Glory Johnson scores career-high 25 to lead Lady Vols past Florida in SEC

Tennessee's Glory Johnson is congratulated by teammate Alyssia Brewer as the Lady Vols win over Florida during the second round of SEC Tournament play in Nashville on Friday March 4, 2011. UT won the game 92-75.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Tennessee's Glory Johnson is congratulated by teammate Alyssia Brewer as the Lady Vols win over Florida during the second round of SEC Tournament play in Nashville on Friday March 4, 2011. UT won the game 92-75.

Alicia Manning on win against Florida

NASHVILLE — Glory Johnson shied away from the TV cameras, hiding behind teammate Kelley Cain, even though she’d just had one of the best games of her career.

Despite a career game, she didn’t want to take any credit away from her Tennessee teammates.

Johnson scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as No. 4 Tennessee beat eighth-seeded Florida 92-75 Friday in the Southeastern Conference tournament quarterfinals. Shekinna Stricklen added 20 points.

“Being a post player, you have to get your touches from the guards,” Johnson said. “I’m not trying to take all the credit. I have off games. There’s times where I’m not hitting shots and pulling rebounds. That’s why I rely on my teammates. Today they relied on me and Shekinna.”

The Lady Volunteers (29-2), who are now 8-0 against Florida in the SEC tournament, will meet either fourth-seeded Georgia or fifth-seeded South Carolina in Saturday’s semifinals.

Tennessee had a 38-36 halftime lead, but Johnson hit a long-range jumper, a shot in the paint and a fast-break layup in the first 1:25 of the second half to give the Lady Vols a 44-36 lead. She finished the game 11 of 16 from the free-throw line.

“We knew they were going to come out at halftime and come out on a run,” Florida guard Deana Allen said. “When Glory was scoring back to back to back, it deflated us in a way. We knew we had to answer.”

Jordan Jones hit a 3-pointer from the corner to cut the margin to five, but it was as close as the Gators (18-14) would get.

The Lady Vols shot 69.2 percent in the second half and hit 17 of 25 from the free-throw line after halftime. The Lady Vols scored 50 points in the paint, got 28 points off 18 Florida turnovers and turned a 40-32 rebounding advantage into 18 second-chance points.

Lanita Bartley led Florida with 14 points. Ndidi Madu and Allen each scored 13, Jaterra Bonds had 12 and Jones scored 10.

“I told the team in the locker room there were a lot of things we could have done better but there’s no way we could have fought any harder than we did,” Florida coach Amanda Butler said. “However, we didn’t come here to put up a good fight.”

Tennessee won the SEC regular-season title after an undefeated run through conference play. The Lady Vols beat their SEC foes during the regular season by an average 24.1 points per game.

The Lady Vols hadn’t had too much trouble with the Gators in their two regular-season meetings. Tennessee limited Florida to 15 first-half points in its 83-40 win on Jan. 13 in Gainesville, and the Gators hit just 25 percent of their shots and scored their fewest points of the season in Tennessee’s 61-39 win on Feb. 10 in Knoxville.

But the Gators entered the game having won four straight and had warmed up for the Lady Vols with a 68-59 victory against ninth-seeded Arkansas in Thursday’s first-round game. Florida led the Lady Razorbacks by as many as 17 points and shot 60.7 percent in the first half and scored the final nine points to win.

This time against Tennessee, Florida led 16-14 when Stricklen hit a 3-pointer from the wing and Angie Bjorklund followed with another from the corner as part of a 10-2 run by Tennessee. Glory Johnson hit six free throws and a layup over a 2:56 period that helped the Lady Vols build to a 35-24 lead with 5:41 before halftime.

The Gators fought back with a 10-0 run that included four points by Bartley and a 3-pointer by Allen, getting within 35-34 with 2:38 in the first half, and the Lady Vols entered halftime with a 38-36 lead.

“You can tell they spent a lot of time on their offensive game,” Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said. “The ball didn’t get stuck in players’ hands. I thought they were really aggressive. They’re tough.”

Florida actually shot better than Tennessee in the first half — 48.4 percent to 41.9 percent — but Tennessee had four more points at the free-throw line.

Johnson had 10 points at halftime and surpassed her previous career high of 22 points, set on Jan. 23 in a win against Mississippi State, when she hit a pair of free throws with 5:49 left in the game to make it 74-61.

“Florida is a physical team,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if it looked like it or not, but they were giving me an extremely hard time.”

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Comments » 31

utfreakster writes:

WooHoo!!! Could I possibly be first?? Probably not, but I am glad to see the Lady Vols win big in the tourney!!!

topgun writes:

Great win Lady Vols!! The announcers (TV) are probably still bragging on what a great job the gatorettes were doing. UTLVs leading by about 14 points in last few minutes with UT power players on the bench and announcers are bragging on FL "not going away"? UGGGH.

GOVOLS!!

donpatb#210889 writes:

In my opinion, which probably isn't worth much, I think Manning should start in place of Spani.She played a great game and deserves to start.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

in response to topgun:

Great win Lady Vols!! The announcers (TV) are probably still bragging on what a great job the gatorettes were doing. UTLVs leading by about 14 points in last few minutes with UT power players on the bench and announcers are bragging on FL "not going away"? UGGGH.

GOVOLS!!

Yeah our Ladies are getting no love from the media. They are all pro Uconn. Big articles of the pudgy rosey cheek freshmen who says is the next Tina Charles. That team will not make it with 6 players. Anyway Glory and Strick could have scored 30 a piece. But they are unselfish and get everyone involved. No one has a answer for them . Williams calms this team . And rocks the other teams to sleep. She dishes well. Overall good game even though we werent shooting well. Still won by 17 and put up 92

tenecvol4 writes:

in response to topgun:

Great win Lady Vols!! The announcers (TV) are probably still bragging on what a great job the gatorettes were doing. UTLVs leading by about 14 points in last few minutes with UT power players on the bench and announcers are bragging on FL "not going away"? UGGGH.

GOVOLS!!

Yeah - duh -- the announcer was a former Gatorette coach - you would have thought it was 2 point game with seconds to go -- " and she says still time for a comeback " (down 12 -- 3 players fouled out ) SURE

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

in response to donpatb#210889:

In my opinion, which probably isn't worth much, I think Manning should start in place of Spani.She played a great game and deserves to start.

Agree. Manning is better defensively and brings intensity to the game

huntined#565710 writes:

Against FLA. TENN is 43-3 don't know how they won the 3 games...

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

Great game by Glory and Strick! Loved Kamikos inbounds pass 2 herself!! It was awesome! Manning very well might be starting the next game for Spani. WTG Lady Vols! One down, two to go! GLV!

wigmeister writes:

1 down - 2 to go!

huntined#565710 writes:

in response to tenecvol4:

Yeah - duh -- the announcer was a former Gatorette coach - you would have thought it was 2 point game with seconds to go -- " and she says still time for a comeback " (down 12 -- 3 players fouled out ) SURE

Tenn. has made a lot of announcers out of Lady Gator coaches as it kills Foley that he never can get a coach that can beat TENN. About every 4 years he sends one to ESPN.. I think he has a contract with them to furnish them a announcer every 3-4 years.

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

in response to wigmeister:

1 down - 2 to go!

We posted the same thing at the same time!

adimatteo#261830 writes:

great win, these tournaments are never easy, nice job ladies and coaches.

Hope you continue to win, youre the ones working hard, you all certainly deserve it,
best of luck

SummittsCourt writes:

Wish I could have seen the game, but very happy with the results. The Lady Vols just keep winning :)!

Einstein writes:

How is Simmons' ankle that she turned?

huntined#565710 writes:

Had to beat KY. last year and may have to do it again this year.. But first things first just keep playing smart ball and D.

RLL59 writes:

Hopefully, this game has convinced the only person that counts that starting Meighan at point guard instead of Kamiko hurts both Meighan and the team. If not, one of the better teams in the NCAA tournament is going to take advantage of poor point guard play to take an early lead which the Lady Vols will not be able to overcome. I don't think the coaches want to keep changing their game plan, as far as who plays when and for how long, in the first 5 minutes of each game.

Congratulations to the Lady Vol players, and also to Coach Summitt for finding and, for the most part, staying with an effective line-up.

pomp_and_circumstance writes:

They have arrived. Playing two halves of a game. Scrappy, defensive, fast like Pat had pushed a button on the side lines. Great passing with a plan. If they hadn't missed so many wide open lay ups 100 points would be on the board. Baugh and Bourkland gaining stamina every game. Manning a constant wonder. Kamiko the best guard really - floor general speaking. Waiting for Spani to get her eye back and rip 4 three pointers again. I now expect to see them go far at the big dance.

huntined#565710 writes:

VOTE FOR ANGIE EVERY DAY as the ARMY player is catching up fast!!!!

richvol writes:

I agree...Kamiko is by far the better point player as Simmons is just too wild with the ball and takes too many crazy shots. Kamiko does have a calming effect on the team yet can dazzle you with her play.

I love that we have Glory back for another year but it is really going to hurt when she is gone. What a dominate player under the basket. She rebounds and scraps like no other LadyVol I have ever seen. What a great player she has become. Cain looks completely lost. I hope that Pat can get Meighan to get herself under control like Glory has.

Manning has earned the right to start...Spani has not. Manning is everywhere doing everything for this team.

Our defense looked more than a little troublesome as Florida drove right through our defense for easy layups the entire game. They outfought us for most of the loose balls too. They were tough.

PINK_CHAMPAGNE writes:

Congrats on the win! Glory and Strick were fantastic. Brewer was good early on. I like when Brewer post and takes her time and shoots. Usually a positive outcome when she does that. Manning makes some awesome passes. The new Alicia Manning is a confident player. She makes the team better when she is playing like she has been. Good win lady vols!

As far as the point spot goes! Both Simmons and Kamiko bring something to the table. However it is tournament time and I like Kamiko's play making abilities over Simmons. Plus Kamiko is less turnover prone! I would like to see kamiko and Manning inserted into the starting lineup. Miko for Simmons and Manning for Spani! Just my wish! Spani needs to step up her game. It is tournament time. One and done! Can't have any slackers on the floor! No time for that!

Work on turnovers and defense! Lets go lady vols!

cheetara writes:

http://www.seniorclassaward.com/vote/...

Go Vols! Remember to vote for Angie! The link is posted. It only takes about 30 seconds. Vote daily!

punkin writes:

Where is zz when he Gators get beat by UT? Nowhere to be found.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

in response to huntined#565710:

Tenn. has made a lot of announcers out of Lady Gator coaches as it kills Foley that he never can get a coach that can beat TENN. About every 4 years he sends one to ESPN.. I think he has a contract with them to furnish them a announcer every 3-4 years.

Now that's funny right there...I don't care who you are.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

in response to Mama_Calls_Me_Precious:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

DUDE! Is the sun out in Fla.? Your skin is a little tender today.

Almost every school has at least ONE area in which they excel. At Tennessee we have several...but you gotta admit, this is one of our best. Don't make we quote "W's" and "L's".

I thought his comment was funny. You need to learn to appreciate humor, even when it's at your expense.

I guess we can all understand why your Ma called you "precious".

ps11824 writes:

shhhhh, this is Lady Vols site.

dead_vol_foul (Inactive) writes:

If SEC coaches do not invest in bringing up their states' HS programs, they will continue to suck and suck badly.

There is zero reason for the SEC to NOT be BETTER. there are some good coaches, facilities, all that.

ps11824 writes:

Hey with all these equality issues afloat, we may be seeing some, uh, shall I say girly men and/or manly girls in the women's league sooner than later. Already they choose to show male coaches 'mic'd' up in the between game spots. Now, when the day comes that they show women coaches 'mic'd' up during the men's tournament, that will be the day I think I've seen it all. How would that be for ratings?

johnlg00 writes:

Glory, Glory, hallelujah! It is amazing how far she has come with her overall game this season. She still misses a few in close and she could stand to up her free-throw percentage 10-15%, but she is one of the most energetic players in the game today, and now she mostly plays under control.

As for the rest of them, nearly everybody made some kind of contribution, though the post play was undistinguished except for Glory. The LVs gave up a few too many wide-open threes that Florida nailed, but maybe the scouting report discounted them as a real percentage threat. Gotta give Florida some credit for playing a LOT better against the LVs than they did in the regular season. I didn't think they had all that many wide open lanes on their drives, though they did throw in a number of tightly-contested shots. Sometimes you've just gotta give the other team some credit. As someone else wrote, the LVs will get everybody's best shot, so they can't let up. Still, they would have to completely sleep-walk their way through a game not to win the SEC tourney this year.

ps11824 writes:

[[[ johnlg00#206211 writes: Still, they would have to completely sleep-walk their way through a game not to win the SEC tourney this year. ]]]

O, johnlg don't say it

ps11824 writes:

johnlg, is that the distinct sound of snoring I'm hearing after the 1st half? If that is the case, 'twill be a long, wet sleepy walk back to Ktown.

ps11824 writes:

Hey johnlg, I'm happy they did not sleep walk for this one.

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