5:00 PM ET, February 12, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee still isn't playing with the intensity coach Pat Summitt wants, and she doesn't understand it.Candace Parker scored 19 points and fifth-ranked Tennessee rallied to beat Vanderbilt (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP) 70-67 on Sunday to avoid losing consecutive home conference games for the first time in nearly 20 years.The Lady Vols (22-3, 8-2 Southeastern Conference) were down 14 in the first half and used a 14-4 run in the last 5:51 to improve to 20-0 against Vanderbilt (17-8, 6-5) in Knoxville.It was another inconsistent outing when the Lady Vols struggled early and found a way to win in the end."Vanderbilt was coming out and they were really taking us to school with their offense and our poor defense. I don't know. I don't know what it's going to take. Most teams by now have bought in," Summitt said."I don't understand. I can't relate to it. There's not a bone in my body that's as laid back as I've watched them play some times. It's just hard to watch."Tennessee has not lost two straight SEC games at home since losing to Kentucky and then Georgia in the 1984-85 season. No. 3 LSU earned its first victory ever here on Thursday night and snapped Tennessee's 64-game SEC home winning streak.Vanderbilt led nearly the entire game behind a strong inside game from Liz Sherwood, who had 20 points.Tennessee finally found its defense and offense down the stretch.The Commodores were ahead 63-56 on Carla Thomas' basket with 6:14 remaining. Then Sidney Spencer had a jumper and Shanna Zolman made a pair of free throws to get the Lady Vols going.Nicole Jules scored for Vanderbilt, and Thomas had a basket around five points by Parker. Spencer scored again to tie it at 67 with 2:50 left.Vanderbilt did not score again. Alexis Hornbuckle made two free throws with 2:22 to go for a 69-67 lead, and Tennessee held on.Sherwood was whistled for her fifth foul with 1:51 left, but Parker missed both free throws.Cherish Stringfield missed a 3 for Vanderbilt, which got the ball back with 32 seconds left after Tennessee had a shot clock violation. Spencer made the second of two free throws, and the game ended when Parker caught Caroline Williams' deflected 3-point attempt."I feel like we played really close to them. Our team really outworked Tennessee today," said Vanderbilt point guard Dee Davis, who had nine points and nine assists.Spencer finished with 11 points and Hornbuckle had 10."I understand coach's frustration," Spencer said. "She never knows what we're going to do. It seems like we have to wait until we're down to step up."Jules had 12 points for Vanderbilt while Stringfield had 11 and Thomas 10.Summitt earned win No. 900 at Vanderbilt on Jan. 19, and just like that game, the Commodores were up by as many as 14 in the first half."At Vanderbilt, they came back and made a run, and we didn't fight back. I thought tonight that they would make their runs, and every time they made runs, we made runs back and we fought back all game," Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb said.The Lady Vols had the advantage at the foul line. They were 23-of-32 while Vanderbilt was 3-of-7."That happens every time I come to Tennessee. If I had it figured out, it wouldn't keep happening," Balcomb said.The Lady Vols tied it at 43 with 14:54 remaining after a quick 5-0 run, but the Commodores were able to stretch their lead back to seven. They pushed it to as many as nine before Tennessee took over.Vanderbilt had won four straight since losing at LSU on Jan. 26.Jules gave the Commodores a 30-16 lead with 4:59 left. But Hornbuckle got an 11-0 run started with a putback, and the Lady Vols cut it to 30-27 with 1:33 to go.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||30-53 (.566)||23-50 (.460)|
|3P Made-Attempted||4-15 (.267)||1-6 (.167)|
|FT Made-Attempted||3-7 (.429)||23-31 (.742)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||22 (0/0)||13 (0/0)|