 3-3. The Bruins pulled with one three times in the second half, 46-45, 48-47 and 50-49, but two baskets by Catchings and Tasheika Morris’ 3-pointer kept the Lady Vols ahead.
UCLA was still within four, 63-59, with 5:21 left, when Tennessee went on a 10-2 run for a 73-61 lead with 4:41 remaining.
Tennessee took an early 16-7 lead as Clement scored five points and Catchings and Michelle Snow four each during a 13-4 run. The Lady Vols held a 40-31 halftime lead.