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Vanderbilt edges No. 21 LSU 63-61

DULUTH, Ga. (AP) — Merideth Marsh and Hannah Tuomi each scored 17 points and Vanderbilt made up for an embarrassing regular-season loss by beating No. 21 LSU 63-61 in the Southeastern Conference tournament on Friday night.

Marsh, who made 87 percent of her free-throw attempts in the regular season, made only 1 of 5 in the final 2:12, including two misses with 3.3 seconds remaining.

Allison Hightower's last-second attempt from near midcourt wasn't close, ending LSU's hopes of playing in its ninth straight semifinal.

LSU held Vanderbilt to its lowest points total in school history on Feb. 18 when it beat the Commodores 55-39 in Baton Rouge, La.

Vanderbilt (22-9) will face No. 4 Tennessee, the top seed, in Saturday's first semifinal.

Hightower led LSU (20-9) with 24 points. Katherine Graham added 10.

The Tigers became the first Top 25 team to be eliminated from the SEC tournament.

In a game of big swings, a baseline jumper by Elan Brown gave Vanderbilt a 60-59 lead with 3:13 remaining. Marsh's free throw a minute later pushed the lead to two points, and the senior guard added a short jumper with 43 seconds remaining for a 63-59 lead.

Taylor Turnbow's follow shot for LSU cut the lead to two points with 20 seconds remaining.

The Commodores, the defending champions but only the fifth seed in the tournament, overcame a sluggish start. Marsh hit a 3-pointer to open the game and LSU scored the next 15 points.

Vanderbilt recovered with an 11-2 run to cut LSU's lead to 17-14. Tuomi scored eight points in a 12-0 run later in the half that gave the Commodores the lead.

The momentum shifts continued in the second half. Vanderbilt led 40-32 before LSU used a 15-2 run to lead 47-42.

LSU's struggles to defend Tuomi inside became more difficult when starting forward LaSondra Barrett fouled out with 5:05 remaining. Barrett, who averages 12.7 points and a team-leading 6.8 rebounds, left with nine points and three rebounds.

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