FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Trailing by as many as 11 early in the second half, No. 11/10 Tennessee rallied for a 60-54 win over Arkansas at Bud Walton Arena on Sunday afternoon.
The win keeps the Lady Vols in sole possession of first place in the SEC with a 13-1 league mark to go with a 22-5 overall record.
Meighan Simmons led Tennessee with a game-high 18 points, while grabbing seven rebounds. The Lady Vols have won five games in a row heading into their final two regular-season games against Kentucky and Texas A&M, each 11-3 in the league after losing on Sunday. The No. 7 Wildcats lost 77-72 at LSU, and the No. 10 Aggies were beaten at Vanderbilt, giving Tennessee a two-game lead in the SEC standings.
It was the fourth time this season Tennessee rallied from a halftime deficit and second-largest overall comeback. UT trailed by as many as 12 vs. MTSU on Nov. 28, 2012, but rallied to win in overtime, 88-81.
Taber Spani scored 14 while Bashaara Graves tallied 11 and grabbed a game-best nine rebounds.
Arkansas (17-10, 5-9 SEC) was led by Quistelle Williams, who scored 15 points.
Tennessee used a 10-0 run early in the second half to rally from a 36-33 deficit with 15:35 left to take a 43-36 lead on a Spani 3-pointer with 12:48 remaining. The Lady Vols never trailed after that point.
Arkansas continued to battle and keep the game within striking distance, but was unable to pull off the upset.
The Razorbacks cut the margin to one at 51-50 on a Sarah Watkins jumper with 3:32 left in the second half.
A big bucket as the shot clock was winding down by Spani with 43 seconds left on the clock put the Lady Vols ahead, 56-50.
Free throws sealed the game in the final minutes as Ariel Massengale and Spani each made a pair in the final 25 seconds.
Tennessee leads the all-time series with Arkansas, 24-2 including a 12-1 mark in Fayetteville. The win gained a measure of revenge for the Lady Vols, as Arkansas won last season, 72-71 in overtime in Knoxville.
Tennessee closes its home regular-season schedule on Thursday as Texas A&M comes to Thompson-Boling Arena for a 7 p.m. tip-off.