Lady Vols vault over Oklahoma in regional semifinals

Kamiko Williams tallied 15 points, leading four players in double figures, as the Tennessee Lady Vols registered a 74-59 win over the Oklahoma Sooners in the regional semifinals at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Also scoring in double digits for the second-seeded Lady Vols (27-7), who are now on to the Elite Eight for the 26th time in program history, were Cierra Burdick who dropped in 13 points, followed by Taber Spani and Isabelle Harrison with 12 points apiece, the latter accounting for eight rebounds as well as Tennessee moved to an incredible 115-23 all-time in NCAA Tournament outings.

The sixth-seeded Sooners (24-11) were paced by Sharane Campbell who scored a game-high 22 points, while Joanna McFarland put together a double-double with 14 points and 16 boards. Aaryn Ellenberg pitched in with 13 points, but shot just 2-of-10 from 3-point range and 5-of-21 from the floor overall.

Unfortunately for Oklahoma, the team lost the services of Morgan Hook in the first half due to injury, leaving them without their floor leader who was responsible for more than five assists per game this season.

Tennessee opened the meeting on a 9-3 run, but the Sooners managed to knot the score four minutes in at 9-9. However, from there the Lady Vols again went on the attack, using a 17-4 scoring run to assume the lead and eventually take a 44-27 edge at the break.

Oklahoma was limited to a mere 28.2 percent shooting from the floor through the first 20 minutes of action, including 3-of-15 beyond the arc.

In the second half the Vols extended their advantage to as many as 28 points before the Sooners began chipping away in order to make the final score appear somewhat more acceptable. Both teams shot only 33.3 percent from the floor after intermission.

Oklahoma won the rebounding battle, 50-47, but it made little difference as the squad knocked down only 5-of-29 shots on the perimeter and turned the ball over 17 times on the afternoon,

With the win the Vols, now coached by Holly Warlick who is in his first year following the departure of legendary Pat Summitt, now play Louisville which stunned top-seeded Baylor, 82-81.

Tennessee, which has won a record eight national titles, the last coming in 2008, will be aiming for a 23rd appearance in the Final Four on Tuesday.