Second-half surge propels Lady Vols, 64-54

Tennessee's Bashaara Graves (12) pulls in a rebound over Alabama's Nikki Hegstetter (13) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Photo by Butch Dill

Tennessee's Bashaara Graves (12) pulls in a rebound over Alabama's Nikki Hegstetter (13) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Tennessee summoned an impressive closing act Sunday afternoon.

After trailing for the majority of an SEC women’s basketball game against Alabama, the Lady Vols completed their rally down the stretch for a 64-54 victory at Foster Auditorium.

Cierra Burdick scored a career-high 21 points to lead No. 10 Tennessee (18-4, 7-2 SEC), which trailed by 15 points in the first half. Her jumper with 7:29 left gave UT the lead for good.

Meighan Simmons, who missed most of the first half with foul trouble, scored 11, as did Isabelle Harrison.

Daisha Simmons scored 18 to lead Alabama (10-12, 3-6).

Tennessee had shot a sizzling 57.5 percent from the field its previous two games. Simmons was a big reason why with 60 percent accuracy (18 for 30) during that stretch.

But the senior guard picked up two fouls within the first three minutes and sat for the first half’s duration. With her out, the Lady Vols suddenly were a shell of their former shooting selves. Their accuracy dipped to 23.6 percent at one point.

Alabama, meanwhile, opened at 70 percent clip and eventually led by as much as 26-11 with five minutes left in the half.

Tennessee managed to slow the Crimson Tide, in part, by using full-court pressure.

While 18 points added up to the lowest scoring half of the season, the Lady Vols managed to whittle the deficit to 26-18 at halftime.

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Comments » 2

WaitUntilNextYear writes:

Very very ugly 25 minutes of BB but congrats to the LV'S for getting hot and finding a way to win.
Nice to see CB find her shot after a long dry spell. She has been the difference in the last two games.
The LV'S are controlling their own destiny and should win the conference but won't by playing flat turnover prone BB.
Never seen a team go from incompetence to firing on all cylinders as much as this team does from half to half and game to game.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to WaitUntilNextYear:

Very very ugly 25 minutes of BB but congrats to the LV'S for getting hot and finding a way to win.
Nice to see CB find her shot after a long dry spell. She has been the difference in the last two games.
The LV'S are controlling their own destiny and should win the conference but won't by playing flat turnover prone BB.
Never seen a team go from incompetence to firing on all cylinders as much as this team does from half to half and game to game.

And ain't THAT just the sad and sorry truth! I said in another post that it seems as if the team has ADD or is actually schizoid. The emergence of Carter, the improvement of Burdick, and the maturing of Simmons makes this team tough to beat as long as their heads are on straight. But then there are those stretches....

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