8:00 PM ET, February 16, 2006
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- Even down by 14 points midway through the second half, Tennessee never lacked for confidence against Georgia on Thursday night."The thought never crossed our mind that we were going to lose," guard Shanna Zolman said after the fifth-ranked Lady Vols rallied to beat No. 13 Georgia 58-55.Georgia's Tasha Humphrey scored following an offensive rebound with 4:50 left to give the Lady Bulldogs a 55-48 lead. Georgia didn't score again as Tennessee closed with a 10-0 run to complete the comeback."We were trying to make our defensive pressure so great to put pressure on them," said Zolman, who filled in at point guard and finished with 18 points."In the last five minutes, our defensive pressure went up like that," she added, gesturing to the ceiling. "We tried to force them to make mistakes."Candace Parker returned after spraining her ankle in the first half and led Tennessee with 19 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots.Tye'sha Fluker set a season high with 10 boards as the Lady Vols outrebounded the Lady Bulldogs 42-27.Parker scored the go-ahead basket with 17 seconds left and Zolman added two free throws with 7.3 seconds to play. Georgia took two timeouts and still couldn't get off an attempt at a game-tying 3-pointer."In the two timeouts we talked about who was going to get the ball, and do you think the right person got the ball?" asked a dejected Georgia coach Andy Landers, referring to the Lady Bulldogs' last possession."The game awareness just blows me away. Somehow or another it's got to be my responsibility and I'm not sure how to address it."In its first game since losing starting point guard Alexis Hornbuckle for the season with a broken right wrist, Tennessee struggled with 21 turnovers. Hornbuckle had surgery Wednesday and was not with the team.Zolman, best known for her 3-point shooting, assumed most of the responsibility of directing the offense, but Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said her team won with defense.The Lady Vols used a 3-2 zone for the first time this year, according to Summitt, in hopes of containing Humphrey, the team's leading scorer and only inside threat.Humphrey, averaging 20.6 points, was held to 10 points on 2-for-12 shooting from the field."We really wanted them to try to make a lot of outside shots," Summitt said. "I thought we did a nice job of limited Humphrey's touches. ... We thought we had to guard her with a guard and a half."Cori Chambers was 3-for-12 from the field as Georgia was held to 33.3 percent shooting -- 10-for-30 in each half.Tennessee, taking higher percentage shots closer to the basket, shot 46.8 percent from the field.Georgia led 45-31 with 12:08 left, but Parker's basket with 2:52 to play cut it to 55-52. Fluker's inside basket made it 55-54 with 1:54 remaining.The Lady Vols improved to 2-1 in their three games in seven days against ranked Southeastern Conference teams. Tennessee (23-3, 9-2) lost to then-No. 3 Louisiana State on Feb. 9 and beat No. 22 Vanderbilt on Sunday.Georgia (17-7, 7-4) missed an opportunity to move into a second-place tie with Tennessee in the conference.Sherill Baker led Georgia with 17 points and five steals. Megan Darrah had 10.While the Lady Vols are left without a true point guard, Georgia lost four frontcourt players before the season and has been short-handed inside.Tennessee's recovery from losing Hornbuckle appeared to begin with about 10 minutes left to play."I think other players had to realize they really had to help Shanna," Summitt said.
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Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||22-47 (.468)||20-60 (.333)|
|3P Made-Attempted||4-11 (.364)||5-18 (.278)|
|FT Made-Attempted||10-14 (.714)||10-12 (.833)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||13 (0/0)||15 (0/0)|