19-0 run powers Lady Vols to 77-65 win over LSU


DULUTH, Ga. -- Isabelle Harrison scored 21 points, Meighan Simmons and Bashaara Graves each added 14 and No. 6 Tennessee used an overpowering late run to beat LSU 77-65 in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament on Friday night.

The second-seeded Lady Vols (25-5) have won five straight and 11 of 12. Tennessee will face the Texas A&M-Auburn winner in the semifinals.

Theresa Plaisance finished with 21 points and Danielle Ballard scored 15 for LSU (19-12). The Lady Tigers, seeded 10th, have lost seven of eight.

Tennessee's 19-0 run late in the second half made it 70-55 lead on Simmons' two free throws, but the game's first 35 minutes were tough on the fifth-leading scorer in school history.

Simmons, who had averaged over 22 points in the previous three games, was just 3 for 16 from the field before her reverse layup from the baseline ended a fast break to force a 55-all tie.

Harrison followed with a runner over Plaisance to make it 57-55 and give the Lady Vols their first lead since 4-3 and bring the large contingent of cheering Tennessee fans to their feet at the Gwinnett Arena.

With 12 rebounds, Harrison recorded her 16th double-double this season. Tennessee finished second in the SEC regular season to No. 5 and top-seeded South Carolina, a 67-48 winner over Georgia.
Trailing 4-0, LSU went on a 27-8 run, ending with Jeanne Kenney's third 3-pointer, to take a 15-point lead with 9:29 left in the first half. Plaisance had 14 points to help the Lady Tigers take a 34-22 lead, but Tennessee closed to within six at halftime.

The Lady Vols chipped away at the lead before Cierra Burdick's layup forced a 43-all tie.

LSU coach Nikki Caldwell called timeout to try and settle down her team, and Plaisance followed with a 15-footer on the ensuing possession and a straightaway 3 that made it 48-43 with 11:54 remaining.

But the Lady Tigers couldn't overcome getting outscored 52-18 in the paint and 25-5 on turnovers.

LSU also struggled with inconsistent shooting. After beginning the game 10 for 16, the Lady Tigers missed 27 of their next 37 shots.
Burdick had 10 points and 11 rebounds.


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