Stricklen's big second half powers Tennessee to SEC semifinals
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Shekinna Stricklen scored 18 points in the second half to lead No. 13 Tennessee to a 68-57 win over Vanderbilt on Friday in the Southeastern Conference tournament quarterfinals.
Stricklen found herself on the bench with two fouls with about 12 minutes to go in the first half, in which she went scoreless. The second-seeded Lady Volunteers held a 45-44 lead when a 3-pointer by Stricklen launched a 9-2 run that gave them control of the game.
Tennessee (22-8) shot 50 percent and held seventh-seeded Vanderbilt to 34.5 percent shooting in the game, which included an extended halftime because of a threat of severe weather in the Nashville area.
The Lady Vols will face either South Carolina or Georgia on Saturday.
Christina Foggie led the Commodores (22-9) with 16 points, and Stephanie Holzer had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Kentucky erases 13-point deficit to make SEC semifinals
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- First-game jitters or high expectations? The Kentucky Wildcats feel as if they met their early challenge at the Southeastern Conference women's tournament.
Bria Goss hit a layup with 1:22 left and Kentucky rallied from a 13-point deficit in the second half to hold off Florida 71-67 Friday in the quarterfinals. The Wildcats, the SEC's regular season champions, trailed 20-6 in the first half before coming back for their fourth straight win.
Kentucky (25-5) advanced to the semifinals for a third straight year and the fifth in the past seven tournaments. The Wildcats will play Arkansas or LSU Saturday. Mitchell took a dig at all the projections of this tournament being wide open when asked about a possible opponent.
Florida (19-12) lost for the third time this season to Kentucky, and this time the Gators held Kentucky to a season-low 29.7 percent shooting. The Wildcats made that up with a big edge at the free throw line -- 25 of 33 to Florida's 12 of 20. They also protected the ball better and turned Florida's 22 turnovers into a 25-12 scoring edge.
Still, the Wildcats trailed 38-25 early in the second half before fighting back with a 15-4 run. Keyla Snowden's 3 put them ahead 45-44 with 13:04 left, their first lead since 6-4. And it was tight through the finish even with A'dia Mathies scoring 21 of her 24 points in the second half for Kentucky. Snowden had 17 off the bench.
Jennifer George led Florida with 18 points, Azania Stewart had 15 and Jordan Jones 13.
Florida last led 65-64 on a free throw by Deana Allen with 1:36 left, but she missed the second. The Gators scored only once more on a layup by George with 20.3 seconds left.
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