Lady Vols coast in exhibition opener

Lady Vols coast in exhibition opener

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The end of the Pat Summitt era at Tennessee apparently won't cause a major dip in fan support.

Tennessee's 104-44 exhibition victory over Carson-Newman under new coach Holly Warlick on Thursday drew an announced attendance of 10,647, only a small drop from the average crowds of 11,416 for the No. 20 Lady Vols' two preseason games in Pat Summitt's 38th and final season as head coach.

The list of spectators included Summitt, who was seated in the front row behind the Tennessee bench watching her longtime assistant's head coaching debut. Tennessee senior Taber Spani leaned into the stands and hugged Summitt before The Opening tip.

Summitt stepped down in April, one year after announcing she had early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. She remains on staff as head coach emeritus.

The Lady Vols were led by junior Meighan Simmons, who tallied 24 points. Sophomore Isabelle Harrison added 19 points. The freshmen also had productive debuts with 17 points from Bashaara Graves, 16 points from Jasmine Jones, four points and five boards from Nia Moore and five assists and three steals from Andraya Carter.

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