Sunday, February 27, 2005

No. 5 Tennessee 94, Alabama 81

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Coach Pat Summitt has been waiting for Alexis Hornbuckle to make a difference in a Tennessee game.

Hornbuckle never missed a shot, scoring 17 points as the fifth-ranked Lady Vols (23-4, 13-1 Southeastern Conference) routed Alabama 94-71 Sunday in the regular-season finale.

Tennessee finished second in the SEC standings behind undefeated LSU (14-0), who snapped the Lady Vols streak of seven straight regular-season titles.

``Hornbuckle is a player I've really been hard on because I think she can be a difference-maker,'' Summitt said. ``She was a coach difference-maker today.''

Hornbuckle went 5-for-5 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line.

``I though I played pretty well,'' Hornbuckle said. ``I needed this game. I really haven't been playing that well or shooting that well.''

Shyra Ely and Nicky Anosike scored 19 points each to lead the Lady Vols.

Shanna Zolman scored 15 of her 17 points in the first half. Her 3-pointer with 11:17 left in the first half broke a 17-17 tie and put the Lady Vols ahead to stay.

Zolman, who went 3-of-4 from behind the arc, hit two more 3-pointers in the final 3:23 before intermission. Tennessee lead by as many as 21 before taking a 52-36 lead at the break.

The Lady Vols shot 58 percent and made 30-of-35 free throws. Ely and Anosike combined for 12-of-18 shooting.

Alabama (13-14, 4-10) got more than half of its scoring from two players -- Natasha Gamble had 23 and Monique Bivins added 22. The Crimson Tide shot 9-of-30 from 3-point range.

Gamble's 3-pointer with 17:13 left cut Tennessee's lead to 56-45, and the Crimson Tide got closer only once in the second half when Navonda Moore hit two free throws to trail 75-65.

Hornbuckle came back with a 3-pointer 23 seconds later to extend the lead.

``It's been a good SEC run for the team with only one loss,'' Summitt said. ``I think this team right now is more focused on winning the SEC tournament.''

The SEC tournament begins Friday in Greenville, S.C.

It was the last regular-season home game for Crimson Tide coach Rick Moody, who announced his retirement last week effective at the end of the season.

``I need to be the one who says 'thanks,''' Moody said. ``I have been blessed.''

Lady Vols go for 28th straight victory over Tide in Moody's final regular season game

(5) Tennessee (22-4) vs. Alabama (13-13)
Game Info: 2:00 pm EST Sun Feb 27, 2005

Alabama coach Rick Moody will get one more chance to beat Tennessee.

The fifth-ranked Lady Vols still have a chance to earn at least a share of the Southeastern Conference regular season title when they visit the Crimson Tide in Moody's final game at the Coleman Coliseum on Sunday.

The Lady Vols (22-4, 12-1), who have won the last seven SEC titles, are a game behind conference leader and top-ranked LSU (26-1, 13-0). If Tennessee wins Sunday, and the Lady Tigers lose to visiting Florida, the teams would finish with identical records.

LSU owns the tiebreaker over Tennessee by virtue of its 68-58 home victory over the Lady Vols on Feb. 10, guaranteeing the Lady Tigers the No. 1 seed in next week's SEC tournament.

The Lady Vols, picked by both media and coaches to win the conference, last shared the regular season title in 2000, with Georgia.

Tennessee has won 27 in a row against Alabama since an 85-66 defeat in the first round of the SEC tournament in 1984 -- five years before Moody took over the Tide and proceeded to drop 21 in a row to the Lady Vols.

Tennessee leads the all-time series 34-2, with both Alabama wins coming at neutral sites.

The Lady Vols have on 14 of their last 15 games overall, including a 78-56 home victory over Mississippi State on Thursday.

Shyra Ely returned to the starting lineup and had 27 points and 12 rebounds for Tennessee. The senior forward came off the bench in the previous three games.

Ely, who leads the team with 14.2 points per game, has averaged 20.5 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 57 percent (33-for-58) over her last four games. She had a season-high 30 points last Sunday at Arkansas.

``I think she was trying to tell me she needed to start. What do y'all think?'' said Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, who needs six more victories to break Dean Smith's all-time NCAA record (879). ``It was important for her to understand I don't care if the ball is not going in the basket. There are so many other things Shyra brings to our team.''

Moody, who announced he will retire at the end of the season, will lead the Crimson Tide (13-13, 4-9) into the SEC tournament.

Alabama will also say goodbye to three seniors Sunday, including Monique Bivins, who is second on the team in scoring with 10.9 points per game.

Alabama has lost five straight, including a 64-53 setback at No. 20 Vanderbilt on Thursday.

Maverly Nettles, who leads 'Bama in scoring with 12.3 points per game, had 15 points and nine rebounds. Bivins had 12 points and fellow senior Natasha Gamble added 11.

Alabama has the worst defense in the SEC, allowing a league-high 66.5 points per game.

The Tide are 9-3 at home this season, but are 0-4 against ranked opponents.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

LADY VOL SIDNEY SPENCER LOST FOR SEASON :: The sophomore forward suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee

KNOXVILLE, TENN. --- Jenny Moshak, University of Tennessee Assistant Athletics Director for Sports Medicine, announced this afternoon that Lady Vol basketball sophomore Sidney Spencer had indeed suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee.

"Sidney hurt her right knee in practice yesterday. She was immediately evaluated by Lady Vol team physician Dr. Rebecca Morgan who diagnosed ligament damage. She subsequently ordered an MRI. This afternoon, team orthopaedist Dr. William T. Youmans confirmed the isolated tear," said Moshak.

Spencer, a 6'3" sophomore forward from Hoover, Ala., had played in all 25 games and started 13. She averaged 5.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg and almost 19-minutes per game for the #5-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols (21-4, 11-1 SEC).

"We'll get to work rehabbing her knee immediately," said Moshak. "Her surgery date has not been set."

Tennessee coach Pat Summitt was disappointed to hear the news about Spencer. "I hate this for Sid and our program," Summitt said. "Sidney has been a big part of our rotation this season either as a starter or coming in off the bench. She has played some of her best basketball in the last two weeks. Our team will miss her contributions," Summitt concluded.

Tennessee has two regular season games remaining - a meeting with Mississippi State at home tonight and the regular season finale at Alabama on Sunday, Feb. 27.

No. 5 Tennessee 78, Mississippi St 56

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee's Shyra Ely proved she belonged in the starting lineup on senior night.

Ely had 27 points and 12 rebounds and fifth-ranked Tennessee beat Mississippi State 78-56 on Thursday night.

Ely scored 16 points in the second half to help the Lady Vols (22-4, 12-1 Southeastern Conference) improve to 24-0 against the Lady Bulldogs.

Coach Pat Summitt put her team's leading scorer on the bench in the previous three games after she began to struggle. Ely scored a season-high 30 points on Sunday at Arkansas.

``I think she was trying to tell me she needed to start. What do y'all think?'' Summitt said. ``It was important for her to understand I don't care if the ball is not going in the basket. There are so many other things Shyra brings to our team.''

Defense and rebounding are among them, and scoring also helps.

Tennessee was leading by 11 with 17:10 left when Mississippi State (16-10, 5-8) started a 10-2 run to cut it to 43-40. Tye'sha Fluker and Ely scored inside to push the lead back to seven, and the teams traded baskets for a few minutes.

Mississippi State drew to five with 10:49 left, but the Lady Vols sealed the win with a 16-2 run over the next 6 minutes that included five points by Ely.

Fluker added 13 points, Shanna Zolman had 12 and Nicky Anosike grabbed 10 rebounds for Tennessee.

The Lady Vols shared their senior night festivities with Mississippi State's four seniors. Summitt presented each one with a flower bouquet before her seniors were introduced.

Then Lady Vols officials stopped the game after Mississippi State senior Tan White became the SEC's all-time leader in steals in the first half and retrieved the ball from the referee. She surpassed Jocelyn Penn with her 360th, and had four steals in the game to push her career total to 361.

``I'm glad she's a senior,'' Summitt said about White. ``She may be the best guard in the country.''

White, the nation's second-leading scorer, led the Lady Bulldogs with 19 points. She received a standing ovation from the partisan Tennessee crowd.

``It was just amazing,'' White said. ``To have an audience support both sides is very special.''

Ely often guarded her and was serious about trying to limit easy shots.

``I didn't want to be on SportsCenter tonight. She's such a great player,'' Ely said. ``You have to know she's going to get her buckets, but to make her work for everything was important.''

Tennessee has won 61 straight SEC games at home, although Mississippi State looked like it could end the streak before Tennessee's final run put it out of reach. The Lady Vols had the rebounding edge, 44-27, and got 23 points off putbacks.

``I don't think I've gone into a press conference versus a Tennessee team where offensive boards weren't a factor. That's the way they've won a lot of games,'' Lady Bulldogs coach Sharon Fanning said.

The Lady Vols led all but 1 minute of the first half and was ahead by as many as nine. Mississippi State cut the lead to one point three times, the last with 5:03 remaining before halftime. The Lady Vols then finished the half with a 6-0 run.

Tennessee went 17-of-23 from the foul line and Mississippi State was 8-of-9.

Summitt needs six more victories to break Dean Smith's NCAA all-time win record (879).


Network Conducts Revealing One-on-One Interviews with Tennessee's Hall of Fame Basketball Coach

NEW YORK, N.Y. - College Sports Television (, will shine a spotlight on Tennessee's Hall of Fame basketball coach Pat Summitt on Sunday, February 27, when it premieres a new episode of its innovative One2One interview series. The Pat Summit One2One special premieres Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

Summitt is the Hall of Fame coach who has guided the Tennessee Lady Volunteers to a record six NCAA National Championships and has been named NCAA Coach of the Year seven times. During her One2One interview with CSTV college basketball analyst Debbie Antonelli, discusses her relationships with archrival Geno Auriemma of Connecticut, Jody Conradt of Texas and other coaches, and her humble start in coaching when she made $250 a year. Summitt also tells Antonelli why one of her former players says that "the monster comes out of her in March."

CSTV's innovative One2One original series features intimate sit-down interviews with the biggest names in college sports. One2One has already sat down with legendary coaches Joe Paterno, Jim Calhoun and Mike Krzyzewski, former UConn basketball star Diana Taurasi and NCAA President Myles Brand. NBA Commissioner David Stern will be featured on the March 6 One2One.

One2One: Pat Summitt (Sunday, February 27, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT)

# The nation's winningest collegiate women's basketball coach, with a 873-171 record as of February 22
# Guided Tennessee to six NCAA championships and 23 Southeastern Conference tournament and regular season titles, and has coached 12 Olympians and 61 All-SEC performers
# Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000
# Named the Naismith Coach of the Century in 2000, and has been named NCAA Coach of the Year seven times

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Lady Vols look to finish perfect SEC home slate, stay unbeaten against Lady Bulldogs

Mississippi St. (16-9) vs. (5) Tennessee (21-4)
Game Info: 7:00 pm EST Thu Feb 24, 2005

Southeastern Conference teams have been having trouble winning at Tennessee for nearly a decade.

Mississippi State has had problems with the Lady Vols regardless of where they've played.

Tennessee (21-4, 11-1), hoping for at least a share of the SEC title, tries to improve to 24-0 against the Lady Bulldogs in its final home game of the regular season on Thursday.

The Lady Vols are 6-0 in SEC home games this season and 144-9 overall. Only four conference teams -- Auburn (2), Kentucky (2), Mississippi (2) and Georgia (3) -- have won in Knoxville. Georgia was the last to do it, winning 94-93 in victory on Dec. 8, 1996.

Tennessee has won all 23 meetings against Mississippi State, including a 9-0 mark at home.

Despite the lopsided series, six of the last eight meetings have been decided by single digits. In the quarterfinals of the 2004 SEC Tournament in Nashville, Tenn., last season, the teams were tied 25-25 at halftime before the Lady Vols pulled away for a 67-57 win.

``They do a good job of posting up their guards, and I know that they have every reason to feel like they can play us tough,'' Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said. ``In the last several years, they have really been in the games and have had some chances to even win some of those games. We have got to be ready for that.''

Tennessee won the last seven SEC titles, sharing the crown with Georgia in 2000.

This season, however, the Lady Vols might have to settle for second place if top-ranked LSU (12-0) wins at Arkansas on Thursday. Both Tennessee and LSU have two games remaining, but the Lady Tigers just need to win one of those games. LSU beat Tennessee 68-58 on Feb. 10, earning the tiebreaker if the teams finish with the same conference record.

Since that lone conference loss to LSU, the Lady Vols have won three in a row, including an 84-71 victory at Arkansas on Sunday. Tennessee committed a season-high 28 turnovers, but shot 55 percent (30-for-55) from the field.

Shyra Ely shot 13-for-19 and had 30 points, one shy of her career high set against Georgia on March 1, 2002. The senior also had 11 rebounds in her third straight game as a reserve.

``I am proud to see Shyra step up, to put up some big numbers and provide such a spark for us,'' Summitt said. ``Certainly, when she plays that way, it takes lot of pressure off our offense and that makes us a much better basketball team.''

Ely leads the team in scoring (13.6) and rebounding (6.6), but is averaging 18.3 points and 9.0 rebounds while shooting 56 percent (22-for-39) over her last three games.

Summitt plans to start Ely against the Lady Bulldogs in her final regular season home game.

Ely will be one of two top 30 midseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy playing in this game, joining Mississippi State's Tan White.

White, a senior guard, is second in the nation in scoring at 22.8 points a game. Only Miami's Tamara James averages more (23.2).

The Lady Bulldogs, in a three-way tie for sixth place in the league with Florida and Auburn, have won two straight, including 71-55 at Kentucky on Sunday.

White went 10-for-19 and finished with 23 points, her 36th straight contest in double figures.

Mississippi State, leading the SEC in 3-pointers made at 6.7 per game, was 5-of-10 from behind the arc Sunday.

Tennessee tops the league in 3-point field goal defense, allowing only 26.5 percent.

The Lady Bulldogs are 3-4 on the road and 1-4 against ranked opponents this season. Mississippi State hasn't defeated a Top 10 foe since Feb. 18, 2001, a 79-75 triumph over then-No. 9 Florida.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

No. 6 Tennessee 84, Arkansas 71

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Tennessee coach Pat Summitt struggled to find positives in her team's win against Arkansas on Sunday.

The No. 6 Volunteers committed 28 turnovers and never established a flow against the Razorbacks, but still left with an 84-71 victory.

``We're just pleased that we can come out with a win,'' Summitt said.

The victory moved Summitt within seven of passing Dean Smith as the winningest coach in NCAA history. Summitt improved to 873-171 in 31 seasons at Tennessee. The Volunteers have two games left in the regular season before the SEC tournament.

Shyra Ely scored 30 points to lead Tennessee (22-4, 12-1 Southeastern Conference), but she was the only Volunteer in double digits.

``Ely went off,'' Arkansas forward Sarah Pfeifer said. ``If she wouldn't have gone off it would have been a different story. She's an All-American and she showed it tonight.''

The Razorbacks trailed by 17 at the half, but were able to pull within eight at 63-55 with 7:58 to play before Tennessee pulled away again.

``There were a lot of fouls,'' Summitt said. ``I'm not being critical of the officials, but there were a lot of fouls. They probably called a foul at either end on every possession. Because of that, it was tough for us to get into a rhythm.''

Nicky Anosike added nine points for Tennessee.

Sheree Thompson and Sarah Pfeifer each scored 17 points for Arkansas (15-9, 3-10) and Danielle Allen had 12.

Tennessee led 39-22 at the half, with Arkansas shooting just 21.4 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes.

Tennessee looks to keep conference title hopes alive against Arkansas

(6) Tennessee (20-4) vs. Arkansas (15-9)
Game Info: 3:00 pm EST Sun Feb 20, 2005

Tennessee has won the regular season Southeastern Conference title each of the last seven years. That streak could be in jeopardy.
The sixth-ranked Lady Vols look to stay alive in the conference title hunt when they visit Arkansas on Sunday.

Tennessee (20-4, 10-1 SEC) is in second place in the SEC, one game behind top-ranked LSU. If the Lady Vols lose to the Lady Razorbacks, and the Lady Tigers beat Auburn on Sunday, LSU will clinch the regular season crown.

Tennessee and LSU each have two conference games remaining after Sunday. However, the Lady Tigers beat the Lady Vols 68-58 on Feb. 10, earning the tiebreaker if the teams finish with the same conference record.

Tennessee pounded South Carolina 74-44 on Thursday for its second straight win since the loss to LSU.

Shanna Zolman scored a team-high 13 points, finishing the night with 1,001 for her career. She became the 31st player in team history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.

``She's the kind of player who's worked really hard,'' coach Pat Summitt said. ``She's got a beautiful stroke. She wasn't born with that. She's probably spent more time in the gym than any kid I've coached working on her shot.''

The Lady Vols reached 20 wins for the 29th consecutive season under Summitt, who is just eight victories shy of passing Dean Smith as the winningest coach in NCAA history. Summitt is four wins behind Adolph Rupp, who ranks second on the all-time list.

Shyra Ely, who leads the team with 13 points per game, came off the bench as a power forward for the second straight game and had seven points and nine rebounds. Ely had played power forward the last three years before switching to small forward this season.

Summitt announced after Thursday's game that freshman Candace Parker, who had two knee surgeries last fall on her left knee, will redshirt this season. Parker was the first woman to win the dunk contest at the McDonald's high school All-American Game.

``Every day of my life, I'm asked umpteen times about Candace's future. ... We want a healthy Candace Parker,'' Summitt said. ``We wanted her on the floor this year, but we need for her to be ready and 100 percent.''

The Lady Razorbacks (15-9, 3-8) lost 78-43 to No. 22 Vanderbilt on Thursday for their third defeat in five games. Sarah Pfeifer scored 13 points and Danielle Allen added 11 for Arkansas, which was held to its lowest point total of the season.

The Lady Backs shot just 6-for-27 in the first half, including 0-for-9 from 3-point range, and trailed 37-14 at halftime.

Tennessee leads this all-time series 15-1 and has won the last 10 meetings. The Lady Backs' only win over the Vols was a 77-75 victory on Dec. 29, 1996 in Arkansas.

The Vols, who have outscored Arkansas by an average of 21.1 points in the series, beat the Lady Backs 72-54 on Jan. 13. Zolman scored a game-high 16 points, while Brittney Vaughn led Arkansas with 13.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Parker to sit out this season to recover from two knee operations

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee freshman Candace Parker will not play this season, and instead take a redshirt while recovering from two operations on her left knee.

The 6-foot-3 forward was the first woman to win the dunk contest at the McDonald's high school All-American Game.

Parker had surgery in August to remove loose cartilage and had another knee surgery in September. She was not cleared to practice until December, but has been hampered by swelling in the knee.

The sixth-ranked Lady Vols hoped Parker's knee would heal more quickly so she could play, but finally decided she would have to sit out this season.

``We wanted her on the floor this year, but she needs to be ready and 100 percent,'' Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said.

Parker said she was comfortable with the decision, but disappointed. She missed the first six weeks of her senior season in high school after tearing a ligament in the same knee.

``This is my second major knee injury in two years. The knee is good,'' Parker said. ``There are no doubts in my mind about making the decision. There are no regrets.''

No. 6 Tennessee 74, South Carolina 44

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee's Shanna Zolman was confused when she saw coach Pat Summitt walk out on the court and then heard her name called over the loudspeaker.

Zolman had no idea what was happening, but Summitt planned for the moment when the junior guard reached 1,000 career points.

Zolman, who began the game needing 12 points to reach the plateau, finished with 13 in the sixth-ranked Lady Vols' 74-44 victory over South Carolina on Thursday night.

In an unusual move, play was stopped in the second half after Zolman's jumper that pushed her over the milestone. The officials handed Summitt the ball Zolman shot.

``I thought she looked kind of startled when I started out on the court,'' Summitt said. ``She probably thought, 'What is Coach coming after me for?'''

``I was surprised, but there was still like 8 minutes left in the game, and I had to keep on playing,'' Zolman said.

The Lady Vols (20-4, 10-1 Southeastern Conference) trailed once, 5-4, and quickly built their lead in the first half en route to their 60th straight league win at home and 31st in a row over the Gamecocks (6-19, 0-11)

Tennessee reached 20 wins for the 29th straight season under Summitt, who is eight wins from passing Dean Smith as the winningest coach in NCAA history.

The Vols raced to an 18-8 lead, with Zolman scoring eight points during the spree.

Zolman is the 31st player in Tennessee history to reach 1,000 career points. She was 3-of-4 from beyond the arc in the game.

``She's the kind of player who's worked really hard. She's got a beautiful stroke. She wasn't born with that. She's probably spent more time in the gym than any kid I've coached working on her shot,'' Summitt said.

The Vols closed the first half with a 14-2 run, and opened the second half with a 14-4 run to push their lead to 31 with 10:47 remaining.

The Lady Vols struggled to win 68-53 in Columbia, S.C., last month January after trailing 14-4 in the first seven minutes.

``I think Tennessee came out with something to prove today,'' South Carolina coach Susan Walvius said. ``Tennessee played better this week than a few weeks ago.''

Shyra Ely, Tennessee's leading scorer, came off the bench as a power forward for the second straight game. She played power forward the last three years before switching to small forward this season. Ely finished with seven points and nine rebounds.

All 10 Tennessee players who were in the game scored at least a basket, and the Lady Vols had a season-low nine turnovers.

Lauren Simms scored 16 points, and Iva Sliskovic had 14 to led the Gamecocks, who have lost a school-record nine in a row overall and 17 straight SEC games. Stacy Booker had a career-high seven assists.

Former Lady Vols player Michelle Marciniak, now an assistant at South Carolina, missed the game because she was in Pennsylvania to be with her father, who had complications from surgery. Marciniak was the MVP of the 1996 Final Four.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Lady Vols shoot for 31st straight win over Gamecocks

South Carolina (6-18) vs. (6) Tennessee (19-4)
Game Info: 7:00 pm EST Thu Feb 17, 2005

No Southeastern Conference team has won at Tennessee in nearly a decade.

South Carolina has never won there, and has been unable to beat any SEC opponent this season.

Still, the sixth-ranked Lady Vols (19-4, 9-1) aren't taking the struggling Gamecocks (6-18, 0-10) for granted entering Thursday's matchup at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Winners of 59 straight SEC home games and 30 in a row overall against the Gamecocks, the Lady Vols face a South Carolina squad that has lost 16 consecutive conference games dating to a 77-51 win over Alabama on Feb. 12, 2004.

The Gamecocks have also dropped eight in a row overall -- one shy of setting a new school record.

``Anytime a team is on a mission for a win, you know you have to be ready to play,'' Tennessee coach Pat Summitt insisted.

Tennessee is 143-9 all-time in SEC home games, and only four teams -- Auburn (2), Kentucky (2), Mississippi (2) and Georgia (3) -- have won in Knoxville. Georgia was the last team to do it, posting a 94-93 overtime victory on Dec. 8, 1996.

After having their 42-game SEC regular-season win streak snapped in a 68-58 setback at No. 1 LSU on Feb. 10, the Lady Vols bounced back Sunday with a 72-63 home win over No. 22 Vanderbilt.

Shyra Ely had 18 points and seven rebounds, and juniors Tye'sha Fluker and Shanna Zolman added 14 apiece for Tennessee, which shot 50 percent (27-for-54) and held a 36-27 rebounding advantage over the Commodores, the SEC's top scoring and rebounding team.

``Our team needs to play with more consistency,'' said Summitt, whose team is shooting just 40 percent on the season. ``We need to see a different level of play.

``If we want to be a team that's alive and well and advancing in March, we've got a lot of room for improvement. We've got time now, but time is running out.''

Summitt, who is eight victories shy of Dean Smith (879) as the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history, has lost just once to South Carolina, a 56-52 road defeat on Jan. 23, 1980.

Her Lady Vols are 34-2 all-time against the Gamecocks, including a 68-53 road win on Jan. 27 in which the Gamecocks shot a season-high 50 percent from 3-point range (9-of-18). South Carolina is last in the SEC in 3-point shooting percentage (25.6), and averages a league-low 58.9 points per game.

``We were not ready to play at their place when we went down there for the first meeting, so hopefully we will be better,'' Summitt said.

The Gamecocks, who have lost 15 straight to ranked opponents since an 83-59 triumph over then-No. 13 Arkansas on Feb. 16, 2003, are playing their third straight game against a Top 25 team. They lost 67-51 at No. 16 Georgia on Feb. 10 before a 66-36 home defeat to top-ranked LSU on Sunday.

Sophomore Stacy Booker scored a team-high 15 points for the Gamecocks. Sophomore Lauren Simms, the lone South Carolina averaging double figures with 12 points per game, managed just four.

``This stretch to have to go to Georgia, play LSU here and then go to Tennessee is one of the toughest stretches that I think any team in any sport could play.'' said South Carolina coach Susan Walvius, who doesn't have a single senior on her roster.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Parker's season `starting to look doubtful'

KNOXVILLE -- Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt has kept the door open all season on the possibility of Candace Parker appearing in her rookie season, but it's starting to close quickly.

Parker, the top signee in the best recruiting class of Summitt's career, has been sidelined all year since undergoing arthroscopic surgery in September to repair damage in her left knee.

The 6-foot-3 freshman returned to practice in early January, but she was sidelined again after experiencing significant swelling in the knee. She had been severely limited until late last week, when she slowly began working back into drills.

``I've been playing with pain for two years, and they told me that after this surgery I'd be fine,'' said Parker, arguably the most-hyped female prep athlete ever. ``At least there's a light at the end of the tunnel.''

That train may be going until next year. During a workout Monday inside Thompson-Boling Arena, Parker was pulled off the floor after defensive drills that required quick lateral direction changes. She developed a slight limp after one particular play, but she managed to walk it off before her day was done 15 minutes later.

``That's just not a good sign,'' Summitt said. ``It's not a good sign at all.''

This came on the heels of Summitt's announcement Sunday that a decision would be made on the future of Parker's season within a week.

``We'll still give it the whole week to decide,'' the longtime coach said, ``just because we said that's what we would do. But it's starting to look doubtful.''

LSU reigns supreme; Lady Vols slip to No. 6

With the end of the regular season in sight, The Associated Press women's basketball top 25 is showing something rarely seen so far: stability.

No. 1 LSU led a top four that was unchanged Monday, nine of the top 10 teams were the same as last week, and the poll had no newcomers for the second time in three weeks.

Tennessee, however, slipped from No. 5 to No. 6.

LSU (23-1) has kept a tight grip on No. 1 since returning there Jan. 31 and was unanimous for the second consecutive week. The Lady Tigers received all 45 first-place votes from a national media panel after beating Tennessee and South Carolina to take sole possession of first place in the SEC.

Big East leader Notre Dame moved up one spot to fifth, replacing the Lady Vols. No. 7 Baylor, No. 8 North Carolina and No. 9 Michigan State all held the same positions as last week. Rutgers climbed one place to 10th after beating Connecticut, which fell from 10th to 11th.

Parker Update: Tennessee freshman Candace Parker came out of Monday's practice during half-court defensive drills.

"I think she had some irritation,'' UT coach Pat Summitt said. "We pulled her.''

Summitt said Sunday that a decision on whether Parker would play this season would come this week. She is recovering from multiple surgeries on her left knee. After Monday's development, Summitt said, "That's not a good sign.''

Ouch: Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood's teammates were a little too helpful in ushering her across the baseline to finish a sprint drill on Monday. The extra momentum resulted in the UT freshman guard accidentally banging her left knee against the basket standard.

The collision aggravated the patella tendinitis Wiley-Gatewood has been dealing with all season. She said that the initial jolt of pain shot down her leg.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Lady Vols' depth offers no guarantees

KNOXVILLE -- It wasn't all that long ago that Tennessee coach Pat Summitt was talking about how depth is the defining measure of this season's Lady Volunteer squad, especially since it so clearly has been a factor in what will soon be another 20-win season.

But on Sunday afternoon in a 72-63 victory over rival Vanderbilt, the Lady Vols -- and Summitt herself -- got another indication of how a bench of former high school all-stars can be both a blessing and a curse.

With the Commodores in early foul trouble, Tennessee's starters -- fresh from Summitt's ability to substitute liberally in the first half -- produced a 10-2 run to close out the period with a nine-point lead, 38-29.

The Lady Vols then started the second half by increasing the difference to 16 points, enough of an advantage for a team ranked No. 5 in the nation to signal the Commodores' bus driver to crank it up for the trip back to Nashville.

It didn't quite work out that way.

Each time Summitt subbed in the second half, the Commodores seemed to get stronger, despite having to play starting forward Carla Thomas and point guard Dee Davis with three fouls, and top shooter Abi Ramsey with three and then four marks against her.

As Ashley Earley seemingly scored at will under the basket, Vanderbilt rallied against the Lady Vols' rotation to cut the bus-cranking deficit down to only four points, 67-63, with 1:55 left to play.

That's when the Commodores got "fouled up" in managing what was left of the game, with Ramsey missing three crucial shots and point guard Davis fouling out trying to put the Lady Vols into a one-and-one situation. With 48 seconds still on the clock and only six points separating the two teams, Vandy was without a floor leader and its top 3-point shooter.

The Lady Vols hit 5 of 6 free throws to put the game away, but the message had been sent.

"Our team needs to be more consistent," Summitt said. "Our bench was not strong today and we're playing in spurts. My substitution. If we don't come out with a win, I'm going to be upset that I substituted in a couple of situations."

But it was more than a couple of situations.

Tennessee's predicament as the postseason approaches is similar to one a few years ago when the roster was full and there were too many choices when Summitt looked down her bench. Had injuries not removed two freshmen from playing time this season, the substitution pattern could have been even more frenetic. What at times this season has been a rotating buzz saw coming off the Tennessee bench has at other times lacked teeth, as was the case on Sunday.

With the exception of Shyra Ely, who didn't start because of poor showings in two of her last three games, UT's five players off the bench combined for seven points and four boards, and the two players who got the most time on the floor contributed the least.

So it shouldn't have been a surprise that Vandy was able to rally using mainly its starting five against 11 different Tennessee players.

That, Summitt vows, is going to change by tournament time, and it will be the players who decide how much depth this team will utilize in the SEC and NCAA tournaments.

"What I told this team is they have between now and postseason to establish their roles," said Summitt, who has often done her best coaching jobs with teams limited by injuries to seven or eight players.

"We'll evaluate them in practice and try to get them in game situations. Whether we shorten our bench or use the depth that we have will depend on them. Some players may play themselves into a role and some players may play themselves out of a role. Nothing is predetermined between now and the end of the SEC Tournament."

And -- as the Lady Vols well know -- nothing is predetermined once that tournament begins.

Decision on whether Parker will play coming soon

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Tennessee freshman Candace Parker will likely find out this week whether she is going to play basketball this season.
Parker has missed the entire season after having two surgeries on her left knee in the fall. Parker begin practicing in December, but has been hampered because of swelling in her knee.

Parker, a 6-foot-3 forward, is considered one of the most decorated female high school players ever. She was the first woman to win the slam-dunk contest that was part of the Mc-Donald's high school All-American Game activities.

Coach Pat Summitt has put off making a public announcement about whether Parker will redshirt.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

(5) Tennessee 72, (21) Vanderbilt 63

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Shyra Ely helped Tennessee overpower Vanderbilt.

Playing power forward after seeing action at small forward most of the season, Ely scored 18 points in the No. 5 Vols' 72-63 victory over No. 21 Vanderbilt on Sunday.

``I got a chance to get inside and get some easy buckets, rebound and run the floor. Those are my strengths, so it worked out today,'' Ely said.

Coach Pat Summitt thought Ely handled the change well after the Lady Vols' leading scorer was held to six points in a loss at LSU on Thursday night.

``I was pleased to see she had the maturity and focus you would want a senior to have, but she also had the drive when she was in the game,'' Summitt said. ``I thought her aggressive play was a big difference in our post game.''

The Lady Vols (19-4, 9-1 Southeastern Conference) needed all of Ely's help while Vanderbilt kept whittling away at the lead.

Tennessee was ahead by as many as 16 in the second half and by 11 with 4:44 remaining.

After Shanna Zolman's jumper with 2:24 to go, Vanderbilt's Ashley Earley scored inside and Dee Davis had a driving layup to cut it to 67-63 with 1:55 left.

Zolman's basket was Tennessee's last field goal, but Vanderbilt couldn't get any closer.

The Lady Vols went 5-of-6 from the free throw line down the stretch to pull out their eighth straight victory over the Commodores (17-6, 6-4). Tennessee was 15-of-23 at the foul line overall while Vanderbilt was 8-of-10.

``I'm proud of how my team kept coming back when down 16 on the road,'' Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb said. ``We just didn't finish the job.''

Tennessee has won 59 in a row over SEC opponents at home -- the Commodores have never beaten Tennessee in Knoxville.

Zolman and Tye'sha Fluker each added 14 points.

The Lady Vols opened the second half with a 6-0 run to extend their lead to 15. To cap the spurt, Alexis Hornbuckle dribbled behind her back, spun around Earley and sank a short jumper.

Earley, however, spent most of the game blowing past Tennessee defenders and helped Vanderbilt prevent its deficit from getting too big.

Earley led the Commodores with 24 points on 11-of-12 shooting from the floor and had 11 rebounds. Abi Ramsey added 17 points before fouling out with 19.2 seconds left.

``Our whole interior defense has to be stronger. They got their way pretty much,'' Summitt said.

The Commodores cut the lead from 11 to seven with 5:32 left after a basket by Earley and a pair of free throws by Carla Thomas.

Tennessee restored the lead to 11 over the next minute, but Thomas scored again and Ramsey hit a 3 to trim it to 57-63 with 3:40 to go.

Fluker, who was 6-of-8 from the field, gave Tennessee a reliable presence. She was playing in her second game back from missing two while she was at home in California for her grandmother's funeral.

No. 5 Lady Vols Look to Rebound Against No. 21/20 Vanderbilt


The #5/5-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols (18-4, 8-1 SEC) will try to bounce back from their first regular season SEC loss in three years taking on the #21/20 Vanderbilt Commodores (17-5, 6-3 SEC) at home this afternoon. Vandy is one of three SEC teams the Lady Vols face twice this season - UT defeated the Commodores last month (1-16-05) in Nashville, 79-65. The Lady Vols will be trying to extend their 58 consecutive SEC home game winning streak. The last SEC loss at home was to Georgia on Dec. 8, 1996, 94-93 (OT).


This is the Lady Vols' 31st season under Head Coach Pat Summitt...She has compiled a staggering 870-171 overall record...Needs just 10 wins to become the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball history...Her 2003-04 squad finished as the NCAA runner-up with a 31-4 record...UT also is the seven-time-consecutive defending SEC regular season champion, and has been picked by both the media and the coaches to finish first in this year's SEC race as well.

UT returns seven letterwinners and welcomes eight newcomers...Rookie Alex Fuller (Shelbyville, Tenn.) will redshirt this season after undergoing knee surgery in October...The loss to LSU in UT's last outing, snapped the Lady Vols 10-game winning streak dating back to the Dec. 29, 2004 loss at #24 Rutgers...Tennessee's senior trio of Shyra Ely, Brittany Jackson and Moore have fashioned a 49-2 overall record in four seasons in SEC league games...Until the loss to LSU on Thursday, their previous only loss came at the hands of Vanderbilt, 76-59, on Feb. 2, 2002, as rookies...UT will be displaying their eighth different line-up of the season starting three guards and two centers against Vanderbilt - how's that for a new look!


The Commodores Ashley Earley scored a team-high 17 points and #21/20 Vanderbilt (17-5, 6-3 SEC) had a defensive stop in the final five seconds as they held on to defeat Auburn, 66-64 on Feb. 10 in Nashville. Dee Davis and Abi Ramsey each had 12 points while Cherish Stringfield and Katie Antony combined for 19 points off the bench. VU committed a season-low eight turnovers, but shot just 40 percent from the field. Vanderbilt has now won four straight games following a three-game losing skid (Tennessee, Ole Miss and LSU) that started after the Lady Vols defeated VU on Jan. 16. Vandy has had a hot hand during its four-game winning streak. Earley has averaged 19 points and 10.8 rebounds while Carla Thomas has averaged 18.8 points and 6.0 boards. Senior Abi Ramsey has connected on 44 percent (16-36) of her three-pointers and averaged 16.5 points.

The "No Love Lost" SEC rivalry between Tennessee and Vanderbilt continues today for the 50th time with a meeting in Knoxville as an ESPN2 "Rivalry Week" audience looks on. Under the direction of coach Melanie Balcomb, the Commodores are 17-5 overall and 6-3 in the SEC this season. Senior Ashley Earley leads the charge for Vanderbilt tossing in 18.6 ppg while connecting on 63.4% of her shots


The #5-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols continue their Thursday-Sunday SEC schedule returning home to entertain #21/20 Vanderbilt on Feb. 13. ESPN2 has the telecast.


Seventeen Lady Vol regular season games are slated for television this season. Upcoming games on TV: Vandy (ESPN2). South Carolina (CSS).


Tennessee is 6-1 in their history when playing on Feb. 13. The Lady Vols are 4-0 at home, 2-0 on the road, and 0-1 on neutral courts. The last time out on the 13th, the Lady Vols defeated Florida, 97-78, at home in 2000.


Last year at this time, the Lady Vols (20-2) had just defeated Georgia on the road, 70-67.


Lady Vol coach Pat Summitt is just 10 wins away from passing Dean Smith (879) as the winningest coach in NCAA basketball. Summitt now has 870 wins.


Tennessee junior Tye'sha Fluker turned in a gutsy 20 minutes against LSU scoring six points and grabbing six rebounds. UT had missed Fluker for the previous two games versus Ole Miss and Florida ...Fluker flew home to Pasadena, Calif., on Feb. 1 to be with her grandmother, Charlotte Creamer, who was gravely ill...Creamer, Tye's maternal grandmother, passed away on Feb. 2...The funeral was Wed., Feb. 9 in California...Fluker took a red-eye to Baton Rouge following the services to rejoin her team at LSU.


Lady Vol coach Pat Summitt (870-171) has five regular season games remaining, a possible three in the SEC Tournament and who knows in the 2005 NCAA Tournament. More than likely, she should catch Adolph Rupp (876-190), second all-time in NCAA Division 1 coaches' victories, in the next couple of weeks.


The Lady Vols have struggled, struggled I tell you, to score 64 points in a game this season averaging just 68.7 ppg (for the whole game) going into the contest with Ole Miss on Feb. 6. In that contest, Tennessee erupted for 64 second half points, connected on 57.9 percent (22-38) field goals, 58.3 percent treys (7-12) and 81.3 percent free throws (13-16). All 11 dressed players got into the game.


Junior guard Shanna Zolman came off the bench in the last four games and was Tennessee's leading scorer in the overtime win at Florida, versus Ole Miss at home and against LSU. In the loss to the Lady Tigers, she was UT's only bright spot tossing in 21 points in 26 minutes. Zolman set a career high for points in the contest versus Florida with 28. She also set a career FG mark at .889. In the OT at Florida, Zolman led the Lady Vols with seven points in overtime to cap the win. Against Ole Miss, her five treys led the way in tying the school record for 13 three's in a single game. Her seven attempts also helped to set the new school record for most three's attempted. Her four free throws down the stretch versus Georgia were key to the Lady Vol win. Her numbers were phenomenal for the last FOUR SEC games - 20.3 ppg, 58% from the field, 55% of three pointers, and 89% of her free throws. For the week, Zolman - a sub who logged 100 minutes scored 81 points - to lead UT to key SEC wins over #18/20 Georgia. at Florida in OT, versus Ole Miss and in the loss to top ranked LSU.


Tennessee and Vanderbilt have a storied past. This will mark the 50th meeting between these SEC foes. UT has played Vandy 29 times since 1994. No other team has recorded as many back-to-back games with the Lady Vols in single seasons since UT played Old Dominion home-and-home and in the postseason (practically every year) in the late 1970s and early 80s. Though the Lady Vols possess a dominant 43-6 advantage in the overall series, the last several years have brought a more competitive match-up as UT has edged Vandy 9-2 in the past 11 meetings. Vanderbilt and Tennessee met in the SEC's tournament finals twice with UT winning in 1994 and VU triumphing in 1995. Overall, UT is 6-2 in postseason meetings with Vandy.


Vanderbilt becomes the first opponent to face UT 50 times in the series.


The No. 8/10-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols rallied back from a 15-point first half deficit to defeat No. 17/15 Vanderbilt, 79-65, before a crowd of 9,651 at Memorial Gym in Nashville, Tenn., on Jan. 16. With the victory, UT has now triumphed over the Commodores in each of the last seven meetings and extended its SEC regular season winning streak to 36 games. Early on, it was all Vanderbilt as the Black and Gold connected on their first nine shots from the floor to build a 14-point lead, 24-10, at the 12:37 mark. Following the second media timeout, however, the Lady Vols narrowed the margin to just eight after a pair of three-pointers by Brittany Jackson. VU responded with a 7-0 spurt to take its biggest lead of the game, 31-16. Determined not to be put away easily, Pat Summitt's squad charged back with a 13-0 run, capped by a pair of Tye'sha Fluker free throws, and trailed by just two with a little more than five minutes left in the opening half. UT would even the score with a three-pointer by Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood as the buzzer sounded, and the teams went to the locker room with the contest knotted at 37 apiece. Following the intermission, neither team was able to make a significant run as the margin was no more than four points in favor of either side through the opening 12 minutes. However, the Big Orange finally pulled ahead by utilizing a full-court press and rattled off a 13-0 run to lead 72-59 with 3:56 remaining. Vanderbilt would get no closer than nine points the rest of the way as UT sealed the 14-point victory. The Lady Vols were led by a quartet of players in double figures: Shanna Zolman (20), Alexis Hornbuckle (16) and Fluker and Jackson (14). Fluker's total equaled a career high, and she just missed out on a double-double by equaling a career high in rebounds with nine.


The Lady Vols game against #1 LSU marked the Lady Vols (5-4) ninth game versus a ranked team this season. Meanwhile Vanderbilt (0-2) will be meeting its third ranked opponent. UT defeated #15 DePaul, 78-63, #2 Stanford, 70-67, #15/14 UConn, 68-67, #17/15 Vandy, 79-65 and #18/20 Georgia, 77-70, but lost to #4 Texas, 74-59, #10/9 Duke, 59-57, #24 Rutgers, 65-51 and LSU, 68-58. Vanderbilt is 0-2 against teams ranked in the top 25 this season. The Commodores have lost to #8 Tennessee, 79-65 and #2 LSU 79-68.


South Carolina (6-17 overall; 0-9 SEC) gets its crack at knocking off #1/1 LSU this afternoon at the Colonial Center. The Gamecocks travel to Knoxville on Feb. 17 for a 7:00 p.m. CSS showdown at Thompson-Boling Arena. This season, the Lady Vols already defeated USC, 68-53, on Jan. 27, 2005. Sunday's game versus LSU is the second in a three-game stretch in the schedule it which Carolina battles some of the nation's best. The Gamecocks lost at Georgia (67-51) Thurs., Feb.10, host top-ranked LSU today, before traveling to Knoxville for a date with No. 5/5 Tennessee. The #18-ranked Georgia Lady Bulldogs claimed a 67-51 win over South Carolina on Feb. 10 at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens. Georgia put its stamp on the game with quickness, hustle and defensive intensity from the onset, getting out to a 10-2 lead after the first four minutes. USC turnovers were a big part of the Bulldogs' early surge, as the Gamecocks gave the ball away four times during the run, including a shot-clock violation on the first possession of the game. USC turned the ball over 13 times in the first half and 22 times in the game. Carolina was able to gnaw into the deficit when Bulldog center Tasha Humphrey went to the bench with early foul trouble, but four first-half three-pointers from Georgia guard Megan Darrah led the Bulldogs into the locker room at the half with a 38-26 lead. Humphrey, who is Georgia's leading scorer and rebounder, was saddled with foul trouble all game, and finished with eight points and five rebounds. The Bulldogs came out of the half strong, going on another 10-2 run to expand the lead to 48-28 and put the game out of reach. Sophomore Lauren Simms led the Gamecocks with 10 points, marking her 15th double-figure scoring game of the season while USC forward Iva Sliskovic grabbed 10 rebounds, marking a new season high for the sophomore against SEC opposition. Carolina played again without starting point guard Lea Fabbri, who missed her second game as she remains in Croatia to be with her father, who is ill in the hospital. Fabbri is out of the lineup indefinitely.


The Lady Vols have been stingy against the some of the nation's best in 2004-05. Tennessee has faced four of the top seven offenses in the nation (heading into this week), holding each opponent at least nine points below their season averages:


1) DePaul - averaging 83.1 ppg, the Tennessee defense held to 63
2) Vanderbilt averaging 81.2 ppg, the Tennessee defense held to 65
6) Duke averaging 77.5 ppg, the Tennessee defense held to 59
7) Stanford averaging 77.4 ppg, the Tennessee defense held to 67

These teams were held to a combined 65.7 points below their season averages, or 16.4 per game.


Tennessee head Coach Pat Summitt's 1,000th-career game ended the same way as most of the first 999 - with a Lady Vol victory - as second-ranked UT defeated intrastate rival Vanderbilt, 79-54, before a crowd of 12,272 on Jan. 22, 2004 at Thompson-Boling Arena. With the triumph, UT improves its record to 15-1 overall and 5-0 in league play. Additionally, the Big Orange has now won 50 consecutive conference home games and owns a 25-game regular-season SEC winning streak. The play was sloppy early as the teams combined to commit seven turnovers in the opening three minutes of play. With the score tied at two nearly four minutes into the contest, the Lady Vols found their rhythm and went on a 16-4 run to lead 18-6 following a Brittany Jackson bucket at the 11:54 mark. UT would go up by as many as 14 in the opening stanza before taking a comfortable 11-point lead to the locker room, 33-22. In the first half, UT shot 48 percent (15-31) from the floor and forced the Commodores into 15 turnovers. Following the intermission, Coach Summitt's squad recorded the first basket, but VU would not go away and cut the margin to just six, 44-38, with 12:49 remaining. The Lady Vols responded quickly, however, and scored the next 12 points over a three-minute stretch to push their advantage to 18, 56-38. UT would gradually pull away down the stretch en route to its 25-point triumph. Offensively, the Orange and White was led by junior Shyra Ely, who posted a season-high 22 points and snared a game-high eight boards. Jackson also came up big offensively, scoring 15 points on 5-of-5 shooting. A trio of Lady Vols just missed double figures, as senior Ashley Robinson, junior Loree Moore and freshman Sidney Spencer all registered eight points apiece. Defensively, Moore swiped three steals and moved into a tie for 10th place on UT's all-time career list with former Lady Vol great Tonya Edwards (223). On the night, Tennessee shot 49.2 percent from the floor (31-63) and held the opposition to 43.5 percent shooting (20-46). UT also dominated the boards, snaring 41 rebounds to Vanderbilt's 28. Vandy's 26 turnovers also mark the fourth-consecutive contest that Tennessee's opponent has committed 20 or more giveaways.


Returning Lady Vol career statistics versus Vanderbilt can be found on p. 80 in the 2004-05 Tennessee media guide. Junior Shanna Zolman has proven that she enjoys playing against Vanderbilt, as she owns an 13.2 points per game average versus the Commodores and hits on 39% of her treys against the SEC rivals. Senior Shyra Ely is the second-leading scorer (11.8 ppg) and has connected at a .597 clip against the instate rivals.


There will be some discrepancy in the game notes as to the records for UT and Vandy in the all-time series. The Lady Vols records show that the first game between the two teams was played on Jan. 18, 1976 in Nashville. Tennessee won the contest, 96-27. Counting that game, UT has a 43-6 lead over the Commodores in the all-time series


Four of Vandy's wins in the series have come at Memorial Gymnasium on the Nashville campus, while two of the Commodores six victories over UT have come on neutral courts in the SEC Tourney. The closest Vanderbilt has come to claiming a win in Knoxville in 19 meetings was a two-point loss on Feb. 26, 1984, 74-72, in Stokely Athletics Center on the UT campus. Other near misses include a three-point loss in 1996 and a four-pointer on 2-22-01.


Typically, going into the Tennessee versus Vanderbilt match-up, the Lady Vols have entered the contest as the higher ranked team. In fact, in the last 30 meetings dating back to Jan.30, 1993, the Commodores have been ranked higher just six times. Going into that memorable oversold game on the Nashville campus in 1993, Vanderbilt was ranked number one while the Lady Vols were a step behind at #2.


Tennessee and Vanderbilt love to attract the crowds on their campuses when the two teams meet. Here are all of the attendance averages dating back to 1986-87 season. KNOXVILLE TOTAL (AVG.) --14 games - 206,419 (14,744); NASHVILLE TOTAL (AVG)--17 games - 193,497 (11,382); NEUTRAL TOTAL (AVG)--7 games- 53,001 ( 7,571). Largest gatherings: 21,968 in Knoxville 2/22/01, 15,317 in Nashville 1/30/93 and 11,182 in Memphis 3/3/01.


UT and Vandy have met three times in a season on seven different occasions.


On newsstands this week is Street & Smith's "Greatest College Basketball Programs of All Time." The publication ranked the Top 10 women's teams and the Top 100 men's teams. Tennessee received the top honors for the best women's program of all-time followed by: 2. Louisiana Tech, 3. Connecticut, 4. ODU, 5. Stanford, 6. Texas, 7. Montana, 8. Virginia, 9. SF Austin, and 10. Texas Tech.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

No. 1 LSU Beats No. 5 Tennessee 68-58

BATON ROUGE, La. - Seimone Augustus scored 25 points and Sylvia Fowles grabbed 17 rebounds and No. 1 LSU beat No. 5 Tennessee 68-58 Thursday night in a Southeastern Conference showdown.

It was the first time LSU (22-1, 8-0) beat Tennessee (18-4, 8-1) in two years. The loss snapped a 10-game winning streak for the Vols and a 42-game SEC regular-season winning streak that dated back to a loss at Vanderbilt on Feb. 2, 2002.

The Tigers shot 52 percent, including almost 58 percent in the second half, while holding Tennessee to 31 percent from the field.

Scholanda Hoston scored 16 for the Tigers.

Shanna Zolman led Tennessee with 21 points. Nicky Anosike had 10 rebounds for the Vols. Tennessee outrebounded LSU 44-35, including 22-7 on the offensive boards.

It was the biggest crowd in LSU women's basketball history — 15,233 — and the fourth largest in the history of the Pete Maravich Center.

It's a rivalry that LSU has long yearned to even up.

The first time LSU reached an NCAA regional final in 1986, it lost to Tennessee. Both times LSU won the SEC Tournament (1991 and 2003) it had to beat Tennessee. When LSU finally reached its first Final Four in April in New Orleans, Tennessee was waiting. The Vols' 52-50 victory sent LSU home. It was one of the 32 games Tennessee had won in 40 previous meetings with LSU.

LSU opened the game with a 7-0 run and Tennessee trailed for nearly the entire first half. But LSU turned the ball over with 7 seconds left and Sade Wiley-Gatewood hit a 3-pointer to give the Vols their first lead of the game, 28-27 at the half.

Tennessee stretched its lead to four on 3-pointers by Loree Moore and Brittany Jackson early in the second half, but LSU answered with a 10-1 run to go up 44-39. Augustus' jumper with 9:32 remaining gave the Tigers a 50-43 edge.

LSU, with the top scoring defense in the SEC, held Tennessee to a pair of field goals for a 6:18 stretch. By the time Zolman's 3-pointer went in with 4:11 left, the Tigers led 59-48.

Battle for SEC on tap as Lady Vols visit Lady Tigers

(5) Tennessee (18-3) vs. (1) LSU (21-1)
Game Info: 7:00 pm EST Thu Feb 10, 2005 - ESPN2

Sole possession of first place in the Southeastern Conference will be on the line when top-ranked LSU hosts No. 5 Tennessee at the Maravich Center on Thursday.

The Lady Tigers (21-1, 8-0 SEC) are tied with the Lady Vols (18-3, 8-0 SEC) atop the league standings, and each comes into this matchup with a winning streak.

LSU has won eight straight since losing to Rutgers on Jan. 5, while Tennesee has won 10 straight wins since -- coincidentally -- a loss at Rutgers, on Dec. 29.

Although the Lady Tigers are ranked higher, the Lady Vols have won their last 39 SEC regular season games.

``It is a huge game. Anytime you are having the success that both programs are having it becomes a big game,'' LSU head coach Pokey Chatman said. ``Add on to that it is Tennessee. There is always going to be a certain buzz about it for the fans and the community.''

This will be the 40th meeting between the conference rivals, and the first since the Lady Vols beat the Lady Tigers 52-50 in last year's Final Four.

Tennessee leads the all-time series 32-7, including a 10-4 record at Baton Rouge.

All-American junior guard Seimone Augustus, the SEC's second-leading scorer with 20.2 points per game, leads a balanced LSU group. Freshman forward Sylvia Fowles averages 12.5 points and 9.0 rebounds, and senior point guard Temeka Johnson adds 9.7 points and 7.0 assists.

``They appear to be a very mature basketball team with the seniors taking charge and the freshmen blending in very well,'' Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said. ``I do not see any glaring weaknesses. They have depth and rebound the ball well, and they have a number of go-to players.

``You always think of (Temeka) Johnson and (Seimone) Augustus, but I think they are much deeper than those two.''

The Lady Vols will counter with senior forward Shyra Ely, who averages 13.3 points and 6.6 rebounds, and junior guard Shanna Zolman, who adds 11.3 points.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Tennessee freshmen adjust to Summitt's ways

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Even Tennessee greats like Tamika Catchings and Chamique Holdsclaw felt the sting of coach Pat Summitt's harsh criticism during practice.

The members of this year's heralded freshman class haven't been spared either, but they've learned to handle Summitt's angry glare.

``It's kind of like, yeah, she's yelling at you, but that's her job. Her job is to get the best out of you,'' freshman Nicky Anosike said. ``She wouldn't be where she is right now if she didn't do that.''

After all, Summitt is 10 victories away from surpassing Dean Smith as the all-time winningest coach in college basketball.

Summitt signed six freshmen in a recruiting class considered one of the best ever in women's college basketball. But the fanfare ended when the women arrived in Knoxville. There has been no coddling of superstar egos. The Lady Vols don't even wear their names on their game jerseys anymore.

Summitt said her approach with the freshmen has been persistence and patience.

``Now I don't look at them as freshmen anymore. I just look at them as players,'' Summitt said.

``I think they've all handled it very well -- the demands of practice and whatever's been thrown their way -- good or bad. They've been a good group.''

Only two freshmen -- Anosike (pronounced AN'-oh-sic-ee) and guard Alexis Hornbuckle -- have played in every game and broken into the starting lineup.

Anosike is expected to start for the No. 5 Lady Vols (18-3) in their big game Thursday at top-ranked LSU. Finding time for all of them to play has been hard because Tennessee has seven upperclassmen.

Guard Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood has played in only 11 games mainly because of tendinitis in her right knee. Center Sybil Dosty plays behind junior Tye'sha Fluker and Anosike. Forwards Alex Fuller and Candace Parker haven't played at all after both had offseason knee surgery.

The hardest part about practice for Hornbuckle is staying focused for three hours.

``When you take a possession off, oh, she'll let you know about it quickly,'' Hornbuckle said. ``It's happened to me. I get it a lot, but you snap back and say, 'You're right, coach.'''

Assistant coach Nikki Caldwell, who played for Tennessee from 1990-94, doesn't think Summitt has changed her approach over the years. Caldwell said she was called out in practice, too.

``The thing we tell the kids is Pat is an intense-type person, and she wants nothing but the best for them,'' Caldwell said. ``They need to be patient with it and see that, yeah, I am becoming a better player because of it.''

Monday, February 07, 2005

Wiley-Gatewood back in Lady Vols’ good graces

KNOXVILLE — Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood is as quiet as they come.

Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood never stops talking.

It seems like going from one extreme to the other has been the early theme of the freshman point guard's career at Tennessee. Silent on the floor and a chatterbox when she is in her dorm room with teammate Alexis Hornbuckle, Wiley-Gatewood is still learning what it's like to be a collegiate student-athlete.

Over the past two months she has gone from a player who was suspended from the team twice to playing as many minutes as any point guard on the roster.

''When I first got here, I was so uncomfortable with what to do and how to react to the homework and all the studying,'' Wiley-Gatewood said.

It hasn't just been the schoolwork, either. Wiley-Gatewood, from Pomona, Calif., had to make the switch from the casual, relaxed atmosphere of Southern California to the regimented world of Lady Vol Coach Pat Summitt.

''Every one of our players goes through an adjustment period,'' Summitt said. ''But some are more challenged than others.''

Wiley-Gatewood would definitely admit that was the case for her, but Summitt couldn't be happier with the player that she sees developing. The freshman has quickness, a nice outside shot and probably the best court vision of any of the Lady Vols' three point guards.

While she is still usually the third one to come in — after Hornbuckle and senior Loree Moore — her minutes have seen a dramatic upturn in the past two weeks. In the 91-82 overtime win over Florida on Thursday she played 27 minutes, just as many as Moore and six more than Hornbuckle.

''You have got to play at a different level on the defensive end,'' Summitt told her during the overtime period. ''She goes, 'I got you Coach.' And she did. She goes out and denies their point guard, not because she was instructed to do so, but … it was the best defense we had late.''

So what clicked for the freshman?

Wiley-Gatewood left town and went home in early December without telling the coaching staff. That was just a day after she had been cleared by the doctors to play in her first game, after she missed the start of the season with tendinitis.

Summitt held her out of the next two games, and she made her collegiate debut on Dec. 19 against TCU. She scored nine points, dished out four assists and made four steals. On Jan. 13, Wiley-Gatewood was suspended again — this time for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

''I think reality hit,'' Hornbuckle said. ''I'm not going to be babied. This is serious. This is my life. I think it really hit her that this is my life and my future, and I've got to choose how to handle it. I'd say she's chosen to handle it the right way now.''

Part of that influence may have come from Hornbuckle.

The freshmen point guards had known each other through AAU for many years, and it was Hornbuckle that would wake Wiley-Gatewood up early in the year to send her off to class.

''I think she's starting to mature and grow up, day-by-day, slowly but surely,'' Hornbuckle said. ''It's starting to show.''

But they are both still very much teenagers.

''We joke,'' Hornbuckle said. ''We fight like sisters. Before every game, we wrestle.''


''Out of five…I'd win three, she'd win two,'' Wiley-Gatewood said, laughing.

And usually Hornbuckle can't get her to be quiet when she's trying to go to sleep.

''She says the most off-the-wall things, and you're just like, 'Where did that come from?' '' Hornbuckle said. ''All the time, I'm laughing, I'm smiling. The girl is just like a bolt of energy 24/7.''

She never stops talking. She's as quiet as they come.

Fluker not back: Junior center Tye'sha Fluker is still in Pasadena, Calif., after her grandmother passed away this week.

Fluker missed last Thursday's game against Florida, and she will also miss today's game against Ole Miss. Summitt said the services would likely be Tuesday or Wednesday, and Fluker's status for Thursday's game at No. 1 LSU is still unknown.

Parker practices: Freshman Candace Parker went through a light, shooting-oriented practice yesterday.

Trainer Jenny Moshak told Summitt that the swelling had gone down in Parker's knee, and they could test her out in practice yesterday.

If there is no swelling on Monday, they will talk about letting her participate in part of a full-court, up-and-down practice. Summitt wants Parker to get two full weeks of practice before playing her in a game.

Parker, the only two-time USA Today high school player of the year, had reconstructive knee surgery in the preseason. Even though the postseason is rapidly approaching, Summitt said she would still consider pulling Parker's redshirt if she is healthy.

''With a player like this? Absolutely,'' Summitt said.

No. 5 Tennessee 99, Mississippi 67

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The first thing Tennessee coach Pat Summitt wrote on the board at halftime was 16 turnovers.

In the second half, the fifth-ranked Lady Vols used tougher defense and an explosive offense to turn a close game into a 99-67 victory over Mississippi on Sunday. The Lady Vols finished with a school-record tying 13 3-pointers and set a record with 27 attempts.

Shanna Zolman scored 21 points, Shyra Ely had 19, Brittany Jackson added 16 and Nicky Anosike and Dominique Redding had 11 apiece for Tennessee (18-3, 8-0 Southeastern Conference), which has won 10 straight since a loss at Rutgers in December.

``We weren't real happy at halftime. I don't think they realized the turnovers,'' Summitt said. ``They came out (in the second half) and really turned the heat up defensively, pushed tempo. Our defense gave us more opportunities to run the basketball.''

Tennessee shot 58 percent (22-of-38) after halftime compared to 38 percent (13-of-34) in the first half, and had only three turnovers.

``They came out of the locker room and played like I've seen them play a few times too many in my career,'' Ole Miss coach Carol Ross said. ``They take a lot of pride in their home court and they really involve the fans. That's not the environment you really want to be in when you're visiting here.''

The Lady Vols have won 42 straight regular-season SEC games and 57 against the league at home.

Tennessee led the entire way, but the Lady Rebels (15-7, 5-4) threatened briefly to make it a game after halftime. They cut it to five by scoring the first points of the second half. It was the closest they would get as the Lady Vols responded with a 9-0 run.

Tennessee kept pouring on the points and were leading by 25 with 8:50 left after Ely converted a three-point play.

Zolman drained five 3s and Jackson sank four. Ely had two from long range after making only three over the previous 20 games.

Jackson tried to hit another 3 in the final seconds after being told that one more would break the record.

``I couldn't get it,'' Jackson said.

Ely rebounded from a bad outing in the Lady Vols' last game, a win at Florida, where she scored only two points.

Summitt inched closer to passing Dean Smith as the all-time winningest coach in college basketball. The retired North Carolina legend holds the record at 879, and Summitt now needs 10 victories to pass him. The Lady Vols have six regular-season games remaining.

Ole Miss has lost 12 in a row to Tennessee.

The Lady Rebels were led by Armintie Price with 19 points and 11 by Carletta Brown. Price had a career-high 32 points in last season's meeting when Tennessee trailed by as many as 12.

The Lady Vols took over early and extended the lead to as many as 16 points in a first half marred by turnovers. The teams combined for 33 turnovers, 17 for Ole Miss and 16 for the Lady Vols. They had six steals apiece.

They combined for only 10 turnovers after halftime.

Tennessee center Tye'sha Fluker, whose grandmother died this week in California, missed her second game.

Lady Vols freshman Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood dressed out but did not play because of swelling in her right knee. She missed the first six games because of tendinitis in that knee.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Zolman, Tennessee look to keep SEC streak alive against Mississippi

Mississippi (15-6) vs. (5) Tennessee (17-3)
Game Info: 3:00 pm EST Sun Feb 6, 2005

With Shyra Ely struggling through an off night Thursday, Shanna Zolman stepped up to boost Tennessee.
Zolman looks to turn in another strong performance as the fifth-ranked Lady Vols host Southeastern Conference rival Mississippi on Sunday.

Zolman scored a career-high 28 points off the bench in Thursday's 91-82 overtime win over Florida. The Lady Vols (17-3, 7-0) have won 41 consecutive regular season SEC games.

``I felt like I was shooting in the ocean,'' Zolman said. ``Whenever I have that feeling, I know when I get open looks, it's going to go in.''

Zolman injured her knee in the closing minutes of Monday's win over No. 18 Georgia, but the results of a subsequent MRI were negative. She played 34 minutes Thursday, going 8-of-9 from the field and 9-of-10 from the line, including free throws with 21.4 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime.

``No one panicked, and Shanna made a big play,'' said coach Pat Summitt, who is 11 wins shy of becoming the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history. ``As she got ready to shoot those two free throws, I said I would bet my house that both of them were going to go in. I didn't have any takers.''

Ely, who averages a team-best 13.1 points per game, managed only two points, no rebounds and four turnovers in 23 minutes.

Loree Moore, who was knocked unconscious during the Georgia game after being hit in the nose, returned for Thursday's game. She had four points, five rebounds and five assists in 27 minutes and played with a splint on her nose.

However, Tye'sha Fluker did not play because of an illness in the family and will not be back Sunday.

Sidney Spencer made her first start in eight games and had 11 points and seven rebounds for Tennessee. Nicky Anosike added 12 points and 11 rebounds for her first career double-double.

The Lady Rebels (15-6, 5-3) were pounded 82-58 by top-ranked LSU on Thursday, snapping a four-game winning streak. LSU and Tennessee are the only teams without a loss in SEC play this season.

Carletta Brown had 17 points and Arminitie Price added 15 for Ole Miss. The Rebels had been off to their best start in nine years, matching their 15-5 record from 1995-96.

Amber Watts, who scored 21 points in last Sunday's win at Arkansas, was in foul trouble and managed just one point.

``We just struggled out of the gate to be aggressive,'' coach Carol Ross said. ``We have to take the game to people. We can't sit back. ... It takes a lot of energy to get that turned. They popped us in the mouth, and it got away again.''

Ole Miss leads the SEC with 44.1 rebounds per game and 132 offensive boards. However, Tennessee is outrebounding conference opponents by a league-best 9.9 per game.

Tennessee leads the all-time series 27-7 and has won the last 11 meetings. Ole Miss has not won in Knoxville since Jan. 31, 1987.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

No. 5 Tennessee 91, Florida 82, OT

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Shanna Zolman scored a career-high 28 points and Tennessee made 40 of 46 free throws to hold off Florida 91-82 in overtime Thursday night.

The fifth-ranked Lady Vols (17-3, 7-0 Southeastern Conference) extended their SEC regular-season winning streak to 41 games, but they needed every clutch basket from Zolman. She went 8-of-9 from the field and 9-of-10 from the foul line, including two free throws with 21.4 seconds left in regulation to tie it at 69.

Florida (12-9, 3-5), which had lost 11 straight to Tennessee by an average of 23.5 points, came within one shot of beating the Volunteers for only the second time in 35 meetings. Bernice Mosby scored a season-high 28 points for the Gators, but her leaner at the end of regulation bounced off the back of the rim.

Tennessee led all the way in overtime. Sidney Spencer converted a three-point play, including her only field goal of the game, to make the score 72-69, and Zolman followed with a 3-pointer to put the Lady Vols ahead 75-71.

Tennessee then sealed the win by making 12 of 14 free throws, matching its largest lead of the night with the final margin.

The Lady Vols and Gators combined for 80 free throws. Three players on each team fouled out.

Nicky Anosike added 12 points and Spencer had 11 for Tennessee, which won even though leading scorer Shyra Ely had only two points, zero rebounds and four turnovers.

Danielle Santos gave Florida a 69-67 lead on two free throws with 33.9 seconds left in regulation. Tamia Williams scored 14 for the Gators.

The first half was virtually even in every category, an indication of things to come. Both teams made 10 field goals and 11 free throws, with Tennessee hitting two more 3s to lead 34-32 at the break.

Moore set to return as Lady Vols face Gators

(5) Tennessee (16-3) vs. Florida (12-8)
Game Info: 7:00 pm EST Thu Feb 3, 2005

Tennessee point guard Loree Moore seemed to spark her team when she left with an injury Monday. Now she hopes to give them a lift while she's on the court.

After a scary fall, Moore is expected to play as the fifth-ranked Lady Vols (16-3, 6-0 SEC) go for their 34th win in 35 all-time meetings with Florida on Thursday.

Moore was hit in the face while going for a rebound in Tennessee's 77-70 win over No. 18 Georgia on Monday. She fell to the floor and was briefly unconscious before being taken off in a wheelchair.

Moore was scheduled to have corrective surgery Wednesday on her nose, which was broken, but is expected to be in the lineup against the Gators wearing a split.

Georgia had pulled to within five points of Tennessee, but Alexis Hornbuckle scored just before Moore went down to snap a 6-0 Bulldogs run. The Vols extended the lead after their teammate was wheeled off.

``I think her going out was a great motivation for them because they knew that Loree was in a lot of pain. They wanted to go take care of business,'' said coach Pat Summitt, who is 12 victories shy of becoming the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history. ``Our team drew from that a lot of energy, a lot of motivation.''

Shyra Ely played all but three minutes for Tennessee and had 17 points and 12 rebounds. The Vols have won 40 straight regular season conference games.

``She can run a marathon during a game. She never misses a beat. She's always in motion,'' Summitt said of Ely.

Tennessee has won eight in a row overall, including victories over No. 11 Connecticut and then-No. 17 Vanderbilt.

Tennessee junior guard Shanna Zolman underwent an MRI after injuring her right knee late in Monday's game, but the results were negative. She's expected to be available Thursday.

Florida (12-8, 3-4) lost its third straight Sunday, 84-73 to Vanderbilt. Bernice Mosby scored 15 points and Tishona Gregory added 14 for Florida, which shot 48.4 percent from the floor.

The Gators led by eight with 13:30 remaining, but the Commodores went on a 21-4 run en route to the win.

``When we had the lead, we got away from what got us there,'' coach Carolyn Peck said. ``You look at how well we shot the ball and the fact that we outrebounded them, and you'd think you'd come out with a win. But you can't allow a team to hit 13 3-pointers.''

Freshman Depree Bowden sat out because of the flu, but Danielle Santos played for the first time since suffering a stress fracture in her right foot on Dec. 19. She scored one point and grabbed two rebounds in 12 minutes.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Moore to have surgery on broken nose

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee point guard Loree Moore will have surgery on her broken nose and is expected to play Thursday at Florida.

Moore was hurt Monday, during the No. 5 Lady Vols' 77-70 win over Georgia. She was hit in the face by the Bulldogs' Sherrill Baker while going after a rebound.

Moore, a senior, walked off the court, dropped to the floor and was briefly unconscious. She was taken off the court in a wheelchair.

Moore was scheduled to have corrective surgery Wednesday. She will have to wear a splint on her nose to play.

Moore missed six games earlier this season after having her tonsils removed and has been in and out of the starting lineup since.

No. 5 Tennessee 77, No. 18 Georgia 70

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Lady Vols huddled during a timeout while senior Loree Moore briefly lost consciousness after she was whacked in the nose.

Fifth-ranked Tennessee was ahead by seven points with four minutes left, but No. 18 Georgia was threatening an upset when Moore was finally taken off the court in a wheelchair.

The loss of Moore was all the Lady Vols needed to muster enough offense and defense down the stretch to pull out a 77-70 victory Monday night.

``It's like taking out a family member, and when you do that we're coming after you and that's exactly what we did,'' Alexis Hornbuckle said.

Team officials suspected Moore's nose was broken and that she would be evaluated further on Tuesday. She walked out of bounds on the baseline after she was hit and fell to the floor. Tennessee coach Pat Summitt went over to her while play was stopped, and Georgia coach Andy Landers spoke to Moore before she was wheeled off.

As soon as the whistle blew for play to resume, the Lady Vols (16-3, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) continued a rally started by Hornbuckle's score before Moore went down. Shanna Zolman and Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood hit 3-pointers around a basket by Georgia's Tasha Humphrey and put the Lady Vols ahead 71-60 with three minutes remaining.

``I think her going out was a great motivation for them because they knew that Loree was in a lot of pain. They wanted to go take care of business,'' Summitt said. ``Our team drew from that a lot of energy, a lot of motivation.''

The Lady Vols were led by Shyra Ely with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Tye'sha Fluker added 13 points and Zolman had 11.

Tennessee had difficulty containing freshman Humphrey, who finished with 25 points for the Lady Bulldogs (16-6, 5-3) despite being in foul trouble for most of the game.

The Lady Vols also overcame the loss of starting post players Nicky Anosike and Fluker, both of whom fouled out with nearly six minutes left. One of their replacements, Sidney Spencer, fouled out in the final seconds.

Tennessee extended its home winning streak over SEC opponents to 57 games. Georgia was the last league team to win in Knoxville -- on Dec. 8, 1996.

Tennessee's overall SEC regular-season winning streak went to 40 games, but both streaks looked in doubt for most of the game.

Cori Chambers and Janese Hardrick added 12 points apiece for the Lady Bulldogs. Hardrick was 10-of-10 from the foul line.

Georgia was ahead 42-41 with 14:37 left, but Tennessee responded with an 18-5 run over the next 6 1/2 minutes. Moore had two baskets and Wiley-Gatewood scored twice off spinning moves. Ely's putback capped it and put Tennessee ahead 59-47.

During the spurt, the Lady Vols resorted to a smaller lineup with Ely and Spencer in charge of the post. Despite rotating players, Tennessee shot 61 percent (16-of-26) in the second half after shooting 31 percent (10-of-32) before halftime.

Georgia followed with a 6-0 run that cut it to 58-63 before Moore was hurt.

``It was a very hard-fought, aggressive basketball game with a lot of fouls,'' Landers said. ``The bottom line was that Tennessee was more aggressive defending the passing lanes and hitting the offensive boards. That is what determined the outcome.''

Georgia led nearly the entire first half despite having 15 turnovers, 10 of which were steals by Tennessee. The Lady Vols had only three steals in the second half.

Both teams were whistled for a total of 50 fouls.

Yahoo! News - No. 5 Tennessee Holds Off No. 18 Georgia

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Shyra Ely had 17 points and 12 rebounds, and fifth-ranked Tennessee withstood a late upset bid by No. 18 Georgia to win 77-70 Monday night.

The Lady Vols (16-3, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) were ahead by 11 points with 6:37 remaining when Georgia went on a 6-0 run over the next two minutes.

But Alexis Hornbuckle scored, and Shanna Zolman and Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood hit 3-pointers around a basket by Georgia's Tasha Humphrey to make it 71-60 with three minutes to go.

The Lady Vols had difficulty containing freshman Humphrey, who finished with 25 points for The Lady Bulldogs (16-6, 5-3) despite being in foul trouble for most of the game.

Tennessee overcame the loss of starting post players Nicky Anosike and Tye'sha Fluker, both of whom fouled out with nearly six minutes left. Then point guard Loree Moore went down after she was hit in the nose and was taken off the court in a wheelchair with four minutes remaining.

Fluker added 13 points and Zolman 11 for Tennessee, which extended its home winning streak over SEC opponents to 57 games. Georgia was the last league team to win in Knoxville — on Dec. 8, 1996.

Tennessee's overall SEC regular-season winning streak went to 40 games, but both streaks looked in doubt for most of the game.

Cori Chambers and Janese Hardrick added 12 points apiece for the Lady Bulldogs. Hardrick was 10-of-10 from the foul line.

Georgia was ahead 42-41 with 14:37 left, but Tennessee responded with an 18-5 run over the next 6 1/2 minutes. Moore had two baskets and Wiley-Gatewood scored twice off spinning moves. Ely's putback capped it and put Tennessee ahead 59-47.

During the spurt, the Lady Vols resorted to a smaller lineup with Ely and Sidney Spencer in charge of the post.

Georgia followed with its final run, but the Lady Vols looked inspired after watching Moore get hurt. After she was hit, Moore walked out of bounds and fell down.

Play was stopped for several minutes, and coach Pat Summitt went over to her. Georgia coach Andy Landers spoke to Moore before she was wheeled away.

Georgia led nearly the entire first half despite having 15 turnovers, 10 of which were steals by Tennessee. The Lady Vols had only three steals in the second half.