Monday, March 31, 2014

Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Plans Pat Summitt Exhibit

The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame announced a permanent Pat Summitt
exhibit that will open Friday, the first day of activities for the
2014 NCAA Women's Final Four.

The Pat Summitt exhibit will feature memorabilia, photos, videos and
interactive displays highlighting the former women's college
basketball coach.

The Nashville Local Organizing Committee is providing free admission
to the exhibit, which is located inside Bridgestone Arena, from Friday
through April 8.

Now the head coach emeritus of the Lady Vols, Summitt is the all-time
winningest coach -- men's or women's -- in NCAA basketball history. Her
eight NCAA national championships are second-most only to the record
10 titles by UCLA men's coach John Wooden. She is the only coach in
NCAA history, and one of three college coaches overall, with at least
1,000 victories.

"Pat Summitt has been the single most influential person in women's
sports," said Bill Emendorfer, executive director of the Tennessee
Sports Hall of Fame. "As a native Tennessean, her roots and values run
deep with the heritage of this great state. It seems fitting to open
the Pat Summitt Exhibit during the Women's Final Four. The exhibit
offers a unique opportunity to follow this Tennessee legend from her
youth to her career as both a player and coach. It will be an
opportunity to catch a glimpse of how Coach Summitt rose from a
Tennessee farm girl to a national legend."

The exhibit will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday; 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday; and
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. April 8.

"Our NLOC decided early in the process that we needed to leave our
community with a lasting legacy of celebrating women's basketball and
women's athletics. Working closely with the Tennessee Sports Hall of
Fame, we committed to opening this Pat Summitt exhibit in Nashville
during Final Four week. What better way to celebrate Tennessee's own
Coach Pat Summitt than with 30,000 basketball fans," said Margaret
Behm, co-chairwoman of the Nashville Local Organizing Committee.
"Coach Summitt changed women's basketball in this state and in our
country and we are proud to be a part of this living legacy that
celebrates her amazing career."

Sunday, March 30, 2014

NCAA Tourney Regional Semifinal (Sweet 16): 4 Seed Maryland 73, 1 Seed Tennessee 62

Alyssa Thomas scored a career-high 33 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as fourth-seeded Maryland upset No. 1 seed Tennessee 73-62 on Sunday in the Louisville Region semifinal.

The Terrapins (27-6) reached their ninth regional final and first since 2012. They did it against a program the Terps had beaten only four times previously and never before in the NCAA tournament. Maryland improved to 5-10 against Tennessee (29-6) with a little revenge for their previous tournament loss in the 1989 Final Four.

The Lady Vols' self-titled "GrindFor9" in their chase for a ninth national championship is over. They will miss the Final Four for a sixth straight season. This hurts even more with the national championship game being played April 8 in Nashville just 179 miles from their home in Knoxville.

Meighan Simmons scored 31 points for Tennessee.

Thomas scored the most points allowed to a single player by Tennessee this season, and she also extended her school record with her 65th career double-double. Lexie Brown added 14 points, Laurin Mincy had 11 and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough 10.

Maryland will face either Louisville or LSU on Tuesday night with a trip to the Final Four at stake. The Terps haven't been back there since winning the national championship in 2006.

Jasmine Jones also had 11 points for Tennessee, which had won 15 of its last 16 games. Andraya Carter covered her face with her jersey, while another Lady Vol walked off with a towel over her head.

Maryland coach Brenda Frese waved to the pep band as she went to the locker room with a couple of hugs along the way in celebration.

The Terrapins trailed only once at 3-2 before taking control for good using a 13-2 spurt. Maryland dominated inside with a 38-28 scoring edge in the paint, and the Terrapins also outrebounded Tennessee 38-28. The only place the Lady Vols dominated was at the free-throw line, hitting more there (20 of 27) than from the floor (19 of 53).

Maryland led 41-27 at halftime, the biggest deficit Tennessee had faced all season. The Lady Vols rallied from double digits in each of their games to win the Southeastern Conference tournament title, but they found themselves needing the biggest comeback for this program since Jan. 3, 2009, when they beat Rutgers after trailing by 23.

The Terrapins pushed their lead to as much as 18 when Thomas scored to put the Terrapins up 51-33 with 12:11 left. Tennessee finally put together its best stretch of the game but couldn't get closer than eight with Simmons scoring 17 in the second half trying to spark the rally. Each time the Lady Vols scored, Maryland, or rather Thomas, responded with bucket after bucket.

When Thomas didn't score, she had the assist on a nice pass to Mincy for a big 3-pointer with 5:16 remaining to put Maryland back up 65-53.

The Lady Vols can blame themselves though for a sloppy game with 22 turnovers, too many of them unforced mistakes where they simply lost the ball. Maryland turned those into 19 points.

Monday, March 24, 2014

NCAA Tourney Second Round: 1 Seed Tennessee 67, 8 Seed St. John's 51

The type of scoring drought that bothered St. John's much of the season ended up knocking the Red Storm out of the NCAA tournament.

After tying the game early in the second half, St. John's sputtered the rest of the way and fell 67-51 to Tennessee in a second-round game Monday night. St. John's shot 5-of-24 overall and 5-of-11 from the free throw line and committed 13 turnovers in the second half.

"This has been a thing all year," St. John's coach Joe Tartamella said. "We struggle. We go through droughts. We couldn't have big droughts in these types of games. Unfortunately they did a nice job of creating some of those droughts for us in the second half."

Tennessee, the top seed in the Louisville Regional, advanced to a regional semifinal Sunday against the winner of Tuesday's game between No. 4 seed Maryland and No. 5 seed Texas. St. John's (23-11) was seeking to reach the regional semifinals for the second time in three years.

Cierra Burdick had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Lady Vols (29-5). Meighan Simmons scored 17 points as Tennessee won for the 15th time in their past 16 games. Isabelle Harrison had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Aliyyah Handford scored 23 points for the eighth-seeded Red Storm.

Burdick credited Tennessee's defensive intensity in the second half for allowing the Lady Vols to take over the game.

"I think in the beginning of the season, we let our offense dictate our defense," Burdick said. "That's why we weren't successful sometimes. I think we've really become smarter. We know that defense and rebounding are going to win us basketball games. At first, we just would say it because it was the right thing to say, but now we actually believe it."

Tennessee has followed a similar formula in each of its first two NCAA tournament victories. The Lady Vols were tied with Northwestern State early in the second half Saturday before rolling to a 70-46 victory.

"It's always a dogfight for us, and I really don't know why," Tennessee coach Holly Warlick said. "It could be so much easier."

St. John's stayed close much of the way thanks largely to Handford, a sophomore All-Big East guard. The Red Storm erased an early 11-point deficit and tied the game at 39 when Handford sank a pair of free throws with 16:59 left.

"She's going to continue to grow," Tartamella said. "She's got a chance to probably be one of the most talented players -- if not the most -- that we've ever had in our program."

Tennessee regained the lead 36 seconds later on a Burdick putback, and the game slowed to a crawl from there. The two teams combined for 10 points in the first 9 minutes, 22 seconds of the second half, as neither offense could get out of its own way.

But the Lady Vols gradually took control by relying on their superior size and stifling defense. Tennessee outscored St. John's 14-5 in second-chance points and 36-22 in points in the paint.

"It's frustrating because we worked so hard all season to put ourselves in this position," St. John's guard Danaejah Grant said. "Then, to get kind of quote-unquote bullied in the post is frustrating because we feel like we have just as much talent as they do, but not as much height."

Simmons scored eight points during a 16-2 spurt that turned a 43-41 advantage into a 59-43 runaway. Nobody other than Handford scored for St. John's in the second half until Amber Thompson finally made a basket with 5:20 left in the game.

"They were basically doing what they were doing in the first half," Grant said. "We just got a little lackadaisical in our passes, which led to easy steals, a couple of turnovers that they were able to convert on. They were able to get a couple offensive rebounds with easy putbacks. That's really where the game changed. We limited their offensive rebounds in the first half, but in the second half we weren't able to shut them down."

Saturday, March 22, 2014

NCAA Tourney First Round: 1 Seed Tennessee 70, 16 Seed Northwestern State 46

Isabelle Harrison scored 12 points and sparked a game-changing 12-0 run as No. 1 seed Tennessee withstood an ailing head coach and a lethargic first-half performance to beat Northwestern State 70-46 in its NCAA tournament opener.

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick missed the Lady Vols' morning shootaround with what school officials described as a case of food poisoning. Warlick rejoined the team for the game, but she had an IV port in her left hand during the first half and sat on an orange stool while assistant coach Kyra Elzy stood and shouted instructions.

Warlick stood throughout the second half and was much more animated as Tennessee gradually pulled away for its 14th win in its last 15 games.

Northwestern State (21-13), trying to become the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed since Harvard stunned Stanford in 1998, forced a 22-22 tie early in the second half before the Lady Vols (28-5) scored 12 straight points to seize control.

After shooting just 22.6 percent (7 of 31) in the first half, Tennessee shot 58.1 percent (18 of 31) the rest of the way.

Meighan Simmons and Mercedes Russell each scored 12 points for Tennessee, which utilized its prohibitive size advantage to outrebound Northwestern State 47-27. Trudy Armstead had 12 points and Beatrice Attura had 11 for Northwestern State.

Tennessee, the only team to reach the tournament every year since the NCAA started running the event in 1982, improved its record in NCAA tournament home games to 53-0.

The only time the Lady Vols haven't advanced beyond the second round of the tournament was 2009, when they fell to Ball State in a first-round game. But the Lady Vols will have to play better than they did in the first half of Saturday's game to assure they get past the second round this year.

After making five of their first six shots to grab an 11-2 lead, the Lady Vols went 2 of 25 the rest of the first half and were clinging to a 22-20 lead at the intermission. Tennessee made just two baskets in the last 16 minutes of the first half. The Lady Vols had no baskets and four total points in the final eight minutes of the half.

This continued a recent pattern of slow starts by Tennessee. The Lady Vols won the Southeastern Conference tournament title only after erasing double-digit deficits in each of their three games.

Northwestern State never led Saturday, but the Lady Demons did tie the game 22-22 on a basket from 5-foot-2 guard Janelle Perez with 18:43 left. Tennessee responded with its 12-0 run and never trailed again.

Cierra Burdick started the spurt by sinking a jumper with 18:18 remaining. Harrison scored six points later in the run as Tennessee held Northwestern State scoreless for nearly five minutes.

The Lady Vols were wearing white uniforms with neon orange lettering (which I hated - hideous) for the first time this season. The Tennessee men's team had worn similar uniforms for its regular-season finale against Missouri and for an SEC tournament victory over South Carolina this season.

Legend Pat Summitt Becomes Honorary Founder of WomenAgainstAlzheimer's

WomenAgainstAlzheimer's – the first national network of women in leadership positions working to speed the pace of research and build real momentum to end Alzheimer's disease – today announced that Pat Summitt, head coach emeritus of the University Tennessee Lady Volunteer basketball team, will be joining the organization as an honorary founder.

"Who better to join this battle than Pat Summitt, an outspoken Alzheimer's advocate and incredible woman who knows a thing or two about winning?" said Trish Vradenburg, Founder of WomenAgainstAlzheimer's. "We are thrilled and grateful that Pat will be a member of our team, which is working hard to bring Alzheimer's out of the shadows and on to the national stage."

Alzheimer's has a disproportionate effect on women, who represent nearly two-thirds of Americans with the disease and 70 percent of caregivers.

"I am excited to stand with WomenAgainstAlzheimer's and humbled to serve as an honorary founder. My son, Tyler, and I founded The Pat Summitt Foundation to fight Alzheimer's disease shortly after my diagnosis in 2011. My fight is not only a personal one, but one for all those battling Alzheimer's disease…recognizing the majority fighting this disease are women," said Pat Summitt. "Working together strengthens our efforts to find a cure. Together We Will Win!"

One in three seniors in the United States is impacted by Alzheimer's or some form of dementia, and ten percent of victims are between the ages of 40 and 65. This disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, and the only one in the top ten with no known preventative treatment or cure. The number of Americans with the disease is projected to triple by 2050 – from 5.2 million to more than 13 million – unless we find a treatment or cure.

"Pat's contributions to Alzheimer's advocacy in Tennessee and nationwide have been impressive and meaningful," said Betty Ann Tanner, Trustee with the University of Tennessee System, which includes the UT Health Science Center in Memphis, and WomenAgainstAlzheimer's Founder. "The joint force of the committed female advocates in our network and The Pat Summitt Foundation's tireless efforts in the fight against Alzheimer's will continue to drive this movement forward."

Sunday, March 09, 2014

SEC Tournament Final: No. 6 Tennessee 71, No. 12 Kentucky 70

Meighan Simmons scored 17 points, including two go-ahead free throws
with 1:45 remaining, and No. 6 Tennessee edged 12th-ranked Kentucky
71-70 on Sunday to win another SEC tournament championship.

Simmons, who struggled with her shooting from the field throughout the
tournament, made the two free throws to snap a 63-63 tie. The free
throws gave the Lady Vols (27-5) only their second lead of the second
half, and they didn't trail again as Simmons added a layup and two
more free throws in the final 22 seconds.

Isabelle Harrison had 16 points as Tennessee claimed its record 17th
Southeastern Conference tournament title, including four in the last
five years.

Kentucky (24-8) played in its fourth final in the last five years but
still hasn't won the tournament since 1982. DeNesha Stallworth led the
Wildcats with 21 points.

The Wildcats trailed by four before Jennifer O'Neill sank three free
throws with 0.7 seconds remaining to cut Tennessee's lead to one
point. The Lady Vols' only had to pass the ball inbounds before
launching their celebration with hugs at midcourt.

Simmons, the senior guard who ranked sixth in the SEC with her average
of 16.2 points in the regular season, struggled in the Lady Vols'
first two games in the tournament, making only 8 of 36 shots from the
field (22.2 percent). She made only six of 18 shots against Kentucky.

Jordan Reynolds had 11 points for Tennessee.

Tennessee needed yet another comeback to continue its dominance in the

The Lady Vols rallied from a 15-point deficit in Friday's 77-65 win
over LSU in the quarterfinals and then trailed by 10 points early in
Saturday's 86-77 semifinal win over No. 15 Texas A&M.

Tennessee again faced a double-digit deficit after another slow start
against the Wildcats, who led 18-8.

Linnae Harper, who had 12 points, scored nine of the Wildcats' 11
points in a 12-2 run that built the 10-point lead.

Kentucky led 38-32 at halftime. Tennessee cut the lead to one point
four times in the first 10 minutes of the second half before finally
taking a 52-51 lead on two free throws by Harrison, following a hard
foul by Kentucky's Samarie Walker. Tennessee fans howled in protest
after Walker pushed Harrison to the floor.

The Wildcats quickly reclaimed the lead when Stallworth, left alone at
the top of the circle, hit a rare 3-pointer. Stallworth, the 6-foot-3
forward, made only four 3s during the regular season.

Tennessee pulled even at 59-all on Reynolds' three-point play.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

SEC Tourney Semi: No. 6 Tennessee 86, No. 15 Texas A&M 77

For the second game in a row, Tennessee rallied from a double-digit first half deficit to comeback for a victory in the SEC Tournament. On Saturday, the second-seeded Lady Vols trailed by as many as 10, but came away with a 86-77 victory over third seed Texas A&M at The Arena at Gwinnett Center.

Tennessee advances to the SEC Championship game for the 22nd time in the 35-year history of the tournament. The Lady Vols are seeking their 17th SEC Tournament Championship. The Lady Vols will take on Kentucky, the fourth-seed, an upset winner over #1 seed South Carolina, 68-58. Tennessee has won the last six championship games it has played in, dating to 2005.

This is also the eighth time Tennessee has finished second in the SEC regular-season standings and in all eight instances, Tennessee won the SEC Tournament Championship.

Sunday's Championship game will tip at 3:30 p.m., and air on ESPN and the Lady Vol Network.

In Saturday's comeback win, the Lady Vols (26-5) were down by 10 twice in the first half. But they showed similar grit and hustle with that `we will not be denied' attitude, which was on display Friday, when they rallied from down 15 to beat LSU by 12 in the SEC Quarterfinals.

Isabelle Harrison led the Lady Vols with 20 points and 13 rebounds for her 17th double-double of the season. Meghan Simmons notched 15 points as she made 8-of-10 from the foul line to clinch the game. Bashaara Graves tallied 14 points. Cierra Burdick added nine points and 10 rebounds for her third game in fourth with double-figure rebounds.

Freshmen Mercedes Russell (11 points and 6 rebounds) and Jordan Reynolds (9 points) had major impacts off the bench in the second half.

Texas A&M's `Courtneys' headed up the Aggies' offense as Courtney Walker (26) and Courtney Williams (22) combined for 48 points. Texas A&M is now 24-8.

The game featured 11 ties and 10 lead changes.

The second half was a back-and-fourth affair. With the score tied at 75 with less than four minutes to go, Tennessee scored seven consecutive points to take an 82-75 lead as A&M missed five consecutive shots. Harrison put Tennessee up 77-75 with 3:04 remaining. Graves knocked home a jumper 40 seconds later. Simmons nailed three free throws to put the Lady Vols up 82-75 with 1:21 left in the game.

Tennessee finished the game scoring 11 of the game's final 13 points to return to the title game.

The Lady Vols dominated the glass, outrebounding the Aggies, 48-26.

Tennessee rallied in the first half to lead, 39-38, at intermission in a fast-paced first half. Williams (13) and Walker (10) combined for 23 first-half points for the Aggies. Harrison topped the Lady Vols' scoring chart with 10.

Down 23-13 after a Williams' jumper with 10 minutes left in the half, Tennessee used a 13-3 run to tie the game at 26 all on a layup by Graves with 5:19 prior to halftime.

Five consecutive points by Tennessee gave the Lady Vols a 36-33 lead on a 3-point play by Mercedes Russell and a Harrison jumper in the final minutes as UT took the lead into intermission.

Friday, March 07, 2014

No. 6 Tennessee 77, LSU 65

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

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

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

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

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.

Tennessee junior point Ariel Massengale missed her 11th straight game
since getting hit in the face during a 20-point win over Florida on
Jan. 23. She sat on the bench, but was not expected to play this

Burdick had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Award to be Named for Pat Summitt

The WBCA National Coach of the Year Award has been named in honor of former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt.

Summitt retired in April 2012 after winning a career-best 1,098 games and leading the Lady Vols to eight national titles and 18 Final Four appearances in 38 seasons.

The 61-year-old Summitt stepped down after announcing her diagnosis of early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. She still serves as Tennessee's head coach emeritus.

Summitt was named National Coach of the Year by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association in 1983, '95 and '98. The Lady Vols won 16 Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament titles under Summitt.

The SEC tournament began Wednesday night at the Gwinnett Arena. No. 6 Tennessee, the tournament's second seed, will play the Alabama-LSU winner on Friday.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

2014 SEC Women’s Basketball Awards Announced

The Southeastern Conference announced its 2014 women’s basketball postseason awards Tuesday.

Coach of the Year: Dawn Staley, South Carolina
Player of the Year: Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina
Freshman of the Year: Alaina Coates, South Carolina
Co-Defensive Players of the Year: Martha Alwal, Mississippi State / Jordan Jones, Texas A&M
Co-6th Players of the Year: Jennifer O’Neill, Kentucky / Alaina Coates, South Carolina
Scholar- Athlete of the Year: Lianna Doty, Missouri

First Team All-SEC
Tyrese Tanner, Auburn
Jaterra Bonds, Florida
Theresa Plaisance, LSU
Martha Alwal, Mississippi State
Bri Kulas, Missouri
Aleighsa Welch, South Carolina
Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina
Meighan Simmons, Tennessee
Isabelle Harrison, Tennessee

Courtney Walker, Texas A&M

Second Team All-SEC
Jessica Jackson, Arkansas
Shacobia Barbee, Georgia
Jennifer O’Neill, Kentucky
DeNesha Stallworth, Kentucky
Tia Faleru, Ole Miss
Valencia McFarland, Ole Miss
Alaina Coates, South Carolina
Courtney Williams, Texas A&M
Jasmine Lister, Vanderbilt
Christina Foggie, Vanderbilt

Ashley Williams, Alabama
Jessica Jackson, Arkansas
Brandy Montgomery, Auburn
Ronni Williams, Florida
Linnae Harper, Kentucky
Raigyne Moncrief, LSU
Breanna Richardson, Mississippi State
Alaina Coates, South Carolina
Andraya Carter, Tennessee

Tyrese Tanner, Auburn
Hasina Muhammad, Auburn
Shacobia Barbee, Georgia
Martha Alwal, Mississippi State
Elem Ibiam, South Carolina
Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina
Jordan Jones, Texas A&M

Sunday, March 02, 2014

No. 9 Lady Vols 73, No. 4 South Carolina 61

Meighan Simmons' final regular-season home game in Knoxville was a success as the #9 Lady Vols topped #4 South Carolina, 73-61.

Tennessee clinched the No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament with the victory over the regular-season champion Gamecocks, who will have the No. 1 seed in Duluth later this week.

The Lady Vols finish the regular-season 24-5 overall and 13-3 in the league while the Gamecocks head to the postseason after suffering their third loss (26-3) and their second conference defeat (14-2).

Tennessee will play on Friday at 6 p.m., against the winner of the Seed 7 vs. Seed 10 game, which will be played on Thursday.

The Lady Vols' lone senior, Simmons, tallied 16 points as Tennessee posted the wire-to-wire victory -- their 11th of the season.

Isabelle Harrison notched her 15th double-double of the season with a game-high 20 points and game-best 15 rebounds.

Redshirt freshman Andraya Carter also scored in double-figures with 14 points.

South Carolina was led by Aleighsa Welch, who had 16 points and nine rebounds. Tiffany Mitchell added 11 points and Alaina Coates chipped in with 10.

The Lady Vols committed just seven turnovers and out-rebounding South Carolina, 48-39, led by Harrison's monster game.

Harrison scored the game's first six points and Tennessee maintained the lead the rest of the way. The Lady Vols led by as many as 11 in the first half on a Harrison layup with two minutes left. Tennessee held a 38-30 advantage at halftime.

In the second half, Tennessee continued to hold South Carolina at bay. The closest the Gamecocks got was within six points on a Coates jumper with 8:42 left in the game, making it 53-47.

After SC, cut it to a two possession game, the Lady Vols scored the next six points and held a double-figure lead for the final eight minutes of the game.

Simmons knocked down a pair of jumpers to put Tennessee up 59-47 with 6:28 left and the game was never in doubt from there.

Tennessee overcame a 2-of-10 day from 3-point range and a rough start at the foul line. The Lady Vols missed all four of their first-half free throws and started 5-of-12 before making their final eight from the charity stripe to seal the game.

Again, Tennessee will play Friday at 6 p.m., against the winner of the 7-10 game.