By Darren Epps, Staff Writer
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. No. 8 Tennessee set up a rematch of last years SEC tournament title game by pulling away late to beat No. 12 Georgia 89-79 Saturday night in a semifinal matchup at Alltel Arena.
The second-seeded Lady Vols (27-4) will meet top-seed LSU (27-2) for the tournament championship Sunday at 6 p.m. EST on ESPN2. Tennessee defeated LSU 67-65 last year in the title game, but lost in Knoxville in their meeting earlier this year.
The two rivals traded 3-pointers, an array of free throws and hard fouls in a wild second half. Neither team led by more than five points until the Lady Vols scored five points in a single possession with eight minutes left in the game.
Nicky Anosike, limited in the first half with foul trouble, grabbed a Dominique Redding miss, drew a foul and scored to give the Lady Vols a 66-60 lead. Anosike missed the free throw, but Tyesha Fluker rebounded and scored to push Tennessees lead to eight points. It was Tennessees largest lead since jumping ahead 16-7 in the first seven minutes of the game.
Georgia (21-8) cut the lead to 74-70 on Megan Darrahs 3-pointer with just less than six minutes to play, but Anosike made two free throws and Shanna Zolman hit a deep 3-pointer as Tennessee responded with eight straight points.
Candace Parker, who started at point guard, scored 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting and grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds. Guard Shanna Zolman, who scored 16 points and recorded seven assists, also handled some point guard duties, but the Lady Vols looked for Parker when Georgia pressed.
Sherill Baker scored 20 points and Tasha Humphrey added 18 to lead the Lady Bulldogs.
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