KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee coach Pat Summitt had a good
explanation for why Sidney Spencer's teammates kept getting her the
"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 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
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.