Lady Vols win SEC tournament, down LSU 70-58

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (release) -- Tennessee won its 16th SEC Championship and third in a row with a 70-58 victory over LSU on Sunday night at Bridgestone Arena before 12,441. For the third SEC Tournament game in a row the senior combination of Glory Johnson and Shekinna Stricklen were the difference. On Sunday, they were joined by fellow senior Vicki Baugh in the scoring column as all three tallied double-figures.

The Lady Vols (23-8) will await their NCAA Tournament seed next Monday, March 12 at 7 p.m., on ESPN.

Johnson tallied 20 and grabbed 10 rebounds for her 35th-career double-double -- tying for third-most in a career at Tennessee. Stricklen had 16 points (14 in the second half) while Baugh added 10.

LSU (22-9) was led by Adrienne Webb, who scored 16 points. Theresa Plaisance had a career-high 13 points.

Tennessee was tremendous from the free-throw line as the Lady Vols made 21-of-24 from the foul line for 87.5 percent.

The Lady Vols used an 11-3 spurt to take command at 56-47 after LSU had come within one point, 45-44, on a Webb 3-pointer with 13:51 left. Johnson extended the margin to 60-51 with a layup with 3:37 left.

Theresa Plaisance made four free throws in the final 2:47 to cut the deficit to four at 60-56 with 2:04 left in second half. Stricklen hit two jumpers in the final 1:33 left including a 3-pointer with 54 seconds left to put UT ahead 65-56 and seal the win.

For the third game in a row the duo of Johnson and Stricklen had a major scoring spurt. The combo posted 19 of Tennessee's 23 points bridging the late first half and early second half. Stricklen had seven consecutive points to give Tennessee a 52-44 lead with 10 minutes left in the second half.

Tennessee took a 39-32 lead coming out of halftime as Johnson hit a jumper with 17:55 left. LSU tied the game at 41 all on a 3-pointer by Theresa Plaisance with 15:32 left. But UT came right back with the next four points to retake the lead at 45-41 on a layup by Baugh.

Tennessee led 35-30 at halftime thanks to 10 points from Johnson. The other 25 points came from eight different Lady Vols as nine different players were in the scoring column for UT. Tennessee outrebounded LSU, 19-11.
Neither team led by more than one possession until a Johnson free throw with 8:12 left in the half, which put UT up 20-16.

LSU's Adrienne Webb tied the game at 22 all on a jumper with 6:28 left in the first half. The Lady Tigers then took a lead at 23-22 on a LaSondra Barrett free throw.

Taber Spani regained the lead for Tennessee with a 3-pointer with 5:09 left in the half. That was followed by Stricklen's first points in the first half during three SEC Tournament games, as the senior knocked down a jumper for a 27-23 UT lead, forcing LSU to take timeout. Cierra Burdick hit a jumper and Johnson made two free throws to extend the Lady Vols' run to 9-0 and a 31-23 lead with 3:22 left in the half.

The Lady Vols used an 8-2 lead to take a 13-10 lead with 13:10 left in the first half as Briana Bass hit and 3-pointer followed by a Baugh steal and layup in a span of 16 seconds.

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