No. 4 LSU entered Saturday having only lost to top-ranked South Carolina, and it looked like that status would continue when it carried a 40-26 lead over Tennessee into halftime in the semifinal of the SEC tournament.
The 28-1 Tigers, seeded second in the tournament, led by as many as 17 points midway through the second quarter and were one win away from getting a rematch with the Gamecocks. And then, well, Tennessee won, because it is March and stuff like that happens sometimes.
The Volunteers ripped off a 16-3 run early in the third to get within striking distance, then eked out a 69-67 win to advance to the final.
TENNESSEE IS INTO THE 'SHIP‼️
Their 17-point comeback matches the second-largest in SEC tournament history. pic.twitter.com/21Qb7Yty2B
— ESPN (@espn) March 5, 2023
The 17-point comeback was the second-largest comeback in SEC tournament history, per ESPN Stats & Info.
LSU head coach Kim Mulkey wasn't happy toward the end after Tigers star Angel Reese was called for an offensive foul in the final minute.
Angel Reese was called for an offensive foul on this play.
Kim Mulkey was not happy. pic.twitter.com/HChJLQceSy
— espnW (@espnW) March 5, 2023
Tennessee star Rickea Jackson led all scorers with 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting with 10 rebounds and two blocks, while Reese had 22 points and 11 rebounds.
The Volunteers' reward will be undefeated South Carolina on Sunday at 3 p.m for the conference tourney title. The Gamecocks defeated Tennessee 73-60 last month in their lone meeting during the regular season