COLLEGE STATION, Texas (utsports.com) -- In a return to her homestate, senior Meighan Simmons had one of her best games of the season, a 76-55 Tennessee win at Texas A&M. The Cibolo, Texas native scored a game-high 26 points -- the second-most points she scored in a game this season -- as the #11/12 Lady Vols moved to 16-4 overall and 5-2 in the SEC.
Tennessee handed #17/15 Texas A&M its first conference loss of the season after the Aggies opened their second season in the league with six consecutive wins. The Aggies are now 16-5 overall.
The Lady Vols posted their second consecutive wire-to-wire win, on the heels of an 89-69 win over Florida, an seventh of the season.
Playing without starting point guard Ariel Massengale, who did not travel after suffering an injury last Thursday, the Lady Vols jumped out to a 10-2 lead six minutes into the game and never looked back.
Redshirt freshman Andraya Carter, drew the start in Massengale's place and scored 10 points and handed out a team-high six assists.
Freshman Mercedes Russell had eight points and 11 rebounds, the most of her first college season.
Texas A&M was led by Courtney Walker, who had 20 points. Karla Gilbert had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Simmons went to work early and often with sharp shooting all game. The 2013 SEC Player of the Year racked up 15 first-half points as Tennessee led 36-20 at intermission. Simmons shot 12-of-19 from the floor, tying her most made field goals in a game in her career.
The 36 points were the second-most allowed by Texas A&M this season as Tennessee shot 53.1 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes. Tennessee shot 55.2 in the second half for a 54.1 overall mark in the game.
The Lady Vols' defensive effort was tremendous all afternoon. In the first half, Tennessee held A&M to 29.4 from the floor. The Aggies shot just 33.8 for the game.
Texas A&M was held to just one 3-point field goal on 12 attempts for 8.3 percent.
Also of note, Tennessee was very careful with the ball, as the Lady Vols committed just 10 turnovers -- their fewest of the season.
The Lady Vols led by as many as 22 on a Graves layup with 9:36 left in the second half. Tennessee led by at least 12 for the entire second half.
This was Tennessee's first-ever game at Texas A&M, which joined the league prior to the 2012-13 season.
The Lady Vols return home to host Arkansas on Thursday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. ET. That game airs on SportSouth and can be heard on the Lady Vol Network.
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