Seniors guide Lady Vols past Florida, 75-59

Read up on how the Tennessee women's basketball team fared against Florida at Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday. Also, be sure to check out the photo gallery at the end of the article.

Glory Johnson had 21 points and 10 rebounds and No. 10 Tennessee beat Florida 75-59 on Sunday to grab second place in the Southeastern Conference.

This was the final home game for the Lady Vols, who have lost the most games ever on the court named after coach Pat Summitt. The Hall of Famer revealed in August that she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.

She has only said she hopes to continue coaching as long as possible. She has spoken very little about her condition this season, instead urging others to focus on basketball instead of her.

The Lady Vols (21-8, 12-4) have struggled this season at times, losing at home to South Carolina and Arkansas for the first time ever. They narrowly avoided tying their regular-season loss record of nine, set during the 1996-97 season and tied by the 2008-09 squad.

Florida entered the game having won five of its last seven, but hardly threatened Tennessee.

The Gators hit the first shot of the game, a 3-pointer from Jordan Jones. The Lady Vols answered with a 15-0 run behind their five seniors, who each started the game, and they never relinquished the lead.

Florida hit some layups and a pair of 3s that cut Tennessee's lead to 17-13 with 9:59 in the first half, but the Gators wouldn't get any closer than four points for the rest of the game. The Lady Vols led by 35-25 at halftime and led by at least eight throughout the second half.

Tennessee gave Florida opportunities to get back in the game with 19 turnovers, many of them unforced. The Gators couldn't capitalize with 37.9 percent shooting and 20 turnovers of their own.

Lily Svete scored 12 for Florida. Jennifer George added 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Lanita Bartley scored 11 points.

Shekinna Stricklen added 15 points for Tennessee, Meighan Simmons had 12 and Alicia Manning scored 11.

Johnson, Stricklen, Manning and the rest of Tennessee's seniors are on a mission to at least reach the national semifinals of the NCAA tournament this season to avoid becoming the first Lady Vols class never to reach a Final Four.

First they head to the SEC tournament in Nashville, where they will play in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Check out these images from InsideTennessee of the action (click to enlarge the slideshow):


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