Sunday, March 03, 2013

(10) Kentucky 78, (8) Tennessee 65

Only after A'dia Mathies beat No. 8 Tennessee did the Kentucky senior guard show some sentimentality over playing her final home game with the Wildcats.

She was typically reserved in thanking the sellout crowd at Memorial Coliseum, which witnessed Mathies at her cool and collected best during a second-half run that helped No. 10 Kentucky send her and fellow senior Brittany Henderson out as winners.

Mathies scored 13 of her 16 points in the second half, highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers during Kentucky's 19-6 run, helping the Wildcats pull away from Tennessee for a 78-65 victory on Sunday.

Simmons led Tennessee with 17 points.

A depleted roster might have been a reason for regular-season champion Tennessee (23-6, 14-2). The Volunteers played without center Isabelle Harrison, who sustained a right knee injury Thursday and is considered week to week.

Point guard Ariel Massengale, who was also questionable with a knee injury, started and finished with five points. Bashaara Graves had 12 points, Cierra Burdick added 11 with 11 rebounds and Taber Spani also had 11 for Tennessee.

There was nothing on the line for the Lady Volunteers, who took care of their most important matter by clinching the SEC on Thursday. But they were concerned about the future of Harrison, who dressed but spent most of the game with an ice pack on her knee. She had already missed six games this season with a left knee injury requiring surgery.

Injuries have been an issue for Tennessee, which lost freshman guard Andraya Carter for the season with a torn labrum on her right shoulder while Burdick missed eight games with a broken bone in her right hand. Kamiko Williams also hurt her right leg in the first half Sunday but returned to play 26 minutes.

"It's just things that we've had to deal with," Tennessee coach Holly Warlick said of the injuries. "It's part of the game. People have to step up, and we didn't step up today."

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