Saturday, March 8, 2014
DULUTH, Ga. (AP) — Isabelle Harrison had 20 points and 13 rebounds and No. 6 Tennessee held off No. 15 Texas A&M 86-77 on Saturday to earn a spot in the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game.
Tennessee (26-5) will play No. 12 Kentucky for the SEC title on Sunday. Kentucky beat No. 5 South Carolina 68-58 in Saturday's first semifinal.
Meighan Simmons had 15 points and Bashaara Graves had 14 for Tennessee.
Courtney Walker led Texas A&M with 26 points. Courtney Williams added 22, but the high-scoring sophomores were not enough to beat the Lady Vols.
Texas A&M (24-8), the defending champion, led by 10 points in the first half but couldn't match Tennessee's inside game. The Lady Vols took a 48-26 advantage in rebounds and scored 50 points in the paint.
Tennessee has dominated the SEC tournament with 16 championships.
There were 11 ties, the last coming at 75 on a short jumper by Walker. The Lady Vols pulled ahead with seven straight points on baskets by Harrison and Graves and three free throws by Simmons.
Tennessee matched its biggest comeback of the year when it trailed by 15 points before beating LSU 77-65 in the quarterfinals on Friday.
The Lady Vols needed another comeback after twice trailing Texas A&M by 10 points, the last time at 21-11. A 15-5 run took care of the deficit, and Tennessee led 39-38. Texas A&M's Jordan Jones, who had 12 points, ended the half with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
There was a delay with 1 minute remaining when Texas A&M's Jones was knocked to the floor by an elbow. No foul was called.