ELITE 8 BOUND: UT Rallies For 84-73 Win

March 24, 2012

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DES MOINES, Iowa - The Lady Vols advanced to their 25th Elite Eight as they rallied from being down by as many as 14 points to post a 84-73 win over Kansas at Wells Fargo Arena in the NCAA Tournament Des Moines Regional Semifinal.

No. 2 seed Tennessee (27-8) will take on top-seeded Baylor in the Regional Championship, which takes place on Monday at 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT and will air on ESPN and can be heard on the Lady Vol Network.

Sophomore Meighan Simmons tallied 22 points to lead the Lady Vols in scoring -- her second 20-plus points game in the NCAA Tournament. Tennessee outscored the Jayhawks, 41-11 in bench scoring.

Seniors Shekinna Stricklen (16 points and nine rebounds), Glory Johnson (18 points and seven rebounds) combined for 34 points and 16 rebounds. Senior Vicki Baugh added seven points and 11 rebounds

Kansas, a No. 11 seed, saw its season end with a 21-13 record. Angel Goodrich had with 23 points and Aishah Sutherland tallied 19 points. Chelsea Gardner added 14 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double.

Down by 14 in the first half, the Lady Vols reversed the deficit and led by 14 points after a Simmons fastbreak hoop with 5:57 left in the second half, at 69-55. With that basket, Tennessee had outscored Kansas 57-29 over a span of 14:24.

The largest lead for the Lady Vols was 16 with 4:32 left in the game on another Simmons jumper, which made it 73-57.

Kansas cut the deficit to single-digits with 41 seconds left on a Goodrich 3-pointer, but the Lady Vols held off the Jayhawks.

The Lady Vols continued to assert their pressure and took a 10-point lead at 63-53 as Simmons finished a fastbreak off a pass from Kamiko Williams with seven minutes left in the game and forcing Kansas to call timeout.

Tennessee used a 23-9 run early in the second half to take control of the game and build a 53-46 lead on four consecutive points by Simmons with 11:07 left in the second half.

After trailing for virtually the entire first half, the Lady Vols took their first lead of the game on a Johnson jumpshot, just five minutes into the second half. That gave UT a 44-42 advantage -- just their second lead of the game (other was 2-0).

The Lady Vols trailed by five at halftime, 35-30 as they shot just 36 percent in the first half. Kansas shot 48 percent from the floor as Goodrich had a game-high 12 points at intermission.

Kansas built a first-half lead as large as 14 on a Sutherland layup with 8:59 left in the first half to make it 26-12.

Tennessee cut the deficit to two at 31-29 with seven points in a row finished by a Johnson jumpshot with 4:22 left in the first half.

The Lady Vols are now 112-22 all-time in NCAA Tournament games, the best record and most wins in college basketball. Tennessee is 25-5 all-time in Sweet 16 games.





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