Published March 06, 2010
DULUTH, Ga. (AP) — Alyssia Brewer scored 15 points and No. 4 Tennessee rolled to a 68-49 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday in the Southeastern Conference tournament semifinals.
The Lady Vols (29-2) have won 13 straight to move within one victory of a sweep of the SEC regular-season and tournament championships, something they've accomplished six times. They'll play Kentucky or Mississippi State for the title on Sunday night.
Tennessee won 15 of 16 conference games in the regular season before opening the tournament with a 76-51 rout of Mississippi. The Lady Vols' third win of the season over Vanderbilt (22-10) was just as lopsided.
Vanderbilt trailed only 45-36 following a 3-pointer by Marsh with 9:17 remaining, but Tennessee pulled away with 11 straight points.
Angie Bjorklund finished with 12 points for Tennessee, while Hannah Tuomi had 12 points before fouling out and Merideth Marsh added 11 for Vanderbilt.
The challenge facing the smaller Vanderbilt team was obvious from the minute starting lineups were announced. Tennessee's shortest starter, 6-foot Bjorklund, was as tall as Vanderbilt's tallest starters, Tuomi and Tiffany Clarke.
Vanderbilt's top scoring threat, the 5-foot-6 Marsh, was guarded by 6-foot-2 Shekinna Stricklen and 6-foot-1 Alicia Manning. Tuomi was looking up at 6-6 Kelley Cain and 6-3 Alyssia Brewer.
Vanderbilt, playing its third game in three days, couldn't overcome the mismatches.
Tennessee's superior size showed in the first half when its 12 offensive rebounds equaled Vanderbilt's total rebounds. The Lady Vols claimed a 9-0 advantage in second-chance points in the opening 20 minutes, providing the cushion for a 31-22 halftime lead.
Tennessee finished with a 42-27 advantage in rebounds.