1:30 PM ET, December 17, 2006
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- For 20 minutes, No. 5 Tennessee seemed to be in another rough-and-tumble battle with Texas (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today; No. 23 AP).The Lady Vols were missing easy shots, committing turnovers and hanging on to a nine-point lead. Then everything turned around with two quick baskets from Candace Parker and a flurry of 3-pointers by Sidney Spencer and Shannon Bobbit, and the rout was on.Spencer scored 15 points, Parker shook off a dismal first half of shooting to finish with 12 and the Lady Vols pulled away in the second half for a 67-46 victory Sunday."We play the toughest schedule in the country," Parker said. "We know how to bounce back."In a matchup of college basketball's two winningest coaches, Tennessee's Pat Summitt got career win No. 922 and her second in a row over Texas' Jody Conradt, who has 889.Tennessee (9-1) had lost four in a row in this rivalry between the traditional women's powers before winning the last two by an average of 31 points.Tennessee led 27-18 at halftime before the burst by Parker and the Lady Vols pushed the lead to 51-31 with about 10 minutes left.Texas (7-3), which came in off a 28-point loss at Duke a week earlier, missed a chance to take advantage of the Lady Vols' 11-of-35 shooting in the first half that included a 1-of-8 effort by Parker, Tennessee's leading scorer.Parker made up for it on the defensive end, helping the Lady Vols shut down Texas' Tiffany Jackson with constant double- and triple-teams in the middle and halfcourt traps on Longhorns guards."Our perimeter defense helped with the pressure we put on the basketball," Summitt said. "If you can't see it, you're not going to be able to make a play."Jackson finished with eight points on 2-of-13 shooting. Texas' 18 points tied for the third-lowest mark in a first half in school history."They get in your grill and don't let you breathe," Conradt said. "There's not a lot of teams good enough to totally take her out of the game. The only thing that can happen is for other players to step up. We're not mature enough yet."Freshman guard Brittainey Raven scored 15 points to lead Texas in her third start. The Longhorns committed 20 turnovers, six by guard Erika Arriaran, that led to 19 Tennessee points.Parker, who was beating defenders but missing shots in the first half, scored on her first two touches in the second, putting Tennessee up 31-20 before she picked up her third foul and had to back off.Tennessee's other shooters then starting hitting as well. Alexis Hornbuckle matched a Texas 3-pointer, and a long pass to Parker for a nifty reverse layup pushed the Lady Vols' lead back to 36-24.Spencer hit a 3-pointer and a long jumper and Bobbit hit two in a row to put the Lady Vols up by 20.The Lady Vols got rolling to the point where it seemed they couldn't miss down the stretch. A pass intended for Parker floated high and swished in as the Lady Vols shot 57 percent in the second half, including 5-of-8 on 3-pointers."We know coming on the road that shots are not always going to fall," Spencer said. "We were missing easy shots, wide-open layups in the first half. It ended up working out."
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||27-63 (.429)||16-47 (.340)|
|3P Made-Attempted||8-15 (.533)||3-8 (.375)|
|FT Made-Attempted||5-8 (.625)||11-18 (.611)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||18 (0/0)||11 (0/0)|