Evina Westbrook and Rennia Davis combined for 39 points, 27 in the second half, and Tennessee edged LSU 69-66 in a critical second-round game of the Southeastern Conference tournament on Thursday.

Both teams are considered on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament. A win was crucial, especially for Tennessee (19-11), which has never missed a tournament since the NCAA started running it for women’s basketball in 1982.

Tennessee faces regular-season champion and fifth-ranked Mississippi State in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Tennessee's Evina Westbrook (2) shoots in front of LSU's Jalaysha Thomas during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Southeastern Conference women's tournament, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Tennessee’s Evina Westbrook (2) shoots in front of LSU’s Jalaysha Thomas during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Southeastern Conference women’s tournament, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

Westbrook had 20 points, including 15 after halftime on 7-of-10 shooting. Davis added 19, with 12 after the break. Davis made 3 of 4 free throws in the last 25.4 seconds.

Khayla Pointer had 13 of her 21 points in the first half when the Tigers (16-13) opened a 35-28 lead. Ayana Mitchell and Faustine Aifuwa had 16 points apiece, and Mitchell grabbed 11 rebounds.

Tennessee opened the second half with a 10-4 run to get within one but didn’t get over the hump until the fourth quarter. Davis made a 3-pointer to get the lead to five and Westbrook made it six with less than two minutes to go. But LSU got the deficit to one possession in the final minute. Westbrook made a nifty drive with 40.8 seconds left to make it a two-possession game.

Tennessee's Evina Westbrook (2) shoots as LSU's Khayla Pointer defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Southeastern Conference women's tournament, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Tennessee’s Evina Westbrook (2) shoots as LSU’s Khayla Pointer defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Southeastern Conference women’s tournament, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

LSU had one last chance when Davis made 1 of 2 free throws with 10.8 seconds left. A contested 3-pointer went off the side of the rim with time running out.

Tennessee head coach Holly Warlick, left, reacts during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against LSU in the Southeastern Conference women's tournament, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Tennessee head coach Holly Warlick, left, reacts during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against LSU in the Southeastern Conference women’s tournament, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
LSU's Jaelyn Richard-Harris, left, looks to pass as Tennessee's Rae Burrell (12) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Southeastern Conference women's tournament, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
LSU’s Jaelyn Richard-Harris, left, looks to pass as Tennessee’s Rae Burrell (12) defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Southeastern Conference women’s tournament, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
LSU's Kamera Harris, bottom, battles for a loose ball with Tennessee's Rennia Davis, hidden, and Zaay Green, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Southeastern Conference women's tournament, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
LSU’s Kamera Harris, bottom, battles for a loose ball with Tennessee’s Rennia Davis, hidden, and Zaay Green, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Southeastern Conference women’s tournament, Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
LSU's Khayla Pointer drives to the basket during the first half of an women's Southeastern conference NCAA college basketball tournament game against Tennessee Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
LSU’s Khayla Pointer drives to the basket during the first half of an women’s Southeastern conference NCAA college basketball tournament game against Tennessee Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
LSU head coach Nikki Fargas calls out a play during the first half of an women's Southeastern conference NCAA college basketball tournament game against Tennessee Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
LSU head coach Nikki Fargas calls out a play during the first half of an women’s Southeastern conference NCAA college basketball tournament game against Tennessee Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Tennessee's Evina Westbrook, right, drives against LSU's Jailin Cherry during the first half of an women's Southeastern conference NCAA basketball tournament game Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
Tennessee’s Evina Westbrook, right, drives against LSU’s Jailin Cherry during the first half of an women’s Southeastern conference NCAA basketball tournament game Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
LSU cheerleaders perform during the first half of an women's Southeastern conference NCAA college basketball tournament game against Tennessee Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
LSU cheerleaders perform during the first half of an women’s Southeastern conference NCAA college basketball tournament game against Tennessee Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
LSU's Jailin Cherry, right, passes around Tennessee's Meme Jackson during the first half of an women's Southeastern conference NCAA college basketball tournament game Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
LSU’s Jailin Cherry, right, passes around Tennessee’s Meme Jackson during the first half of an women’s Southeastern conference NCAA college basketball tournament game Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Greenville, S. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

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