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Lady Vols Start SEC Tournament with Rout of Ole Miss
Alyssia Brewer led the Lady Vols with 21 points in Friday's win over Ole Miss in the second round of the SEC Tournament.

Alyssia Brewer led the Lady Vols with 21 points in Friday's win over Ole Miss in the second round of the SEC Tournament.

March 5, 2010

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Associated Press

DULUTH, Ga. -- Mississippi coach Renee Ladner has yet to find a good way to defend Tennessee's Alicia Manning.

"Alicia Manning has kicked our butt [three] times we played them," Ladner said. "She's outmanned us, outhustled us and beat us on the boards."

Alyssia Brewer scored 21 points, Manning had 14 points with a career-high 14 rebounds, and No. 4 Tennessee beat Mississippi 76-51 in the second round of the Southeastern Conference tournament on Friday.

The Lady Volunteers (28-2) have won 12 straight overall and 17 consecutive in the SEC second round.

Bianca Thomas scored 15 points for Ole Miss (17-14), which has dropped two of three and nine of 12 overall. The Rebels have lost 20 straight and 28 of 30 to Tennessee.

The Lady Vols were determined to hold Thomas' production down following her 34-point performance in Tennessee's 12-point home win against Ole Miss last Sunday.

"We were really focusing on limiting her touches, keeping a hand in her face at all times, getting in her shooting rhythm so she couldn't get her shots off," Manning said. "I think we did a pretty good job of that."

Brewer hit nine of 11 shots from the field. Her layup with 6:10 remaining made it 72-40 and gave Tennessee its biggest lead.

After scoring 20 points in victories over Alabama and Florida earlier this season, Brewer had her SEC career high against Ole Miss.

"I think it's been some of the confidence factor, having confidence in my shot," said Brewer, a sophomore forward. "Also as a team, whenever we start moving, it opens different shots for each of us."

The Lady Vols are trying to win the SEC regular-season and league tournament titles in the same year for the seventh time overall and the first time since 2000.

Angie Bjorklund added 16 points and five assists for Tennessee, which stretched its SEC second-round winning streak to 17 games.

"We had some great possessions and we had some ugly possessions," Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt said. "We've got to be more efficient. I think our team understands that, but overall a great win."

Ole Miss' Kayla Melson, the SEC assists leader, was helped off the floor with 12:29 left in the game after injuring her right ankle. She finished with 14 points and three assists. The Rebels dropped to 1-10 when the junior guard has fewer than five assists.

Melson described the injury as a mild sprain.

"My ankles have been tweaked since I've been [at Ole Miss]," she said. "I've sprained both ankles numerous times. This time was kind of different because I felt something I usually don't feel."

The Rebels, who last made the SEC semifinals in 1993, lost their seventh straight second-round game.

Ladner gave Manning much of the credit.

"Once again she came in and got a double-double," Ladner said. "She is getting better every time I see her play, particularly against us."

Tennessee won the rebounding battle 48-22.

"Ole Miss is a really aggressive team," Manning said. "We just had to match that, try to be more aggressive than them."

 

 

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