KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Ariel Massengale scored 26 points and tied a school single-game record with eight 3-pointers Sunday to help No. 6 Tennessee beat Vanderbilt 79-49 in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Tennessee’s victory and No. 13 Kentucky’s 67-56 triumph over No. 2 South Carolina allowed the Lady Vols (25-4, 15-1 Southeastern Conference) to win a share of the regular-season conference title. Because it won the lone head-to-head meeting between the two schools, South Carolina (27-2, 15-1) got the No. 1 seed in the SEC tournament that starts Wednesday in the Little Rock, Arkansas.
Massengale went 8 of 11 from 3-point range and Tennessee was 12 of 22 from beyond the arc.
It was the last regular-season home game for Tennessee seniors Cierra Burdick, Ariel Massengale and Isabelle Harrison, who each received a framed jersey and a bouquet of orange roses in a pregame ceremony.
Harrison, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee Feb. 15, received a standing ovation when she checked into the game with 4.5 seconds left. Burdick had 12 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
Vanderbilt (14-15, 5-11) shot 1 of 11 from 3-point range and committed 25 turnovers. The Commodores are 0-30 against the Lady Vols in Knoxville.
Massengale scored the first 11 points for Tennessee, which never trailed all day. Her eight 3-pointers matched the school single-game mark set by Meighan Simmons, who reached that mark twice before ending her college career last season. Her 26 points were two off her career high.
Jaime Nared added 13 points and Andraya Carter had 12 points for Tennessee. Paris Kea scored a career-high 18 points and Marqu’es Webb had 10 for Vanderbilt.
The fast start by Massengale helped Tennessee own a 39-24 lead at the end of a first half marked by sloppy play from both teams. The two teams combined for 28 turnovers — 15 from Vanderbilt, 13 from Tennessee — in the first half.
Vanderbilt’s inability to take care of the ball was nothing new, as the Commodores entered the day averaging an SEC-high 20.3 turnovers.
Vanderbilt: Webb continued her recent shooting accuracy before fouling out with 5:11 left. Webb shot 5 of 7 from the floor. The 6-foot-1 forward has shot 67.7 percent (21 of 31) over her last five games and is shooting 59.3 percent (67 of 113) this season.
Tennessee: Lady Vols coach Holly Warlick was wearing an orange cast on her right wrist. Warlick broke a bone in her wrist Wednesday while slipping on the ice at Tennessee’s campus, though she coached in a victory Thursday at Georgia before getting a cast placed on her wrist Friday.
Vanderbilt plays in the first round of the SEC tournament Wednesday in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Tennessee plays in the SEC tournament quarterfinals Friday in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.