Lady Vols seize SEC title

InsideTennessee sportswriter
Posted Feb 28, 2013

The Lady Vols claimed the program's 17th SEC title - and first for head coach Holly Warlick - with an 82-72 win over Texas A&M. Go inside for a quick and free recap.

The celebration started in the final seconds for the Lady Vols as they conceded a late layup to Texas A&M's Kelsey Bone - it was the only easy basket in a hard-fought game - and piled together at center court.

Tennessee (23-5, 14-1) was picked by the league coaches to finish fifth in the SEC but claimed the championship with the win over Texas A&M (21-8, 11-4).

Coach Gary Blair, who said he picked the Lady Vols second in preseason behind Kentucky, noted the other coaches were pulling for the Aggies to try to force a four-way tie for first place, but the Lady Vols took the title for themselves behind inspired play by seniors Kamiko Williams and Taber Spani and transcendent play on the offensive glass by sophomore Cierra Burdick.

Williams got to the paint at will - something she has always been able to do - and tallied 18 points. Meighan Simmons, who dropped to the floor and cried at the final buzzer, scored 17, while Bashaara Graves added 14.

Burdick got the double-double with 15 points and 14 boards.

But in a season of injury for Tennessee, even a title-winning game came with a cloud. Ariel Massengale left the game with a right knee injury, as did Isabelle Harrison. Harrison appeared OK afterwards, though the knee was wrapped in ice, but Massengale was on crutches. Warlick said the extent of the injuries wasn't known yet.

Adrienne Pratcher led the Aggies with 20 points while Bone added 14.

Tennessee finishes the regular season at Kentucky on Sunday.

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Lady Vols claim Warlick's first SEC title
 -by  Feb 28, 2013
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F Cierra Burdick (profile)
G Taber Spani (profile)
G Kamiko Williams (profile)
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