8:00 PM ET, November 25, 2004
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Four and counting. Texas simply owns Tennessee right now.In what has become a surprisingly one-sided rivalry between two of the dominant programs in women's basketball, No. 4 Texas beat top-ranked Tennessee 74-59 on Thursday night for the Longhorns' fourth straight victory over the Lady Vols.Tiffany Jackson had 19 points, nine rebounds and a career-high eight blocks in a dominating effort for the Longhorns (2-1)."Whenever you see Tennessee, you want to bring your best game," Jackson said.The Longhorns sure do. Since snapping a 13-game losing streak to Tennessee in 2002, the Longhorns have found a way to beat back the Lady Vols ever since.The 15-point margin is the largest during the winning streak and came against a Tennessee team that opened the season at No. 1 for the 11th time in school history.The win also extended Texas' home winning streak to 38 -- the longest in the nation -- and ended a seven-game losing skid to top-ranked teams. Texas hadn't beaten a No. 1 team since knocking off Tennessee in 1987.And unless something changes with a chance meeting in the postseason, Texas' six seniors will finish their careers with a perfect record against the Lady Vols."I think it's always fun against Tennessee," senior guard Jaime Carey said. "I think we've established a nice little rivalry with them."Texas coach Jody Conradt, who suffered through each of those 13 straight losses, had to chuckle at that."I don't see too much nice about it during the 40 minutes on the court," Conradt said.The rivalry pits the winningest coaches in the women's game: Tennessee's Pat Summitt and Conradt rank 1-2 in career victories.History aside, this game belonged to Jackson."Too much Texas for Tennessee," said Summitt, who spent a frustrating night watching her team shoot just 33 percent while allowing Jackson to hit just about anything she wanted on the other end. "There was way too much Jackson."Jackson hit consecutive baskets and had three blocks in the first 2 minutes of the second half. Then she added a short jumper, followed by a midcourt steal and layup, to give Texas a 41-30 lead with about 14 minutes to play.The Longhorns held a double-digit lead for most of the second half.Tennessee (3-1) never got in sync offensively. Shyra Ely, a preseason All-American, scored just four points on 2-of-10 shooting.The Lady Vols had a whopping 24-9 advantage in offensive rebounds but squandered it with poor shooting and 18 turnovers. Brittany Jackson led Tennessee with 14 points."You have to make shots," Summitt said. "That's the bottom line."Meanwhile, Texas overcame 23 turnovers of its own with 60-percent shooting, including a torrid 73 percent in the second half.Annissa Hastings, a senior who missed all of last season with a torn Achilles' tendon, scored 13 points for Texas on 5-of-6 shooting. Nina Norman added nine points, including a key 3-pointer that ended a Tennessee rally."That's not the first time she's hit a shot that was like a dagger," Conradt said.Norman hit the winning 3-pointer against Tennessee in their last meeting in Austin in 2002.For Texas, the win should help shake off any lingering effects of a 78-64 road loss to No. 3 Georgia in which the Longhorns' veteran lineup squandered a 15-point lead."I expected this kind of performance after the Georgia game," Conradt said.Summitt knew better than to expect a win in Austin."Our team respects Texas. They have beaten us four in a row and beat us by 10 last year in Knoxville," Summitt said. "We were not surprised."
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