No. 8 LSU women hold on to beat No. 16 Tennessee 57-54

Saul Young/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK
0 Comments

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Jailin Cherry scored 14 points and No. 8 LSU held off a furious fourth-quarter comeback by No. 16 Tennessee for a 57-54 win on Sunday.

The Lady Vols cut LSU’s eight-point lead entering the fourth quarter down to two with 25 seconds to play, but Tamari Key missed a short jumper with 5 seconds left that would have tied the game.

Autumn Newby and Khayla Pointer each added 12 for the Tigers (25-4, 13-3 Southeastern Conference), who wrapped up the second seed in next week’s SEC Tournament.

Key scored all but one of her 12 points in the second half for the Lady Volunteers (22-7, 11-5). Rae Burrell had 11 and Alexus Dye added 10 for Tennessee, which still secured one of the four double-byes for the tournament.

Both teams didn’t shoot well. Tennessee made just 3 of 17 (18%) in the first quarter, when the Tigers dashed out to a 22-10 advantage. Newby had 10 of those Tiger points.

LSU’s slump came in the third quarter when it made 1 of 14 shots (7%).

BIG PICTURE

LSU: This is the first time since 2009 that LSU’s women’s basketball team has been ranked in the Top 10 and the first time since 2006 that LSU played Tennessee as the higher-ranked team. … Guard Alexis Morris sustained a knee injury in the Tigers’ last game, a win over Alabama. She was averaging 16.3 points a game before the injury.

Tennessee: The Lady Vols have had their share of injuries during the season-ending stretch: Forward Keyen Green (knee) and guard Jordan Horston (elbow). … Tamari Key came into Sunday with 105 career blocks, good for a tie for ninth all-time in the SEC. … Tennessee’s game with South Carolina on ABC last week drew an audience of 876,000, the largest for a women’s basketball game since 2017. … Guard Jordan Walker has announced she will return to the Lady Vols for her sixth season.

NEXT UP

LSU and Tennessee will play in the quarterfinal round of the SEC Tournament on Friday in Nashville, Tenn.