KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Taber Spani scored 20 points and third-ranked Tennessee outlasted No. 7 Miami 92-76 on Tuesday night in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic.
The game was tied 42-all at halftime before the Lady Vols (2-0) unleashed an 18-4 run to open the second half. A layup by Glory Johnson made it 60-46 with 16:19 to go.
"It certainly felt like a March game in November. It was amazing. What intensity. I'm proud how our team responded," Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt said. "Obviously, this Miami team was really, really good and we knew that going in. Overall, I was very pleased. Anytime we put anyone in, they were talking - on the court, in the huddles. Everyone was focused.
"I thought we did a lot of good things. Glory Johnson and Shekinna Stricklen stepped up big for us and we needed that. Taber Spani shot the ball lights out. She's shooting the ball well and has lots of confidence right now."
The Hurricanes charged back with nine unanswered points to cut Tennessee's margin to seven, and with 7:31 to go Shenise Johnson hit a jumper to cut the Lady Vols' lead to 73-68.
Miami would get no closer. Two possessions later, Spani took an inbound pass with 10 seconds on the shot clock and launched a 3-point attempt that hit nothing but net as the buzzer sounded, kicking off an 11-0 run.
Spani's 20 points led five Lady Vols in double-figures. Meighan Simmons followed with 18, while Glory Johnson (16), Shekinna Stricklen (15) and Ariel Massengale (11) all cracked double-digits scoring.
Riquna Williams scored 24 points for Miami (1-1), which turned the ball over 21 times.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
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