KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Angie Bjorklund gave top-ranked
Tennessee the boost it needed.
Bjorklund, just the 11th Tennessee player to start the first
game as a freshman, scored a season-high 19 points to lead the Lady
Vols to an 83-51 victory over Old Dominion on Wednesday night.
Bjorklund also had eight rebounds, four assists and two steals for Tennessee (7-0), coming off a hard-fought 83-79 win over North Carolina (No. 4 ESPN/USA Today, No. 5 AP) on Sunday.
"Tonight she showed us what she can do and showed that she can
help us," Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt said. "Her stat line was
impressive. She had some good post feeds and she played with
Summitt was particularly happy with Bjorklund's rebounding, an
area where Tennessee has faltered of late. The team gave up a
school-record 57 boards to North Carolina and has been outrebounded
in three of its seven games.
"We took the tape from the last game and she recognized the
fact that she did not go to the boards," Summitt said. "That was
a real priority for her tonight. I think it's encouraging when you can shoot as well as we did tonight and still get 13 offensive
boards. I like that Angie was involved in that."
Candace Parker scored 14 points and Nicky Anosike added 13
points and seven rebounds as the Lady Vols (7-0) won for the 27th
time in the teams' last 28 meetings. Tennessee now leads the series
Tiffany Green scored 14 points to lead Old Dominion (6-3), which
played without leading scorer T.J. Jordan.
The Lady Vols shot nearly 50 percent from the floor while
holding the Lady Monarchs to just 32 percent. Tennessee also scored
27 points off 20 Old Dominion turnovers.
The Lady Vols jumped out to a 10-2 lead and led the whole way
while stretching their lead to 33 points in the second half. Still,
Tennessee looked out of rhythm early in the game, the residual
effect of their effort against North Carolina.
The Lady Vols were unusually careless with the ball and lacked
much of their characteristic on-court swagger. They had 15
turnovers and just six assists on 15 made baskets in the first
half. Tennessee finished the game with a season-high 23 giveaways.
Tennessee turned up its defensive tempo in the second half,
forcing Old Dominion into turnovers while making a 7-0 run to start
the period. A second 7-0 spurt put them ahead 63-35 with 10:30
remaining. The Lady Monarchs got no closer than 27 points the rest
of the way.
Old Dominion coach Wendy Larry could only wonder what might have
been if Jordan had played. The senior guard, who averages nearly 17
points a game, missed the contest with a foot injury.
"I'd like to think that there's enough fortitude on our team
that we could pick up some of the pieces, but unfortunately that's
not the case," Larry said. "When you lose a valuable piece like
Jordan without a whole lot of prep time before facing the No. 1
team in the nation, it's not an easy task. We will learn from this
experience, as we have from our other losses this year."
Old Dominion's three losses have all come against top-five
teams. The Lady Monarchs previously lost to No. 2 Connecticut and
then-No. 4 Stanford.
The Lady Monarchs have made 15 straight NCAA Tournament
appearances and 24 overall. Only Tennessee and Louisiana Tech have
more. ODU has won three national titles, the last in 1985. They
lost to the Lady Vols in the 1997 NCAA title game.
The Lady Vols, who have faced five ranked teams in their seven
wins, will take a three-game break from such competition. Tennessee
doesn't face another currently ranked opponent until taking on Stanford (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) on Dec. 22. Old Dominion will take a two-week break before
facing Delaware State Dec. 20.