7:00 PM ET, December 7, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee coach Pat Summitt had a good explanation for why Sidney Spencer's teammates kept getting her the ball."I guess they wanted an assist," Summitt said.Spencer scored 21 points, including two 3-pointers during a key second-half run, to help the Lady Vols (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) beat George Washington (No. 19 ESPN/USA Today, No. 21 AP) 85-62 on Thursday night.The Colonials (7-2) looked ready to end their winless streak against Tennessee (8-1), cutting the lead to four points three times early in the second half.After the last time, Spencer hit a 3 and Candace Parker scored to put Tennessee up 51-42. George Washington scored again, but Spencer made back-to-back 3s and another basket to start a 16-1 run that gave the Lady Vols a 67-45 lead with 8:49 remaining. The Colonials could not muster another rally."I knew that the score was close, but it was just an opportunity that I took," Spencer said.Said Summitt: "She knocked down a lot of great looks for us and helped us break open the game in the second half. The team did a really excellent job of finding her."Despite the win, Tennessee looked out of sync at times, particularly when some of the reserves replaced starters, and Parker struggled early.Parker finished with 19 points, Nicky Anosike added 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Alexis Hornbuckle scored 14.The Lady Vols had trouble guarding George Washington center Jessica Adair, who led the Colonials with a career-high 23 points. Kenan Cole had 14 and Sarah-Jo Lawrence 13 for George Washington."Our bench came in and obviously gave up a lot of points. We talked about that at halftime and elected to shorten the bench," Summitt said. "The challenge right now is to find out which players can come in and allow us to keep our intensity and our play at a certain level."The Colonials fell to 0-8 against the Lady Vols, including last year's loss in the second round of the NCAA tournament."I think we had the right idea. We just couldn't execute for 40 minutes," George Washington coach Joe McKeown said. "We just had no answer for Spencer to be honest with you. She just unloaded on us. Pretty simple."George Washington trailed the entire first half, but got within 32-28 with 3:13 left before halftime on an 8-0 run fueled by three baskets from Lawrence.Tennessee responded with Spencer's 3-pointer that barely beat the shot-clock buzzer and a pair of free throws by Anosike.Adair then scored twice in the final 1:16, before and after Parker's first basket since early in the half, to make it 39-32 at the break.The Lady Vols had their biggest lead of the first half at 29-14 after the Colonials were in a hole early, 13-4.Parker had a three-point play and a basket in the first six minutes, but went cold until a minute before halftime.Tennessee outrebounded George Washington 40-20. Both teams had 17 turnovers.The Colonials haven't beaten a Top 10 team since a win over then-No. 7 Rutgers in 1999.George Washington had won three straight since a loss to top-ranked Maryland on Nov. 19, and the Colonials were off to their third-best start in school history.
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