Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Top-ranked Tennessee meets George Washington in home opener

After a successful two-game road trip to start the season, top-ranked Tennessee opens its home schedule Tuesday against George Washington.

Tennessee (2-0) opened its season in the Jimmy V Classic with a 68-34 rout of Chattanooga Friday and a 64-54 victory at North Carolina State on Sunday. Shyra Ely scored 15 points and Brittany Jackson made four foul shots down the stretch as the Lady Vols stifled the Wolfpack down the stretch.

``That's the one thing in the last week she's done in practice, and she can be very effective,'' Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said. ``She likes to spot up for the 3, and she can do that, too.''

Ely has led Tennessee in scoring in each of the first two games and has made 14-of-21 shots this season. Ely led the Lady Vols in scoring 15 times last season.

Summitt has also been pleased with the play of freshmen Alexis Hornbuckle and Nicky Anosike. Hornbuckle scored 11 points in 22 minutes and Anosike added six in Sunday's win.

``Our two freshmen off the bench brought a great deal of intensity,'' Summitt said. ``We got some looks inside, but sometimes we just couldn't finish.''

The Lady Vols are 27-3 in home openers under Summitt and have won four straight. Tennessee's last loss to open at Thompson-Boling Arena was a 69-64 defeat to Louisiana Tech on November 14, 1999.

After this matchup, Tennessee faces a pair of major tests in two of its next three games with a trip to No. 2 Texas on Thursday and a visit by sixth-ranked Duke the following week.

George Washington (2-0) has opened its season with wins over Georgetown and East Carolina. Anna Montanana, a first team preseason All-Atlantic 10 Conference selection, has averaged 11.5 points to lead the Colonials.

Last season, Tennessee posted a 65-51 victory at George Washington to improve to 4-0 in the series. Jackson scored 16 points to lead the Lady Vols while Montanana was limited to 14 points on 5-of-14 shooting for the Colonials.

``It's been a great series. It'd be even better if we could beat them,'' George Washington coach Joe McKeown said. ``I thought we had a good chance last year. We just couldn't get it done in the last few minutes. I think our kids will be excited, and the good thing is that we've played them before.''

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