1:30 PM ET, November 20, 2005
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Candace Parker's debut at Tennessee resulted in a double-double but no dunks.She had 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Lady Vols (No. 1 ESPN/USA Today, No. 2 AP) rolled to an 83-33 win over Stetson on Sunday.Parker, who won the McDonald's high school dunk contest in 2004, sat out last season as a freshman to recover from knee injuries."It was amazing," Parker said of her first game. "It was a great feeling because I've waited so long to play for Tennessee."Parker teased the crowd with above-the-rim play but made no dunks. Only three women have dunked in a college game.Coach Pat Summitt, who has given Parker the green light to dunk, was pleased, particularly with the basics."I think overall Candace had a solid game," Summitt said. "I was pleased with her defense."Summitt's 883rd victory was among the easiest start in her 32-year coaching career. The court at Thompson-Boling Arena was named "The Summitt" after she passed Dean Smith to become the all-time winningest coach in NCAA history during last year's NCAA Tournament.Stetson led 6-1 in the opening minutes before the Lady Vols took over. They outscored the Hatters 48-6 the rest of the first half.Tennessee started the second half with an 8-0 run to go ahead 57-12, and Stetson finally ended the drought with Sharnesha Smith's 3 with 15:36 remaining.By then it was too late for the smaller Hatters, who earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament last year as the Atlantic Sun champions. They lost 70-36 to LSU in the first round in Knoxville."We knew we were going to run into a buzz saw," Stetson coach Dee Romine said.Parker, listed at 6-foot-3, guarded Stetson's 5-7 Nefertiti Walker, who finished with 15 points.Parker went to the bench with 12 minutes to go, and the Lady Vols finished the game with mostly reserves.Alexis Hornbuckle and Sidney Spencer each had 13 points and Shanna Zolman added 11.Parker, who began dunking in high school, had fans on the edge of their seats several times hoping to witness history.She had three straight chances to dunk in the final two minutes of the first half.Parker stole the ball and was fouled going to the basket on the break and missed but made both free throws. Then she jumped to catch a pass from Zolman by the basket, but dumped it off in mid-air to Spencer for an easy two points.She got another steal and streaked toward the basket. Instead of dunking, she lifted the ball in one hand and placed it in the cylinder."I was thinking about it but [the defender] was kind of close. So I didn't want to risk getting hurt," Parker said. "But I think if the opportunity presents itself in the next game, then I'll take it."
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