7:00 PM ET, December 28, 2005
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Candace Parker is glad her pride was hurt more than her foot.Parker overcame an ankle injury to score 16 points and Shanna Zolman added 14, leading top-ranked Tennessee to a 75-50 victory over Temple (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP)on Wednesday night.Tye'sha Fluker had 12 points, and every player scored for the Lady Vols (11-0).Candice Dupree had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Khadija Bowens scored 14 for Temple (8-3).Tennessee survived an early scare when Parker left the game for nearly eight minutes with a sprained left ankle. But the injury wasn't serious and Parker laughed about the way she got injured."I got beat defensively," she said, before turning to coach Pat Summitt to try to explain her rare mistake. "I was sliding over and I stepped on Nicky Anosike's foot. I knew it wasn't broken. When I went back to the locker room, I knew I was fine."Once Parker, the team's second-leading scorer, returned, the Lady Vols never looked back.Tennessee began pulling away with a 21-6 run that closed out the first half and gave the Lady Vols a 31-17 lead. After Temple went ahead 11-10, Tennessee scored 11 straight points, including 3-pointers from Alex Fuller and Zolman."We were pleased we are able to get the tempo up at times," Summitt said. "You have to control the paint and we did that."The Owls got within 44-30 in the second half after a layup by Bowens, but Anosike scored five straight points to spark a 16-4 run that put the game out of reach."There were too many instances in the game we weren't ourselves," Temple coach Dawn Staley said. "We didn't have enough fight. We had too many lapses to complete."Tennessee already has beaten five ranked opponents, including four teams in the top 16. The Lady Vols have another tough challenge at No. 12 Notre Dame (9-1) on Saturday.Temple has lost three of five after a 6-0 start.It was Tennessee's second game since starting guard Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood left the team. Wiley-Gatewood, a sophomore, started eight of nine games and was the team's fourth-leading scorer.In their previous meeting last November, Temple nearly became the second team to beat the Lady Vols at home since the AP poll started in 1976. The unranked Owls fell 52-48 to then-No. 1 Tennessee."We remembered that. They had the ball and every opportunity to beat us in the last seconds," Summitt said. "You want your team to respect every opponent regardless of record. Our team really respected this team."Temple came in averaging 62.7 points, but shot just 18-for-54 in its worst offensive performance of the season."We attacked, but we couldn't get anything to fall," Staley said.With the clock winding down and the game far out of reach, Temple fans urged Summitt to put Parker back in to dunk. Parker won the McDonald's high school dunk contest in 2004, but sat out last season as a freshman to recover from knee injuries."Candace makes everyone on the floor better," Summitt said. "She does a great job."
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press