Tennessee defeats LSU 77-65 in the SEC women's tournament _lowres

LSU forward Theresa Plaisance (AP Photo/Jason Getz)

DULUTH, Ga. – The LSU Lady Tigers powered to a 15-point first-half lead but couldn’t hold off Tennessee, which used a 19-0 second-half run to defeat LSU 77-65 in the SEC tournament quarterfinals at the Gwinnett Center.

LSU led 34-28 at halftime and was up 55-51 with 8:32 left when Tennessee scorecd 19 straight to go up 70-55 at the 3:25 mark.

Theresa Plaisance led LSU with 21 points before fouling out of her final SEC tournament game with 1:32 left. Danielle Ballard added 15 points and Jeanne Kenney 13, while Tennessee (25-5) was led by 21 from Isabelle Harrison.

The Lady Tigers (19-12) return to Baton Rouge to await their NCAA tournament fate, though Thursday’s 78-65 SEC tourney win over Alabama and a No. 12 RPI against the nation’s toughest schedule should make LSU a virtual NCAA lock.

Bids will be announced March 17. LSU will host NCAA first- and second-round games, March 23 and 25 at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.