CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Tennessee opened the 2012-13 season with a tough 80-71 defeat at Chattanooga on Friday night at McKenzie Arena. The Lady Vols were led by Meighan Simmons, who scored 23 points -- 21 in the second half -- as the Lady Vols attempted to rally. Sophomore Isabelle Harrison had a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Freshman Bashaara Graves had 14 points and eight rebounds in her debut.
The loss came in the debut of Holly Warlick as head coach of the Lady Vols (0-1). A long-time assistant, Warlick replaced Hall of Famer Pat Summitt, who stepped down as coach during the offseason after 38 years at the helm of the Lady Vols.
The Lady Mocs (1-0) were led by Taylor Hall, who had 24 points and nine rebounds as Chattanooga beat the Lady Vols for the first time in 20 meetings. UTC's last win over Tennessee came in 1973.
UTC had three others in double-figures: Alex Black (14), Kayla Christopher (11) and Ashlen Dewart (10).
With the game tied at 28 at halftime, Chattanooga opened the second half outscoring the Lady Vols 15-7, as they took a 43-35 lead on a Dewart jumper with 16:13 left in the game.
The Lady Mocs continued to maintain the lead throughout the second half. The lead moved to 10, at 52-42, on Black jumper with 11:37 left in the half. Tennessee battled back to within six (53-47) and seven on several occasions, but was never able to overcome the deficit.
Freshman Jasmine Jones hit a jumper with 1:11 left to cut the margin to seven, 72-65, forcing UTC to call a timeout.
The Lady Mocs made their free throws down the stretch to secure the win. Chattanooga made all eight foul shots in the final minute for the nine-point win.
The Lady Vols stood tied at 28 all at halftime as Massengale sank a halfcourt shot at the buzzer. Graves had nine points and seven rebounds in the first half of her debut as a collegian.
Chattanooga went on a 13-0 run to rally from a 20-11 deficit to lead 24-20 with 1:52 left in the first half as Kylie Lambert made a free throw. The Lady Vols were held scoreless for more than six minutes before Graves hit a layup with 1:31 left in the first half.
Tennessee pounded UTC on the glass in the first half, 25-12, but committed 17 turnovers to even out the advantage.
Tennessee continues its two-game road trip to open the season at Georgia Tech on Sunday at 2 p.m. That game will be available on ESPN3 and can be heard on the Lady Vol Network.