Scores

Final

LSU 65

(19-12, 7-9 SEC)

(6) Tennessee 77

(25-5, 13-3 SEC)

    Coverage: FULLCT/ESPN3

    6:00 PM ET, March 7, 2014

    Gwinnett Center, Duluth, Georgia

    1 2 T
    LSU 34 3165
    #6TENN 28 4977

    Top Performers

    LSU: T. Plaisance 21 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Tennessee: I. Harrison 21 Pts, 12 Reb, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    Harrison, Simmons, Graves lead Lady Vols past LSU

    Associated Press

    DULUTH, Ga. -- For the first 35 minutes, LSU looked as if it had the perfect formula to upset Tennessee.

    But once the Lady Vols began doubling down to defend LSU forward Theresa Plaisance, the Lady Tigers' hopes vanished.

    "They were just doing a great job taking away basically everything from me," Plaisance said. "After I hit those first couple of shots, they denied me really hard. I got a back door. After that, it was almost impossible to get the ball inside."

    Plaisance scored 21 points and Danielle Ballard added 15 points in LSU's 77-65 loss to No. 6 Tennessee in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament on Friday night.

    Isabelle Harrison finished with 21 points and Meighan Simmons and Bashaara Graves each added 14 as the Lady Vols used an overpowering late run to advance to the semifinals.

    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.

    Jeanne Kenney had 13 points for LSU (19-12), but she and fellow guard Ballard combined for 13 of their team's 20 turnovers.

    The Lady Tigers hope the selection committee will look at their tough schedule and decide it's enough for a bid to the NCAA tournament.

    Though seeded 10th in the SEC tournament, LSU has been invited to 14 of the last 15 NCAA tournaments, including two straight under third-year coach Nikki Caldwell.

    But the Lady Tigers also have dropped seven of eight. Part of their problem against Tennessee was transition defense as LSU was outscored 25-5 in points off turnovers.

    Tennessee's 19-0 run late in the second half made it 70-55 on Simmons' two free throws, but until the closing minutes, the game was tough on the fifth-leading scorer in Lady Vols history.

    Simmons, who had averaged more than 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 Arena.

    With 12 rebounds, Harrison recorded her 16th double-double this season, but she credited Plaisance for making the Lady Vols work hard to beat her.

    "She can play outside and inside," Harrison said. "Being in the post, sometimes it's hard to adjust to players like that. I really wanted to get focused. I knew when she was going off, so I made a commitment to myself and the team that I was going to lock her down."

    Trailing 4-0, LSU went on a 27-8 run, ending with Kenney's third 3-pointer, to take a 15-point lead with 9:29 left in the first half.

    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.

    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 remaining.

    But the Lady Tigers couldn't overcome getting outscored 52-18 in the paint.

    "They were just doing a great job taking away basically everything from me," Plaisance said. "After I hit those first couple of shots, they denied me really hard. I got a back door. After that, it was almost impossible to get the ball inside."

    LSU also struggled with inconsistent shooting. After beginning the game 10 for 16, the Lady Tigers missed 27 of their next 37 shots.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    LSU
    TENN
    Points 65 77
    FG Made-Attempted 22-59 (.373) 28-66 (.424)
    3P Made-Attempted 8-20 (.400) 0-8 (.000)
    FT Made-Attempted 13-20 (.650) 21-26 (.808)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 17 (0/0)

    Game Leaders

     
    LSU
    TENN
    PointsT. Plaisance 21I. Harrison 21
    ReboundsD. Ballard 8I. Harrison 12
    AssistsD. Ballard 7J. Reynolds 3
    StealsD. Harden 2J. Reynolds 3
    BlocksS. McKinney 3J. Reynolds 2

    2013-14 Season

    DATEGAMELINKS
    Jan 2, 2014 LSU 80, @TENN 77Recap | Box Score
    Feb 27, 2014 TENN 72, @LSU 67Recap | Box Score
    » Mar 7, 2014 @TENN 77, LSU 65Recap | Box Score