Lady Vols put away South Carolina, 74-58

Tennessee advances to the SEC tournament title game and will face LSU Sunday at 6 pm EST.

Tennessee guard Shekinna Stricklen celebrates after scoring against Vanderbilt in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the women's Southeastern Conference tournament on Friday, March 2, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. Tennessee won 68-57. Stricklen led Tennessee with 18 points. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- For the second game in a row, seniors Glory Johnson and Shekinna Stricklen dominated in the second half to lead the Lady Vols to an SEC Tournament victory. This time, No. 2 seed Tennessee posted a 74-58 victory over No. 6 South Carolina at Bridgestone Arena.

Tennessee (22-8) will take on No. 4 LSU (22-8), coached by Lady Vols legend Nikki Caldwell in the SEC Championship Game on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT. The game airs on ESPN2 and can be heard on the Lady Vol Network.

A day after combining for 29 points and 10 rebounds in the second half, Johnson and Stricklen combined for 34 points and 10 rebounds in the win over South Carolina.

Johnson led all UT scorers with 23 points, with 18 coming in the second half. She also grabbed 10 rebounds for a double-double.

Stricklen scored all of her 16 points in the second half -- the second game in a row she did that, as she had all 18 of her points in the second half of Friday's Quarterfinal win over Vanderbilt.

South Carolina (22-9) were led by Ieasia Walker and Markeshia Grant, as each scored 13 points.

Tennessee continued to pull away as once against it was the Johnson and Stricklen show for the second game in a row. The duo combined to score 24 of 26 Lady Vol points over a span of 12 minutes in the second half.

The Lady Vols took the first double-figure lead (51-40) of the game on a jumper by Ariel Massengale with 9:10 left in the second half. Johnson extended the lead to 13 on a lay-up with 8:34 left forcing Dawn Staley to call timeout. The Gamecocks responded with a 3-pointer by Tina Roy.

Tennessee pulled away from South Carolina with a 16-6 run after USC got within three points.

Early in the second half, Markeshia Grant's free throws with 18:06 left brought the Gamecocks within three at 32-29.

Tennessee led 28-22 at halftime finishing the half with five points in a row by freshman Cierra Burdick. She was one of five Lady Vols with at least five points in the first half. Vicki Baugh led the way with six points. Stricklen was held scoreless in the first half for the second game in a row.


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