Lady Vols fall to Louisville

Taber Spani

OKLAHOMA CITY - The Lady Vols' season ended in the Elite Eight again - a place they were never expected to reach - after a comeback from a 20-point deficit fell short. Go inside for a quick, free recap.

Tennessee (27-8) lost to Louisville (28-8) after spotting the Cardinals a 15-point halftime lead that was too much to overcome, and the Lady Vols; quest for a Final Four ended with the 86-78 defeat.

Seniors Taber Spani and Kamiko Williams led the Lady Vols with 20 and 12 points, respectively - it was a career-high in the NCAA tourney for Spani and the third-straight game for Williams in double figures - but it wasn't enough to climb out of a 41-26 hole at halftime.

"Obviously disappointed for us, congratulations to Louisville," Coach Holly Warlick said. "But I want to talk about these two young ladies. These are our two seniors. ... They put their heart and soul in the whole year."

Spani and Williams were both selected for the All-Tournament Team in the Oklahoma City Regional and fueled a comeback that had the Lady Vols within three points, 68-65, with 4:28 to play after falling behind by as much as 20 points.

"We couldn't finish it," sophomore Cierra Burdick said. "I wish there was more time on the clock. There wasn't and we continued to fight, so I commend our effort, but it just wasn't enough."

Louisville was led by Shoni Schimmel with 24 points. Her sister Jude Schimmel added 15.

Tennessee will now enter the off-season, and await a heralded freshman class of Mercedes Russell, Jordan Reynolds and Jannah Tucker.

Warlick told the team after the game that she was proud of the players.

"She was proud of our season, and we've just got to go back to work," sophomore forward Isabelle Harrison said.

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