- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 14, 2009

TAMPA, FLA. (AP) - Wayne Chism scored a career-high 27 points, Tyler Smith added 23 and Tennessee beat Auburn 94-85 Saturday to advance to its first Southeastern Conference championship game in 18 years.

The Volunteers (21-11) will play surging Mississippi State in the final. The Bulldogs are 7-1 against teams from the conference’s Eastern Division, with the one loss coming at Tennessee in late February.

The Vols can only hope to play as well as they did against Auburn, especially in the first half.

Tennessee shot 62 percent from the field and 58 percent from 3-point range in the opening 20 minutes while opening up a 14-point lead. The Tigers (22-11) cut it to 55-50 early in the second half, but the Vols pulled away down the stretch.

Korvotney Barber led Auburn with 24 points and nine rebounds. Rasheem Barrett added 18, and Tay Waller chipped in 17.

(This version CORRECTS APNewsNow. Tennessee 94, Auburn 85. corrects Tennessee advance to first SEC title game in 18 years sted 20 in lede; also time elements in headlines)

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