Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Lady Vols Host South Carolina Thursday

The #3-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols (19-2, 6-0 SEC) are on the verge of the program's 31st consecutive season with at least 20-wins when they take on the South Carolina Gamecocks (13-9, 3-4 SEC) in a key SEC contest in Knoxville on Thursday.


This is the Lady Vols' 33rd season under Head Coach Pat Summitt...She has compiled a staggering 932-179 overall record... Is just 68 wins away from a remarkable 1,000 career victories...Collected her 900th coaching win with a 80-68 decision over #19-ranked Vanderbilt on Jan. 19, 2006... She passed Dean Smith (879 wins) for most NCAA collegiate basketball wins of all-time with a 75-54 victory over Purdue on Mar. 22, 2005 ...Her 2005-06 squad advanced to the NCAA Elite 8...Finished with a 31-5 overall record and were the SEC Tournament Champions...

This season, UT returned six letterwinners, welcomed a senior manager turned player, two junior college transfers and a pair of rookies...The 2006-07 season marked the Lady Vol debut for former senior manager #10 Elizabeth Curry, JC transfers #00 Shannon Bobbitt and #33 Alberta Auguste...True freshman, #2 Cait McMahan, a 5-4 guard from Maryville, Tenn., and #34 Nicci Moats, a 6-2 forward from Daleville, Va.


Last week, South Carolina picked up a pair of SEC victories, downing Florida, 79-51, and defeating Kentucky, 66-56. USC's Melanie Johnson played a critical role in both wins, notching double-doubles and leading the team in scoring and rebounding in each contest. Johnson has picked up her play at just the right time, as the Gamecocks have been without the services of point guard Lea Fabbri for the last four games after she sprained her ankle in their win over Alabama on Jan. 14. The senior has been upgraded to questionable for tonight's game after practicing this week for the first time since sustaining the injury. South Carolina can trace its success this season to its ability to hit the boards, as it leads the SEC and is sixth in the country with a +11.2 rebounding margin this season. It also tops the league and ranks 10th in the nation in the blocked shots category, having rejected an average of 5.82 shots per game. On offense, USC is led by senior Lauren Simms, who is scoring at a clip of 9.3 points per game. She enters today's contest with 989 career points and needs just 11 points to become the 26th player in South Carolina history to score 1,000 career points. Just behind her is 6-5 senior forward Iva Sliskovic, who is putting up 9.2 points per game of her own.


This week, the Lady Vols return to SEC schedule normalcy facing South Carolina at home on Thursday and entertaining #14-ranked Georgia in an ESPN2 "Rivalry Week" match-up on Monday.


A record 21 Lady Vol regular season games are slated for national/regional television this season. Five non-televised games will be available as streaming video with voice-over from Mickey Dearstone on UT is 12-2 on TV this season.


UT is 7-0 in games played on Feb. 1. The Lady Vols are 6-0 at home, 1-0 on the road and 0-0 on neutral courts. The last time out on Feb. 1, the Lady Vols registered a 68-61 overtime victory over Auburn in Knoxville in 2004.


Last year at this time, the Lady Vols were 19-2 and had just defeated Alabama, 89-54.


Tennessee will play 15 teams in 17 games and five of the nation's top 10 teams who have been ranked at some point this season in the AP and USA TODAY ESPN polls: North Carolina, Duke, UConn, Georgia, LSU, Stanford, Arizona St., Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Arkansas, UCLA, George Washington, Texas Mississippi and Middle Tennessee. All have been ranked or are currently ranked.


In all games, this is how Tennessee has shot from the field: 50%FG: Chattanooga (.579), MTSU (.565), Arizona St. (.548), UCLA (.531), ODU/UT-Martin (.509), Stanford (.500); 40%FG: Louisiana Tech (.483), GWU (.482), Alabama1 (.464), Vandy1 (.458), Alabama2 (.453), Florida (.442), West Virginia (.431), Texas (.429); 30%FG: Georgia1 (.396), Miss. St. (.395), Notre Dame (.381), UConn (.371), North Carolina (.362), Duke (.361)


In all games, this is how the opposition has shot from the field: 50%FG: none, 40%FG: Duke (.491), GWU (.472), Arizona St. (.469), Stanford (.456), MTSU (.453), UCLA (.451), North Carolina (.444), Vandy1 (.438), UConn (.433), Chattanooga (.431), Miss. State (.409), Notre Dame (.407), 30%FG: ODU (.396), Alabama2 (.378), Alabama1 (.369), West Virginia (.352), Florida (.345), Georgia1 (.319), Texas (.308); 20%FG: Louisiana Tech (.295), UT-Martin (.204)


Wins: +56 (1), +36 (1), +30 (1), +29 (2), +24 (2), +23 (2), +22 (1), +21 (2), +17 (1), + 16 (1), +15 (1), +11 (1), + 10 (1), +9 (1), +6 (1).
Losses: -13 (1), -4 (1)


On Monday, Georgia travels to Tennessee for a "Rivalry Week" meeting on ESPN2. Tonight, however, #14-ranked Georgia (18-4, 5-2 SEC) and #7-ranked LSU (20-2, 6-1 SEC) clash in Athens, Ga. Earlier this season, LSU defeated Georgia, 57-55, in Baton Rouge, La. In their last outing, the #15/14-ranked Georgia Lady Bulldogs' Tasha Humphrey scored 19 points and Ashley Houts added 16 to help UGA beat Florida, 77-54, on Jan. 28 in Gainesville, Fla. The Lady Bulldogs ended the first half with a 9-1 run and led 36-27 at the break. The Lady Gators (6-16, 0-7) trimmed the lead to 53-49 but Georgia closed the game with a 24-5 spurt. Houts added six rebounds, four assists and five steals for Georgia, which was 9-of-20 from behind the arc to complement Humphrey's dominance. Janese Hardrick and Cori Chambers added 11 points apiece for the Bulldogs.


With a record of 13-9, 3-4 in SEC action, South Carolina comes to Rocky Top tied for seventh in the league standings. While the Gamecocks have been solid at home with a 12-3 record, they have struggled on the road this season, posting just a single win in seven attempts. Last week, USC picked up a pair of SEC victories, downing Florida, 79-51, and taking out Kentucky, 66-56.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

(4) Tennessee 80, Alabama 51

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The smallest player on the court had the biggest impact Sunday for the No. 4 Tennessee Lady Vols.

Shannon Bobbitt, a 5-foot-2 junior point guard, made six 3-pointers to lead the fourth-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols to an 80-51 victory over Alabama. She finished with 20 points.

"It was key and it was really good to see because Shannon has not been as aggressive in her play offensive and defensively," Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said. "When she plays that way it brings good energy to our team."

Three of the Bobbitt's 3-pointers came in a four-minute span in the second half that saw Tennessee (19-2, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) go on a run to turn a four-point advantage into a 53-36 lead with 13 minutes to go. Alabama never got closer than 15 points the rest of the way.

All but one of Bobbitt's 3-pointers came on shots from the corner.

"I got a lot of good open shots because they were flooding on one side of the floor and they were leaving me open on the other side," Bobbitt said. "I just try to hide because a lot of people won't see me. My teammates saw me and gave me some good looks."

The game was Tennessee's third in the last seven days, coming on the heels of a close home loss to No. 1 Duke last Monday and a 10-point victory at No. 15 Vanderbilt on Thursday.

Tennessee All-America forward Candace Parker was held to just nine points, breaking a streak of 33 straight games in double figures that dated back to last season.

Alabama senior guard Navonda Moore scored 22 points to help keep the Crimson Tide (10-12, 0-7 SEC) in the contest through the first half and the early part of the second half. She was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line.

After trailing 32-23 at halftime, Alabama came out strong to start the second half and cut Tennessee's lead to 36-32 on a 17-foot turnaround jump shot by freshman center Talisha Chander with 16:45 left in the game.

"It was a feeling that can't be described," Moore said. "We knew they were going to come out with a vengeance and we just dropped a match. When I looked up at that scoreboard and saw we were that close, you knew it was real."

Sophomore Alex Fuller scored 12 points for Tennessee, with senior forward Sidney Spencer adding 10 points. Chandler scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Alabama.

Tennessee will host South Carolina on Thursday, Feb. 1.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Lady Vols Travel To Alabama Sunday, 3:00 Tip-Off On CSS

KNOXVILLE, TN -- Dubbed "the most challenging week of the season" by UT coach Pat Summitt, the #4-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols (18-2, 5-0 SEC) continues a three game odyssey over six days traveling to Alabama (10-11, 0-6 SEC) in a contest in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Jan. 28, televised by CSS.

This is the Lady Vols' 33rd season under Head Coach Pat Summitt...She has compiled a staggering 931-179 overall record... Is just 69 wins away from a remarkable 1,000 career victories...Collected her 900th coaching win with a 80-68 decision over #19-ranked Vanderbilt on Jan. 19, 2006... She passed Dean Smith (879 wins) for most NCAA collegiate basketball wins of all-time with a 75-54 victory over Purdue on Mar. 22, 2005 ...Her 2005-06 squad advanced to the NCAA Elite 8...Finished with a 31-5 overall record and were the SEC Tournament Champions...

This season, UT returned six letterwinners, welcomed a senior manager turned player, two junior college transfers and a pair of rookies...The 2006-07 season marked the Lady Vol debut for former senior manager #10 Elizabeth Curry, JC transfers #00 Shannon Bobbitt and #33 Alberta Auguste...True freshman, #2 Cait McMahan, a 5-4 guard from Maryville, Tenn., and #34 Nicci Moats, a 6-2 forward from Daleville, Va.

Alabama faces its second-straight ranked team this week when the Tide plays host to #4-ranked Tennessee on Jan. 28 in Coleman Coliseum. In their last contest, the Crimson Tide (10-11, 0-6 SEC) hung tough with #8-ranked LSU for nearly 26 minutes, but the Lady Tigers were too strong down the stretch and claimed a 61-54 win in Tuscaloosa on Jan. 21. The Tide, searching for its first SEC win, came out fighting against LSU. Alabama trailed by nine at the half, but pulled within three with just over 14 minutes to play. The Lady Tiger post players put the game out of reach in the final 12 minutes of the contest as LSU pulled down 18 offensive rebounds on the afternoon and outscored the Tide in the paint, 42-14, to key the victory. LSU outscored Alabama, 27-14, in the final 14 minutes of the game. Best for Bama were Navonda Moore and Talisha Chandler. Moore poured in a game-high 19 points, 17 of those coming in the second half, while Chandler scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds. Tamara Williams posted seven boards to lead the Tide on the glass.

This week, the Lady Vols had a split SEC schedule and stepped out of conference play for one last time during the regular season. On Jan. 22, #1-ranked Duke dropped #4 UT, 74-70, in a "Big Monday" meeting on ESPN2. UT hit the road traveling to #15/14 Vanderbilt on Jan. 25 (a 67-57 win), and now heads to Alabama on Sun., Jan. 28.

A record 21 Lady Vol regular season games are slated for national/regional television this season. Five non-televised games will be available as streaming video with voice-over from Mickey Dearstone on UT is 11-2 on TV this season.


UT is 12-4 in games played on Jan. 28. The Lady Vols are 6-1 at home, 5-3 on the road and 1-0 on neutral courts. The last time out on Jan. 28, the Lady Vols registered an 87-70 victory over Old Dominion in Norfolk in 2001.


Last year at this time, the Lady Vols were 18-2 and had just lost at Kentucky, 66-63.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Lady Vols completed by Parker

Given her fame for bringing the dunk to the women's game, the temptation is to feel a little cheated when you watch the Lady Vols and Candace Parker doesn't stuff one.

It's like going to the opera and having Pavarotti hum a few bars of a Top 40 tune.

Sometimes, though, you just take substance over style.

On Thursday night, Parker sweated the small stuff when her team needed her most. No, she didn't dunk. But she helped Tennessee dunk Vanderbilt for a 12th straight time.

With the Commodores leading 48-47 deep in the second half, Parker made a succession of plays that redirected momentum and helped the Lady Vols live up to their No. 4 national pedigree.

First, she drew a double-team and whipped a pass to Shannon Bobbitt, who buried a 3-pointer.

Next, Parker knocked the ball free from Vanderbilt's Carla Thomas and then converted two free throws.

Then, after another UT stop, Parker wheeled past a defender and arched in a layup while drawing a foul. The ensuing free throw pushed the lead to 55-48.

Retreating on defense, the 6-foot-4 Parker altered the shot of Vanderbilt's Jessica Mooney. UT's Sidney Spencer was fouled and hit both ends of the one-and-one.

Ms. Clutch

Suddenly, a one-point deficit was a nine-point advantage with 1:37 remaining in what eventually concluded as a 67-57 Lady Vols victory.

"At the end of the game, I think we do a great job of coming together and running our offense well," Parker understated.

This speaks volumes about the Lady Vols in general and Parker in particular. This team checks its ego at the door. For all of her star power, Parker is just one of the girls.

Asked about the killer sequence and Parker's role in it, UT guard Alexis Hornbuckle shrugged and said:

"I told her big-time players make big plays."

Certainly, Pat Summitt has coached more than her share of big-time players at UT. But for all of Parker's talent, it is her court awareness and sense of when to take matters into her own hands that makes her a cut above most of her superstar predecessors.

A team player

Against Vanderbilt, she authored a double-double — 19 points, 11 rebounds — but Parker also involved her teammates in the offense.

"Obviously, Candace is a go-to player for us," Summitt said. "I thought she stepped up and got some key rebounds for us and started the action for us on the defensive end. …

"The difference between this year's team and last year's team is that the ball doesn't get stuck in certain players' hands. I think that's indicative of the commitment to play together as a team."

Much of the evening was trip-to-the-dentist basketball. Teeth were pulled on every possession. A drive down the lane came the risk of a root canal — without anesthesia.

The teams combined for 52 turnovers. Vanderbilt entered the game averaging 16.3 turnovers per game. Vandy had 17 — at halftime.

But in a game filled with mistakes, Candace Parker brought order to all the chaos.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

(4) Tennessee 67, (15) Vanderbilt 57

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee has found the perfect antidote to avoiding a post-Duke hangover: Remember March.

Sidney Spencer scored a career-high 26 points, and the fourth-ranked Lady Vols pulled out a 67-57 victory Thursday night against 15th-ranked Vanderbilt to bounce back from Monday's loss to top-ranked Duke.

They were motivated by the memory from last season when the Lady Vols followed up a loss at Duke by losing to unranked Kentucky in a game they think cost them a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

"We knew our character was going to be determined this week, on Thursday, and how we bounced back from that loss. Everyone did a good job of being extra focused on this game and taking care of business," Spencer said.

Playing their instate rival before a crowd of 12,009 -- many wearing Tennessee orange -- helped.

"This game was huge for us and not just because of its significance in terms of the SEC," Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said. "It was significant for us from a national standpoint, as well as in terms of keeping us in contention for a No. 1 seed."

Tennessee (18-2, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) handed the Commodores (17-3, 4-1) their first loss at home this season but the 12th straight in the series. The Lady Vols relied on their defense, forcing Vandy into a season-high 27 turnovers that Tennessee turned into 29 points.

"We turned the ball over, and that's what we had done all night," Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb said. "Twenty-seven turnovers, you're not going to beat the No. 4 team in the country."

Vanderbilt didn't make it easy.

Senior forward Carla Thomas scored 10 of her 16 points in less than 4 minutes to rally Vandy, and she hit two free throws to give the Commodores their last lead at 48-47 with 3:41 left.

Shannon Bobbitt hit a 3 that put Tennessee back up to stay at 50-48. Meredith Marsh tried to pass to Thomas, but Candace Parker grabbed the loose ball, was fouled and hit both free throws. She added a three-point play to match the Lady Vols' biggest lead of the second half at 55-48.

"I have the most confidence in the world in Shannon and her ability to hit the 3," said Parker, who had been doubled before tossing the ball to Bobbitt for the go-ahead bucket. "I dished it out and she hit. It was a big play."

Parker finished with 19 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, and Alexis Hornbuckle scored 11 for Tennessee, which hit 15 of 17 free throws in the final 2:33.

Hornbuckle helped hold Caroline Williams, who had been averaging 12.9 points for Vandy, to six. Hornbuckle said she had been misquoted as being scared of Vandy.

"I wanted to come out here and send a message that basically I'm not scared of anything and that Tennessee is not scared of anything. I wanted to shut down the best shooter on the team," Hornbuckle said.

Tennessee has played Vandy more than any other opponent, and these teams have played home-and-home since the 1993-94 season. The Lady Vols now lead 48-6 -- 47-6 by Vandy's count in a rivalry where the schools can't agree on how many games that really count.

Balcomb said she felt bad for her players who haven't beaten Tennessee since February 2002.

"I think they're as frustrated as I am. You can't obviously ... deny that because we've been in situations, in a position to win and just haven't closed the deal," Balcomb said.

Vanderbilt hadn't had this many turnovers since a victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Nov. 19, 2005.

Senior point guard Dee Davis tied the Vanderbilt record for career assists with three for 673. But she had nine turnovers and took the blame for trying too hard to make a pretty pass instead of the easy one.

"The turnovers kind of like puts a shadow over it right now for me. It's good to have an opportunity to break it. Right now it's a little bittersweet," she said.

The Lady Vols almost matched Vandy in turnovers with a season-high 25. The Commodores dominated on the boards most of the game until Tennessee took over late and finished with a 31-27 edge.

Vandy led by as many as eight points in the first half, but took the lead only twice in the second half, each time by only a point. Thomas provided the bucket on each.

Tennessee took control in the first half after trailing 17-9 by taking better shots and starting to turn the Commodores over in a 12-0 spurt highlighted by a pair of 3s by Spencer. Hornbuckle's 3 -- her first points of the game -- put the Lady Vols up 24-17 with 4:25 to go in the first half.

Tennessee spirit fest: Summitt looking to best Pearl's body paint

After the way Tennessee men's coach Bruce Pearl showed his support for the Lady Vols, women's coach Pat Summitt is mulling a way to repay him for his enthusiasm.

After all, Summitt was cheerleader for the Cheatham County High School boys team while starring on the girls team.

Pearl made good on a promise to paint himself orange and cheer in the student section for the women's game against No. 1 Duke on Monday. He wore a black headband and black shorts _ but no shirt _ and painted his torso orange with a light blue ''V'' on his chest and an ''L'' on his back.

He stood in front of the student section with his son, Steven, a walk-on freshman, three other players and a manager to spell out the messages ''GO VOLS'' on their chests and ''LADY'' on their backs. Summitt shook hands with Pearl before the game, and he kissed her on the cheek.

''I don't know that I can match it,'' Summitt said Wednesday. ''I thought it was great. I think it shows his passion not only for his program, but he's been a great friend to our program. We've worked very well together.''

Pearl's picture and video of him cheering have been hot on the Internet, in newspapers and on television.

''We got great exposure too, didn't we?'' Summitt said.

During a joint radio show last week when Pearl pitched the idea, Summitt didn't seem enthusiastic about being painted like Pearl even though some female fans have worn sports bras and painted over it.

''I told him I needed to think of something but I'm not quite as creative as Bruce is,'' Summitt said. ''If you guys have any suggestions _ I think (team spokeswoman) Debby (Jennings) and I may come up with something.''

The next men's game at home that will be on television is Feb. 6 against LSU. Kentucky comes to Knoxville on Feb. 13 and Florida comes on Feb. 27.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Pat Summitt looking for way to match Pearl's body paint

Tennessee Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt says she doesn't know how she can match what men's coach Bruce Pearl did Monday night.

He painted his chest orange and sat in the student section for the women's game against Number 1 Duke. He wore a black headband and black shorts -- but no shirt.

Pearl's picture and video of him cheering have been popular on the Internet, in newspapers and on television.

Summitt said she's mulling a way to repay him for his enthusiasm.

I think she should go topless.

Moats might not return this season to Lady Vols

KNOXVILLE – Lady Vols freshman forward Nicci Moats will not travel with the team for Thursday’s game at Vanderbilt and may not return this season, Coach Pat Summitt said today.

Moats watched practice from the sideline in street clothes today, much like she has since rejoining the team earlier this month after she abruptly left campus in late December for personal reasons.

Earlier this month, Summitt said Moats had yet to be cleared to practice by team physician Rebecca Morgan. Summitt said at the time that Moats became ill once she returned to campus.

Asked today if Moats would play again this season, Summitt said, “I don’t know.”

Summitt said she plans to meet with Moats and Morgan after returning from Nashville at the end of the week.

Moats last played Dec. 22 at Old Dominion. She has played in nine games this season, likely making her ineligible for a redshirt.

Hornbuckle hurt: Junior guard Alexis Hornbuckle sat out of practice today after hyperextending her right leg Monday night in UT’s 74-70 loss to No. 1 Duke.

Summitt said Hornbuckle was held out primarily as a precaution.

“She’s just sore today,” Summitt said. “I told (team trainer) Jenny (Moshak) to rest her. I want her ready to go (Thursday).”

Summitt said Moshak was “confident” that Hornbuckle would be able to play against Vanderbilt.

Monday, January 22, 2007

(1) Duke 74, (4) Tennessee 70

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Thompson-Boling Arena was loud and full of orange for Tennessee's showdown against No. 1 Duke. Even men's coach Bruce Pearl joined the student section, painting his bare chest orange and supplying the white "V" in GO VOLS.

The Blue Devils loved it.

Duke (20-0) stormed out to a 19-0 lead, never trailed and held on to win 74-70 Monday night. It was one of the most dominating performances early by an opponent that fans here have seen in a long time.

"Not in my coaching career. I hope it's the only one," Summitt said when asked if her team had ever been in such a big hole early.

And Duke coach Gail Goestenkors couldn't remember being the one shoveling the dirt onto an opponent.

"People have started that well against us before," she said.

Fourth-ranked Tennessee (17-2) was 0-of-8 from the field before finally Nicky Anosike scored with 14:02 remaining before halftime.

Abby Waner made her first eight shots and had 21 by the break. She finished with 24 and was 6-of-9 from beyond the arc. Lindsey Harding scored 14 her of 21 points in the second half, and Wanisha Smith added 15.

"I love coming to away games to come and play in front of a crowd like this," Waner said.

Summitt said her team might have suffered from being too worked up about the game.

"It was a great opportunity for us to see how we would stack up against the No. 1 team in the country coming off losses to them in the last two years," she said. "Obviously we didn't lack for desire."

The Blue Devils started the year 20-0 for the second straight season and got victory No. 20 by handing Tennessee only its 17th loss in Thompson-Boling Arena, which opened in 1987.

"Overall, I'm happy to come away with a win. This is such a difficult place to play. Tennessee is not only a great team but they're a great program and have just incredible tradition here," Goestenkors said. "I was really proud of the way my team came out of the gates. We were ready to play and we were focused."

Early on it looked as if could be the worst loss ever for the Lady Vols in their home arena, but Tennessee rallied from as many as 21 points down in the first half to tie it at 48 with 10:48 remaining.

Duke then ran its lead back to nine, but Tennessee kept chipping away and made the final minutes tense for both sides, especially the large and raucous orange-clad crowd.

Harding scored on a drive with 1:37 left to put Duke ahead 70-63, but Tennessee went 2-of-4 at the foul line and Candace Parker scored to cut it to 70-67.

The Lady Vols' last chance came after Alberta Auguste hit a 3 with 6.1 seconds left to cut it to 72-70, and they immediately fouled Harding. She made both free throws to ice it.

"They picked it up and came after us. I was proud of our poise down the stretch. We hit some big free throws late," Goestenkors said.

Duke is one of only nine teams to win in Thompson-Boling and only the fifth of those to win more than once.

The Blue Devils were 14-of-15 from the foul line. Tennessee was only 8-of-17.

Parker led the Lady Vols with 22 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks, but was 1-for-7 from the foul line. Alexis Hornbuckle added 19 points and Sidney Spencer had 13. Anosike finished with 10 rebounds but was 1-of-7 from the floor.

Duke came into the game with the top field-goal defense in the country, holding teams to 30.3 percent. Tennessee shot 29.7 percent in the first half and finished at 36 percent.

Duke has won three straight over Tennessee, including last year's 75-53 win in Durham. The Cameron Crazies had fun taunting the Lady Vols, especially Hornbuckle. They held up Wal-Mart bags during the game, referencing Hornbuckle's arrest for shoplifting before arriving at Tennessee.

Summitt and her players took unprecedented efforts to encourage students to attend by making announcements in the campus cafeteria.

Pearl had said earlier in the week on a radio show with Summitt that he would paint his chest and stand in the student section. She did not promise the same for a men's game.

Waner said she would suggest the idea to Duke men's coach Mike Krzyzewski. Goestenkors smirked a little and looked askance at Waner.

"It's great that the support is here," Waner said. "We get that from our men's program too. I'm sure the team appreciated it. It shows a lot about the respect women's basketball is getting."

Parker is at best vs. the best

Top-10 teams bring big stats

KNOXVILLE — Pat Summitt doesn't waste her time worrying about Candace Parker in games like this.

Tennessee's 33rd-year women's basketball coach doesn't typically make assumptions when it comes to her players.

Parker, the Southeastern Conference's leading scorer and shot blocker, is a rare exception.

"I worry about the games that aren't as big and whether she's going to bring the same intensity level," Summitt said. "I don't ever worry about Candace being ready for big games."

That should make life easier for Summitt and the fourth-ranked Lady Vols (17-1) tonight, when top-ranked Duke (19-0) visits Thompson-Boling Arena.

As good as Parker has been so far in her sophomore season, she's been even better against highly ranked opponents. She's averaged 26.7 points in her four games against top-10 teams, a full seven points higher than her scoring average for the season (19.7).

"In big games, that's what you have to do," Parker said. "That's what you grow up dreaming about. You grow up dreaming of playing in these games and making big plays.

"I've watched my idols make big plays in big games. That's what you do. You're not scared of pressure, you love it."

'Nobody can guard her'

Parker's presence in big games has become more noticeable since she knocked down the game-winning shot with 17 seconds left in last year's SEC Tournament championship game against LSU.

She has yet to match the drama of that shot, but she's made a habit of taking over games this year whenever the Lady Vols have been in trouble.

"I just think Candace understands (that) in those games she has to put up numbers for us," Summitt said. "She looks for the ball, and I think her teammates look to get her the basketball.

"We try to move her a lot. … That's where her versatility is obviously very important on the offensive end."

Parker has scored at least 25 points against each of UT's four top-ranked opponents — Arizona State, Stanford, North Carolina and Connecticut. She dunked in two of those games, including Jan. 6 at Connecticut, where she finished one of the best games of her career with 30 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks.

"When we need a score, we get Candace the ball inside," UT junior guard Alexis Hornbuckle said. "When she thinks she's unstoppable, nobody can guard her."

Unusual obstacle

Thursday's 73-44 win over Mississippi State suggested Parker might be human after all.

She was forced to sit out for the first time this season with a respiratory illness that has bothered her for the past several days. She went through pregame warmups that night before leaving the court short of breath because of excessive coughing.

Considering the opposition, Summitt said she expects Parker to be fine tonight.

"She wanted to get back on the court the next day, and I was glad after she missed the game that she was able to get back," Summitt said.

"She's a big-game player. … She'll be ready."

Anosike ready for revenge

Lady Vols take on Blue Devils tonight

KNOXVILLE — Try as she might, Nicky Anosike can’t put it out of her mind.

Not the full house, the hype or the horrific performance.

"I tried really hard to forget that game," University of Tennessee forward Anosike said about the Lady Volunteers 75-53 blowout loss at Duke last year. "No, I remember it, I can’t really forget it."

She remembers the Lady Vols waltzing into Cameron Indoor Stadium undefeated and the nation’s top-ranked team. She spent the week before answering questions about a potential perfect season with a win over the Blue Devils.

By the time they left the Durham, NC she was dealing with totally different questions about just how far her Lady Vols were from being a national championship contender.

After missing the Final Four last year and being throttled at No. 2 North Carolina in December those doubts continue to linger.

Tonight, No. 4 Tennessee (17-1, 4-0 SEC) gets its chance to answer, hosting top-ranked Duke (19-0, 5-0 ACC) in front of national television audience and orange-clad house inside Thompson-Boling Arena at 7 p.m.

UT coach Pat Summitt spent the better part of last week hyping up the game to both local and national media, as well as working the streets.

Taking a page from men’s coach Bruce Pearl, seniors Dominique Redding and Sidney Spencer joined their coach on a tour of the university’s cafeterias where Summitt informed students about the game and asked for their support.

"I just jumped up there on the table and told them what we have going on," Summitt said "I really make a lot of noise and can really help out our team."

Alexis Hornbuckle said she felt the wrath of Duke’s student section a year ago, and admits it hurt her game. Now she wants a packed Thompson-Boling Arena to return the favor to the Blue Devils.

"It just makes you want to go so much harder when you play in front a loud crowd that’s cheering for you," Hornbuckle said. "This place is huge and when its full it can really be a great advantage for us."

While the raucous crowd and bitter taste of a year ago will serve as ample motivation, Summitt said that won’t be enough to beat the best team in the country.

Along with being undefeated, the Blue Devils are second in the nation in scoring margin at plus-30 points per game, and crushed defending national champion Maryland by 19. Duke also is second in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 47 points per game, thanks in large part to 6-foot-7 center Alison Bales who leads the country at just under five blocks-per-game.

Despite the Blue Devils dominant interior defense, Summitt said she wants her team to take the ball inside early and continue to do so, no matter how many shots Bales sends away.

"The greatest players in basketball get their shots blocked," Tennessee forward and leading scorer Candace Parker said. "It really can’t be a concern of ours. We just need to play our game. If working inside is our best chance to win, then we will keep going back there."

Bobbitt, Tennessee ready to take on top-ranked Duke

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Shannon Bobbitt glanced both ways, then focused her attention back on the basket straight ahead.

Speedy point guard Shannon Bobbitt, Pat Summitt's first juco signee since 1977, is averaging 7.5 points and 3.3 assists.

But when the Tennessee point guard hoisted up the 3-point attempt, it missed everything. She got another chance just a few seconds later after a teammate's rebound, but this time, Bobbitt's shot was even uglier: nothing but … backboard.

A half hour later after Saturday's practice had ended, Bobbitt was patient as this reporter gently tried to revisit the two misses.

"I took two bad shots out there," Bobbitt admitted, not defensively but just matter-of-fact. "A good shooter doesn't dwell on it. I was going to get back on defense, no problem."

Actually, No. 4 Tennessee (17-1) is hoping Bobbitt's defense poses quite a problem when Lindsey Harding and top-ranked Duke (19-0) visit Thompson-Boling Arena on Monday night (ESPN2, 7 ET).

The Blue Devils climbed to No. 1 just a week ago after toppling defending NCAA champion Maryland. Harding broke down the Terps' defense time and again off the dribble to score a career-best 28 points. The 5-foot-8 senior point guard torched Tennessee in their last meeting, too, finishing with a team-high 15 points, four assists and eight steals as Duke routed the Lady Vols 75-53 almost exactly a year ago, on Jan. 23, 2006.

Harding, one of the country's top point guards, not to mention a national player of the year candidate, has taken on a bigger offensive role at Duke this season, increasing her scoring average almost four points to 14.1 ppg while shooting 48.2 percent from the field.

To hand Duke its first loss Monday, the Lady Vols -- who have won 11 consecutive games since losing to North Carolina on Dec. 3 but have dropped two straight against the Blue Devils -- know they'll need to keep Harding in check.

"I don't think Harding is someone you can stop," Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said after Saturday's practice. "I think she's a player if we can contain in the full court … if we can just slow down their transition game to some degree of success, that will be really key for us."

Whether out of respect for Harding's talent or hesitancy to put too much pressure on any one player, seemingly everyone in Knoxville, Tenn., on Saturday -- from Summitt to Bobbitt to superstar Candace Parker -- avoided talking about any specific, crucial one-on-one matchups for Monday.

Said Parker: "It's definitely going to be a team effort."

Added Bobbitt: "Us as a whole, we all just got to get back on defense and pick up the point guard and the 2-guards as quickly as possible."

And Summitt? The coach with 930 career wins was quick to spread the wealth, too, pointing out that Tennessee won't hesitate to rotate its four guards and that junior Alexis Hornbuckle will also often draw the defensive assignment on Harding.

There's no doubting that a total team effort will be needed from whichever team emerges as Monday's winner. And it's impossible to downplay Hornbuckle's contributions -- even as she struggled through a 2-for-10 shooting effort against UConn earlier this month, for example, Hornbuckle's hustle on defense and on the boards played a vital part of the win.

But no one can deny Bobbitt's an X factor. With speed Summitt has compared to North Carolina's Ivory Latta or former LSU standout Temeka Johnson, Bobbitt just might have the sort of fast feet that might be able to force Harding side-to-side as opposed to penetrating inside.

In the two biggest games of the season so far, Bobbitt played well defensively. She certainly helped frustrate UConn guard Renee Montgomery ("Tennessee shut down our offense … I didn't take control of the game," Montgomery confessed) in the Lady Vols' Jan. 6 win in Hartford, Conn. Bobbitt also put in a terrific defensive effort on Latta and played a part in slowing down UNC's frenetic pace in a 13-point loss on Dec. 3 ("I though it was too slow. I wanted to push the ball more. I don't think we were as aggressive offensively as we needed to be," Tar Heels coach Sylvia Hatchell said afterward).

Still, someone more than 300 miles away Saturday was the only person who didn't talk around Monday's impending matchup.

"[Bobbitt] has added a lot of speed and quickness at the top of the point for Tennessee," Harding said during a phone interview. "A lot of teams like to trap, but she's a player who can break through it. And defensively, her quickness makes it harder to get by her. She's brought a lot to Tennessee."

Bobbitt's road to Knoxville was more roundabout than most of her teammates'. Bobbitt (Trinity Valley CC) and fellow Tennessee junior Alberta Auguste (Central Florida CC) are just the second and third junior college signees in Summitt's 33-year tenure, and the first Lady Vol juco players since 1977. At 5 feet, 2 inches, Bobbitt is also the shortest scholarship player in Tennessee history.

Bobbitt has started all but one game this season and is averaging 7.5 points. The Lady Vols' second-best 3-point shooter, Bobbitt is 28-for-68 from behind the arc and ranks second in assists (59, or 3.3 per game) behind Hornbuckle.

But Bobbitt seems to relish her role as a defensive stalwart, too, and seemed to look forward to the challenge of defending Harding, even willing to give up her trade secrets.

"I watch her stomach … she can fake with her eyes, but her stomach's still going to be there," Bobbitt explained. "I'm going to play her straight up; you can't force her left or right because she can use both hands. She's a great player and I'm just going to do the best I can."

Harding knows what's coming.

"I think the thing Tennessee looks to do is try to get the point guard out of the play, deny her the ball and not let her touch it," said Harding, whose Blue Devils beat Tennessee in their last (and only) meeting in Knoxville and are one of just nine teams to win at Thompson-Boling. "But the good part about our team is that I have three other players on the floor who can play point."

And if they end up with the ball in their hands, Bobbitt will be watching their stomachs, too.

Lady Vols Host Top-Ranked, Undefeated Duke

The #4-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols (17-1, 4-0 SEC), riding an 11-game winning streak, play host to ACC rival and #1-ranked Duke (19-0, 5-0 ACC) in a "Big Monday" match-up on ESPN2 in Knoxville on Monday at 7 p.m.

The Lady Vols' current winning streak started after ACC power, #2-ranked North Carolina beat Tennessee, 70-57, in Chapel Hill on Dec. 3, 2006.


This is the Lady Vols' 33rd season under Head Coach Pat Summitt...She has compiled a staggering 930-178 overall record... Is just 70 wins away from a remarkable 1,000 career victories...Collected her 900th coaching win with a 80-68 decision over #19-ranked Vanderbilt on Jan. 19, 2006... She passed Dean Smith (879 wins) for most NCAA collegiate basketball wins of all-time with a 75-54 victory over Purdue on Mar. 22, 2005 ...Her 2005-06 squad advanced to the NCAA Elite 8...Finished with a 31-5 overall record and were the SEC Tournament Champions...

This season, UT returned six letterwinners, welcomed a senior manager turned player, two junior college transfers and a pair of rookies...The 2006-07 season marks the Lady Vol debut for former senior manager #10 Elizabeth Curry, JC transfers #00 Shannon Bobbitt and #33 Alberta Auguste...True freshman, #2 Cait McMahan, a 5-4 guard from Maryville, Tenn., and #34 Nicci Moats, a 6-2 forward from Daleville, Va., also see their first action in the Orange and White this season.


In the final tune-up before the game at #4-ranked Tennessee, the top-ranked Duke Blue Devils (19-0, 5-0 ACC) traveled to Raleigh, N.C. in its first game as the newly crowned #1 team and came away with a 65-51 victory over the N.C. State Wolfpack on Jan. 18. Duke shook off a slow start, used a 27-8 run to take command and remained one of two unbeaten teams in both the country and the conference. The Wolfpack led 26-22 with about four minutes left before halftime when Duke rookie Brittany Mitch rallied the Blue Devils. She scored eight consecutive points, opening the spurt with a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired. Next, her three-point play put the Blue Devils ahead to stay, and she added a steal and a layup seconds later to extend the lead to 30-26. She finished with 10 points on the night and was joined by Lindsey Harding with 10, also. Duke shot 43 percent for the game and was outrebounded by State, 41-37.


This week, the Lady Vols have a split SEC schedule and step out of conference play for one last time during the regular season. On Jan. 22, #1-ranked Duke visits Knoxville for a "Big Monday" meeting on ESPN2. UT then hits the road traveling to #14/11 Vanderbilt on Thurs. Jan. 25, and then to Alabama on Sun., Jan. 28.


A record 21 Lady Vol regular season games are slated for national/regional television this season. Five non-televised games will be available as streaming video with voice-over from Mickey Dearstone on UT is 10-1 on TV this season.


UT is 8-1 in games played on Jan. 22. The Lady Vols are 4-0 at home, 4-1 on the road and 0-0 on neutral courts. The last time out on Jan. 22, the Lady Vols registered a 79-54 victory over Vanderbilt in Knoxville in 2004.


Last year at this time, the Lady Vols were 18-0 and had just defeated Vanderbilt, 80-68, in Nashville.


Tennessee will play 15 teams in 17 games and five of the nation's top 10 teams who have been ranked at some point this season in the AP and USA TODAY ESPN polls: North Carolina, Duke, UConn, Georgia, LSU, Stanford, Arizona St., Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Arkansas, UCLA, George Washington, Texas Mississippi and Middle Tennessee. All have been ranked or are currently ranked.


In all games, this is how Tennessee has shot from the field: 50%FG: Chattanooga (.579), MTSU (.565), Arizona St. (.548), UCLA (.531), ODU/UT-Martin (.509), Stanford (.500); 40%FG: Louisiana Tech (.483), GWU (.482), Alabama1 (.464), Florida (.442), West Virginia (.431), Texas (.429); 30%FG: Georgia1 (.396), Miss. St. (.395), Notre Dame (.381), UConn (.371), North Carolina (.362)


In all games, this is how the opposition has shot from the field: 50%FG: none, 40%FG: GWU (.472), Arizona St. (.469), Stanford (.456), MTSU (.453), UCLA (.451), North Carolina (.444), UConn (.433), Chattanooga (.431), Miss. State (.409), Notre Dame (.407), 30%FG: ODU (.396), West Virginia (.352), Alabama1 (.369), Florida (.345), Georgia1 (.319), Texas (.308); 20%FG: Louisiana Tech (.295), UT-Martin (.204)


Wins: +56 (1), +36 (1), +30 (1), +29 (1), +24 (2), +23 (2), +22 (1), +21 (2), +17 (1), + 16 (1), +15 (1), +11 (1), +9 (1), +6 (1).
Losses: -13 (1)


The #14/11 Vanderbilt Commodores dropped a tough 83-71 decision to the #16-ranked Georgia Lady Bulldogs in Athens on Jan. 18. Georgia exacted a measure of revenge bouncing back from a 52-41 loss to Tennessee four days earlier. VU, who was forced to fly on game day due to mechanical problems, turns right back around on Saturday to go to the Peachtree State. Vanderbilt faces Georgia Tech on Sunday, Jan. 21, at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. -- site of the 2007 Southeastern Conference Tournament. Against Georgia, Christina Wirth led Vanderbilt (16-3, 3-2) with 16 points. Merideth Marsh, Caroline Williams and Carla Thomas each added 12 points, but couldn't keep the Commodores from falling to 2-2 against ranked teams. Vandy, led by Williams' nine points on three 3-pointers, led 30-29 at halftime. The "Dores pulled within 50-46 before Georgia pulled away with its 10-0 run for a 60-46 lead with 6:42 left to play.


Tennessee's last two meetings at Duke produced advance sold-out crowds which is not hard to do when 9,314 seats are at a premium at Cameron Indoor. The Blue Devils have played in Knoxville once resulting in a 59-57 upset victory for Duke on Dec. 2, 2004 in front of 11,459 fans.


The Tennessee Lady Vols will entertain the newly #1-ranked Duke Blue Devils (19-0 overall, 5-0 ACC) on Monday, Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 in a "Big Monday" meeting. The then #3-ranked Blue Devils upset top-ranked Maryland, 81-62, at a sold out Cameron Indoor Stadium on Jan. 13. The ACC juggernaut now hits the road for three straight games traveling to N.C. State (Jan. 18, a 65-51 win), at #4-ranked Tennessee (Jan. 22) and at Florida State (Jan. 25). The Blue Devils are stingy on the defensive end giving up just 47.0 points a game and holding opponents to 30 percent shooting. Maryland is the only team that has scored more than 54 points against a tough Duke defense.

12/6/98 3/16 N86 W 74-60
3/22/99 2/10 N25 L 63-69
12/27/01 2/9 N100 W 89-68
11/24/02 2/1 N104 L 55-76
4/6/03 4/2 N108 W 66-56
1/24/04 2/1 A W 72-69
12/2/04 4/10 H L 57-59
1/23/06 1/2 A L 53-75


After five meetings on neutral courts, Tennessee and Duke agreed to the home-and-home series started in 2004 at Duke. In the first on-campus game at Duke, played in front of a sold-out crowd at Cameron, #2 Tennessee upset #1-ranked Duke, 72-69. In the 2004-05 season, Duke returned the favor in Knoxville defeating UT, 59-57. Last year, the home team finally "held serve" when #2-ranked Duke knocked off top-ranked Tennessee, 75-53. The neutral courts in the key represent: N86-Disney Holiday Classic, Lake Buena Vista, Fla.; N25-NCAA East Regional Finals, Greensboro Coliseum N.C; N100-ACC/SEC Shoot -Out, Phillips Arena, Atlanta, Ga.; N104-Jimmy V Classic at RBC Center, Raleigh, N.C., and N108-2003 NCAA Final Four Semifinals, Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga.


This marks the ninth meeting between the two schools dating back to the 1998-99 season. The two teams alternated wins and losses through the first five games. Tennessee defeated Duke, 74-60, in the 1998 Disney Holiday Classic played in Orlando, Fla. on Dec. 8. The Blue Devils exacted their revenge later in the year during the NCAA East Regional Final with a 69-63 victory on Mar. 23, 1999, to advance to their first-ever Final Four. The Duke victory also ended Tennessee's quest for its fourth straight national title and the brilliant careers of Chamique Holdsclaw and Kellie Jolly. UT took a one-game lead in the series with an 89-68 win on Dec. 27, 2001 during the ACC/SEC Shootout in Atlanta, Ga. In 2002, Duke evened the score at the Jimmy V Classic, 76-55, and then UT rattled off a two-game lead in the series with a 66-56 win in the 2003 NCAA Final Four semi's in Atlanta, Ga., and the upset win at #1 Duke in 2004, 72-69. Duke snapped that short winning streak with a two-point victory in Knoxville (59-57) on Dec. 2, 2004 and followed with a win in Durham last season, 75-53.


The average score of a Tennessee vs. Duke game is Duke 66.5 and Tennessee 66.1 - a scant 0.4 differential. When Tennessee defeats Duke, the average score is 75.2 to 63.2 -- +12.0 for the Lady Vols. When Duke defeats Tennessee, the average score has been 69.8 to 57.0 -- +12.8 for the Blue Devils.

RPI/SOS 1/1 2/4
SCORING 75.8 77.7
POINT MARGIN +20.6 +30.7
REBOUNDS 37.7 43.7
OPP. REBOUNDS 33.6 33.6
REBOUND MARGIN + 3.1 +10.1
FG% .463 .463
OPPONENT FG% .388 .303
THREE POINT FG% .399 .329
OPPONENT 3FG% .318 .242
FT% .708 .751
OPPONENT FT% .677 .658
ASSISTS 16.8 17.9


Top-ranked Tennessee fell to #2-ranked Duke, 75-53, on Jan. 23, 2006, in Durham, N.C. in the 39th meeting of one vs. two (according to the Associated Press). For the Lady Vols, it was the 21st time in a one-two match-up - the most of any school in the nation. Duke's advance sold-out crowd (9,314) was raucous, enthusiastic and at times, the "Cameron Crazies" tended toward the vulgar end of the cheering spectrum. On the evening, just six players scored for the Lady Vols (18-1), and their total of 53 points were a season low. UT was coming off an emotional, come-from-behind victory over instate rival Vanderbilt that gave Coach Pat Summitt win number 900. Against Duke, UT never got out of the starting blocks and the Blue Devils, which took the lead for good midway through the first half, pulled away and never looked back. Candace Parker, Tennessee's All-American freshman, had 17 points, five assists and three blocks, but she got little help. Leading scorer Shanna Zolman was held without a point, only the third time in 2005-06 she failed to reach double figures. The Lady Vols shot 45 percent, missed all but two of their 10 free throws and had 22 turnovers. Duke's Lindsey Harding keyed a 14-4 run soon after halftime with two free throws and a jumper from the baseline, and Abby Waner swished a 3-pointer to make it 46-31. UT's Sidney Spencer made two 3s to momentarily halt the Blue Devils' momentum, but Waner responded with a 3 to restore control. Spencer had 11 points for the Lady Vols, and Alexis Hornbuckle added 10. In its first loss of the year, UT got out-rebounded 33-26 and trailed by seven at the break. Harding dominated on both ends of the court, finishing with 15 points, four assists and eight steals to help the Blue Devils. Harding was one of five Duke players in double figures as Monique Currie had 13 points and Mistie Williams, Abby Waner and Chante Black all scored 10.


Tennessee will face their ninth ranked opponent of the 2006-07 season in the game against top-ranked Duke. UT is 7-1 in games versus ranked teams out of 18 total contests. Meanwhile Duke will be taking on their seventh ranked opponent in 20 games when they face #4 Tennessee. Duke is 6-0 vs. ranked teams having defeated then #19/17 Rutgers (85-45), #11 Vanderbilt (69-48), #22 Texas (80-52), #25/21 Bowling Green (55-46), #22 Pitt (72-51), and #1 Maryland (81-62).


Facing off against its second top-10 opponent of the season, the #4/5-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols fell to the #10/9-ranked Duke Blue Devils, 59-57, before a crowd of 11,459 at Thompson-Boling Arena on Dec. 2, 2004. At the time, Duke became just the seventh team in 17 years to defeat UT at TBA, and it was just the 14th loss at home since 1987 for the Lady Vols. Neither team was particularly efficient offensively early in the contest, as DU led by two, 6-4, at the first media timeout. The Big Orange pulled to within one, 12-11, following a 14-foot jumper by Shyra Ely, but the Blue Devils answered with a 6-0 spurt to lead by seven with just more than 10 minutes remaining in the opening session. UT would respond, however, with a 9-2 run, capped by another Ely jumper to even the score at 21, as the teams would go to the locker room with the count knotted at 23. Following the intermission, the Orange and White quickly built a six-point advantage, 33-27, after a Shanna Zolman layup off an assist by Loree Moore. Duke would narrow the gap and reclaim the lead, 37-36, at the 12:09 mark when Jessica Foley connected on her second three-pointer in less than a minute span. With neither team able to take more than a three-point lead during the remaining 12 minutes, Tennessee found itself with possession of the ball and down by two points with less than 30 seconds to play. Following a UT timeout with 7.2 seconds showing on the clock, the Lady Vols had one last shot when Zolman attempted a contested 17-footer from the left baseline but missed as the buzzer sounded, sealing Duke's first victory in Knoxville. On the night, UT shot just 28 percent (21-75) from the floor, marking the first time a Tennessee squad has shot less than 30 percent since Dec. 4, 1983 versus Minnesota (28.5 percent). Additionally, the Lady Vols were out-rebounded 53-42.


Tennessee is 77-15 (.864) all-time versus 11 teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference. UT's last match-up with an ACC team came on Dec. 3, 2006, when the Lady Vols were defeated 70-57 by North Carolina. Currently, UT is on a three-game losing streak to the ACC with back-to-back losses to UNC (twice) and Duke. Tennessee's last win over an ACC opponent was on Nov. 26, 2005, with a 80-75 victory over #10-ranked Maryland at the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands. The only ACC squad to accumulate four wins over UT is Duke (4-4), while UNC (UT leads, 12-3), Maryland (UT leads, 10-3) and N.C. State (UT leads, 12-3) have registered three victories. UT has an 11-1 mark vs. Clemson and Virginia and is undefeated against BC (3-0), Florida State (2-0), Georgia Tech (3-0), Virginia Tech (7-0) and Wake Forest (2-0).


Best for UT in points versus the Blue Devils is sophomore Candace Parker with 17.0 ppg-shooting at a 63% clip from the field. She also grabs 5.0 rpg versus the Blue Devils. Sidney Spencer adds 8.0 ppg while Alexis Hornbuckle chips in 6.0 ppg against Duke.


Tennessee has faced the nation's top-ranked team 41 times in games dating back to the 1976-77 season. The Lady Vols have notched 14 upset victories over the #1-ranked team and fallen in defeat 27 times. There have been some memorable upset wins...Tennessee's first upset win over a number one ranked team in school history also produced the first crowd of over 10,000 fans to see the Lady Vols play. UT was ranked third when they upset #1-ranked LSU, 86-68, on Feb. 6, 1978 at home in Stokely Athletics Center. Another memorable win was when unranked Tennessee was struggling along at 11-7 when the Lady Vols upset Old Dominion, 67-64, in Norfolk on Jan. 25, 1985. It was ODU's only loss on the season as they later won the 1985 NCAA Championship. One of the more unlikely upsets occurred when the Lady Vols were ranked 10th in the nation and knocked off #1-ranked and undefeated Connecticut, 91-81, in the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship game in Iowa City on Mar. 24, 1997. Tennessee went on the win the 1997 NCAA title with a gaudy 29-10 record. In the 38th meeting between the Associated Press' number one and number two teams, the #2 Tennessee Lady Vols came away victorious with a 72-69 triumph over top-ranked Duke before a raucous sell-out crowd of 9,314 at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Jan. 24, 2004. Unaware that she had blown out her ACL, UT's Loree Moore returned to the floor and hit a decisive 3-pointer to put the Lady Vols up by nine, 60-51, with less than four minutes remaining. The Blue Devils managed to cut the margin to just two with 24 seconds left, but UT connected on its last seven free throws to hold on for the three-point victory.

Tennessee has a 2-8 record when facing the #1-ranked team at home. The Lady Vols last home victory over a #1 team was 11 years ago to the day when #4-ranked Tennessee upended top-ranked Louisiana Tech, 77-72, on Jan. 22, 1996.


UT's last SEC win at home: Miss. State, 73-44, 1-18-07
UT's last SEC win away: Georgia, 52-41, 1-14-07
UT's last SEC loss at home: Florida, 95-93 OT, 2-26-06
UT's last SEC loss away: Kentucky, 66-63, 1-26-06


Tennessee owns a 369-57 record all-time record vs. 12 teams from the Southeastern Conference. The Lady Vols maintain a winning record against every team in the SEC.


Since Tennessee began contesting games with Southeastern Conference opponents, the Lady Vols have produced a 152-11 record in all games played at home. Only six SEC teams have ever managed a victory over the Lady Vols in Knoxville - Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU and Ole Miss. Georgia has won three games on UT's turf while Auburn, Kentucky and Ole Miss have registered two wins each and LSU and Florida one win. Georgia was the only team to defeat UT at home in the 1990s - the Lady Bulldogs turned the trick in 1991 and 1996. LSU and Florida are the only SEC teams to defeat UT at home in the 21st century.


In the win over Alabama on Feb. 19, 2006, Tennessee claimed its 10th SEC victory of the 2005-06 season. The Lady Vols have now registered double-digit victories in conference play an incredible 13 times. Since the 1991-92 season when SEC play expanded, the Lady Vols have won at least 10 games in the following years: 1992-10 wins, 1993-11 wins, 1994-11 wins, 1995-11 wins, 1998-14 wins, 1999-13 wins, 2000-13 wins, 2001- 14 wins, 2002- 13 wins, 2003- 14 wins, 2004-14 wins, 2005- 13 wins and 2006-11 wins.


Prior to last season, it had been nine years since the Lady Vols dropped three SEC league games during a season. In the 1996-97 HBO documentary campaign of "The Cinderella Season: The Lady Vols Fight Back," Tennessee went 8-4 in the SEC. All-time in 25 years of league play, Tennessee has lost two or more SEC games just seven times. Conversely, the Lady Vols have tallied seven perfect league campaigns in SEC play.


UT owns a league best record of 243-33 against all SEC teams dating back to the 1982-83 season.


From 1980-1997, the Lady Vols claimed a total of six SEC regular season titles in 17 years. From 1998-2004, Tennessee captured seven consecutive SEC regular season crowns producing an amazing 109-4 record. UT's only league losses were to Vandy, Georgia and LSU (twice) during this stretch.


This is the 31st year of the Associated Press women's basketball rankings. The first Associated Press poll released of the 2005-06 season marked the 500th all-time poll. Since the poll was started in 1976, UT has failed to appear in just 14 of the total of 528 polls through the years. Currently, UT has been ranked in 386 consecutive polls. Since the 1986-87 season, the Lady Vols have been in the top 10 for all but one poll. UT is the only team to have been ranked every year for the last 31 years of the poll. UT has appeared at least once per season over the poll's history.


The victory over Mississippi State on Jan. 18th was the Lady Vols 26th consecutive over the Lady Bulldogs. UT produced the win without the services of sophomore All-American Candace Parker who was battling a respiratory illness and was pulled from the line-up prior to tip-off. It marked the first time in Parker's Lady Vol career that she didn't start or play in a game following her redshirt rookie year. In her absence, four UT players registered double digit scoring and Nicky Anosike chipped in with a double-digit rebounding night to lead UT to the win. Individually, Alexis Hornbuckle...-extended her streak of games with a steal to 54. She now has at least one steal in 75 of 82 career games. Scored in double figures for the third straight game, the eighth time this season and the 40th time of her career. She moved past Debbie Groover (295) and Bridgette Gordon (296) and into 18th place in the UT record books for career assists (297); Alex Fuller...Got her first career star and reached double figures for the fourth time this season... her 12 points marked a career-high in SEC contests. Additionally, her three steals and 36 minutes of playing time were both personal bests; Shannon Bobbitt...Scored in double figures for the fourth time this season... her 13 points were a career high for SEC contests. She also grabbed a personal best in rebounds (4); Sidney Spencer...Scored in double figures for the 13th time this season, the 40th time of her career and matched a season high in assists (3); Cait McMahan...Continued her physical play this season, drawing two charges in the first half alone; Alberta Auguste...Tied a personal best with six rebounds; Dominique Redding... Grabbed a season-high four rebounds and Nicky Anosike...Grabbed 10 rebounds for the 11th double-digit boards total of her career.


If you had been watching the sports ticker on Sunday, Jan. 14 and saw the Tennessee 52, Georgia 41 score roll by, your first thought might have been, "it's halftime." Not so. Tennessee's 52-point tally for the game tied the fifth fewest points in UT history. The Lady Vols 25 first half points tied the fewest by UT this season (UT scored just 25 points at North Carolina). Defensively, Georgia's 41 points were the fewest scored by a Lady Bulldog team since 1974. Individually, Sidney Spencer...Eclipsed the 400-rebound plateau for her career; Candace Parker...Extended her streak of games in double figures to 31, despite the fact that she did not score until the clock read 1:39 left in the first half, when she connected on both free throw attempts. Her first field goal came at 12:15 left in the second half...She tied a season high in assists (4); Nicky Anosike...Grabbed her 500th career rebound (502 total), becoming the 33rd Lady Vol of all time to eclipse that mark. Scored in double figures for the fourth time this season, the 18th time of her career; Alexis Hornbuckle...Extended her streak of games with a steal to 53. She has made at least one steal in 74 of 81 career games. Scored in double figures for the seventh time this season, the 29th time in her career; Alex Fuller... grabbed a career-high-tying eight rebounds.


Tennessee Lady Vol coach Pat Summitt has utilized just three line-ups this season. She probably would have stayed with just one line-up (Candace Parker, Sidney Spencer, Nicky Anosike, Alexis Hornbuckle and Shannon Bobbitt) if junior college transfer Bobbitt hadn't missed the game at Louisiana Tech on Nov. 28 to take a test and Parker hadn't fallen ill prior to the Mississippi State game on Jan. 18. Rookie Cait McMahan started in place of Bobbitt for the La Tech game while Parker was replaced by Alex Fuller for the Miss. State contest. Using essentially one line-up is a far cry from previous seasons. Last year, Summitt employed seven different combinations with Candace Parker as the only common denominator in 36 games. In 2004-05, Summitt utilized 10 different looks with no player starting all 35 games. UT's line-up saw four different looks in 2003-04 with Shyra Ely and Ashley Robinson starting 35 games. In 2002-03, three starting line-ups were used as Gwen Jackson, Kara Lawson and Loree Moore were constants in the 38 game schedule.


UT Coach Pat Summitt's teams have always been noted for tough defense and board play. Kudos to the 2006-07 team for tough defensive play thus far - holding the opposition to just 55.2 ppg. However, the current squad needs to hang their collective heads in shame for being the worst rebounding team in Lady Vol history. Currently at 37.7 rebounds per game, this team has dipped below the 2005-06 squad who earned the "worst" moniker last season managing just 39.4 rpg in 36 games - breaking a 28-year old record (1977-78 squad who managed just 39.7 rpg in 31 contests).


Lady Vol sophomore All-American Candace Parker is rapidly racing through the Tennessee record books. Through 53 career games, the Naperville, Ill., native has recorded the following totals: 957 points, 446 rebounds and 132 blocks, ranking sixth all-time in the latter category. When she reaches the 1,000-point plateau, she will become just the 29th Lady Vol ever to do so. If she does it before her 57th career game, she will be the fastest Pat Summitt-coached player to amass 1,000 tallies. Chamique Holdsclaw did so in 57 games and Tamika Catchings in 58. Parker's upcoming games: #54 Duke, #55 at Vanderbilt and #56 at Alabama.


MOST POINTS BY TENNESSEE IN A GAME:1 02 points ....vs. Chattanooga (11/12)
LEAST POINTS BY TENNESSEE IN A GAME: 52 points Georgia (1/14)
MOST POINTS BY AN OPPONENT IN A GAME: 74 points Arizona St. (11/19)
LEAST POINTS BY AN OPPONENT IN A GAME: 29 points ...... vs. UT-Martin (12/5)

57 points............85-28 vs. UT-Marin (12-5)
15 points .............55-70 at UNC (12/3)
BIGGEST TENNESSEE LEAD IN A LOSS: 5 points.....9-4 at UNC (12/3)
BIGGEST TENNESSEE DEFICIT IN A WIN: 6 points ......13-7 vs. MTSU (11/26)

BIGGEST TENNESSEE HALFTIME LEAD: 30 points.....43-13 vs. UT-Martin (12-5)

.636 (21-33) ....... vs. MTSU (11/26)
.314(11-35) ............. at Texas (12/17)
.609 (14-23) .............. vs. Stanford (11/24)
.345 (10-29) ........... at UConn (1/6)

MOST POINTS BY TENNESSEE IN 1ST HALF: 59 points ......vs. Chattanooga (11/12)
LEAST POINTS BY TENNESSEE IN 1ST HALF: 25 points . at UNC (12/3) & UGA (1/14)
LEAST POINTS BY OPPONENT IN 1ST HALF: 13 points ..... vs. UT-Martin (12-5)

MOST POINTS BY TENNESSEE IN 2ND HALF: 49 points .....vs. Notre Dame(12/30)
LEAST POINTS BY TENNESSEE IN 2ND HALF: 27 points Georgia (1/14) MOST POINTS BY OPPONENT IN 2ND HALF: 41 points .........vs. Chattanooga (11/12)
LEAST POINTS BY OPPONENT IN 2ND HALF: 16 points ........vs. UT-Martin (12-5)

TENNESSEE has led in the first half of every game ...
TENNESSEE has never trailed in the first half of 15 games...
TENNESSEE has led at halftime of 17 ngames...
TENNESSEE has trailed at halftime of 1 game
TENNESSEE has led in the second half of 17 games...
TENNESSEE has never led in the second half of 1 game...
TENNESSEE has led in rebounding in 9 games...
TENNESSEE has been outrebounded in 9 games (36-33 at Georgia, 44-40 vs. UConn, 34-32 vs. Alabama, 40-39 vs. Notre Dame, 34-30 at ODU, 38-36 vs. WVU, 43-33 at UNC, 46-37 at La Tech and 37-27 vs. Chattanooga)...


Season Career
Candace Parker 17 50
Sidney Spencer 13 40
Alexis Hornbuckle 8 40
Nicky Anosike 4 16
Alex Fuller 4 4
Shannon Bobbitt 4 4
Alberta Auguste 3 3
Dominique Redding 2 5
Season Career
Candace Parker 8 20
Nicky Anosike 2 7
Alexis Hornbuckle 0 2
Season Career
Alexis Hornbuckle 1 1
Season Career
Candace Parker 18 18
Nicky Anosike 1 4
Alexis Hornbuckle 1 3


For all of its offensive potential, the Lady Vols currently have just two players averaging double-figure scoring, Candace Parker (19.7 ppg) and Sidney Spencer (12.5 ppg)...Alexis Hornbuckle averaged over 10.0 ppg in the first six games of the season and in five of the last eight contests...Hornbuckle is averaging 9.7 ppg currently...Lady Vol coach Pat Summitt has been on the warpath regarding the team's rebounding prowess of late - or lack thereof... UT has been out rebounded in 9 games this season. Georgia out rebounded UT, 36-33, after Tennessee out-boarded Florida, 46-42, to break a streak of being outrebounded in five consecutive contests ...Tennessee holds an uncharacteristic and scant 4.1 rebounding advantage over the its foes...Year-in and year-out, UT teams are usually noted for pounding the ball in the paint for the majority of its points...Times, they are a'changing ... This season, one-fourth of Tennessee's makes and attempts have come from three-point range (111-278 treys and 505-1090 for all shots)...Senior Sidney Spencer has led the nation for a majority of the season with a gaudy shooting percentage between 52% and 65% from three-point land...The 6'3" senior forward is a tough match-up and has found ways to get herself open for good looks at the trey - Spencer is a nation-leading .519 this week from three-point land.


When taking on an unranked opponent such as Mississippi State, the odds have typically tipped in Tennessee's favor. In her 33 years at the helm of the Lady Vols, UT head coach Pat Summitt has fashioned a 554-32 (.947) record when going up against unranked teams. The victory over Old Dominion was Summitt's 550th over an unranked foe.


Lady Vol sophomore All-American Candace Parker has been a foul magnet in 2006-07. With all of the double and triple-teaming she has seen this season, 25 percent of the opponent's 320 total fouls have been inflicted on her. In 17 games this season, Parker has drawn 94 fouls. In the game against Notre Dame, she was fouled 10 times by the Irish, eclipsing nine fouls whistled against players from Arizona State, Stanford and North Carolina. To date, Parker has visited the charity stripe 101 times this season - about six times a game. Against UConn, seven of the Huskies total of 13 fouls came while trying to stop Parker.


Tennessee Lady Vol sophomore Candace Parker leads a group of five women who have dunked in a collegiate women's basketball game. Parker, with six career dunks, ranks ahead of former Lady Vol Michelle Snow (1998-2002) who recorded three dunks during her career at Tennessee.

Candace Parker, Tennessee (6)
Jan. 6, 2007: at Connecticut
Dec. 20, 2006: vs. West Virginia
Nov. 24, 2006: vs. Stanford
Nov. 12, 2006: vs. Chattanooga
March 19, 2005: vs. Army*
March 19, 2005: vs. Army*
Michelle Snow, Tennessee (3)
Nov. 25, 2000: vs. Illinois (at Maui)
Jan. 23, 2001: at Vanderbilt
Jan. 17, 2002: at South Carolina
Georgeann Wells, West Virginia (2)
Dec. 21, 1984: vs. Charleston (W.Va.)
Dec. 29, 1984: vs. Xavier
Sancho Lyttle, Houston (1)
Nov. 21, 2003: vs. Gonzaga (at Iowa)
Charlotte Smith, North Carolina (1)
Dec. 4, 1994: vs. North Carolina A&T

* NCAA Tournament, first round


During the Lady Vols 10 home contests, they have trailed their opponent on the scoreboard just seven times for a total of 7:02. Tennessee has been tied or ahead 97.8% of the time (3:12:58 of 400 minutes), including every second of play in the second half of each game. The largest deficit for UT was six points (13-7) against Middle Tennessee State on Nov. 26. Tennessee fell behind against UCLA (:10), Stanford (2:10), MTSU (4:18) and West Virginia (:24), but never trailed against Chattanooga, UT-Martin, George Washington, Notre Dame, Alabama or Mississippi State.


The last time the Lady Vols lost at home was against Florida, 95-93 OT on Feb. 26, 2006 -- since then, UT has won 10 games at home. The last time UT lost on the road was on Dec. 3, 2006 at UNC, since then, UT is 5-0 on the road. The last time the Lady Vols lost on a neutral court was against North Carolina, 75-63, in the NCAA Elite 8 game on Mar. 28, 2006. Since that time, UT has not played on a neutral court.


Tennessee leads the SEC in number of games versus ranked opponents. UT has played eight ranked opponents this season and will face #1 ranked Duke on Jan. 22. Georgia has faced six ranked teams while Florida and Mississippi State have played five. LSU, Vanderbilt and South Carolina have played four ranked teams; Mississippi and Kentucky have taken on three ranked opponents. Auburn and Arkansas have played two ranked teams on the season and Alabama has faced one.


Tennessee's game versus #13 Georgia on Feb. 16, 2006 was the Lady Vols' 500th all-time versus a ranked team since the inception of the polls in 1976. UT is an amazing 376-146 (.703) versus ranked teams. This season, UT is 7-1 in ranked meetings. Last year, Tennessee was 13-3 versus ranked teams.


Lady Vol sophomore All-American Candace Parker earned SEC Co-Player of the Week honors for her performances against Alabama and #5-ranked Connecticut (week of Jan. 1-7). She shared the accolade with Mississippi's Armintie Price. Against Alabama on Jan. 3, Parker picked off a career-best five steals. She also added 15 points, five rebounds and five blocks; all in a limited 24 minutes of playing time. Tennessee took its 31st consecutive win against the Tide with the 72-36 routing. On Jan. 6, the Lady Vols defeated #5-ranked Connecticut, 70-64. In the victory, Parker was named the CBS and Lady Vol player of the game for her 30 points, 12 rebounds, six blocks and four assists in her first 40-minute game of the season. One of the many 6-4 sophomore's highlights was a dunk early in the second half to put UT up by 16. Parker previously captured player of the week honors on Nov. 20 and Nov. 27 of this season.


Last season, unranked Florida spoiled Tennessee's senior day with a 95-93 OT win in Knoxville. The loss also probably cost the team a #1 seed in the 2006 NCAA Tournament. On Jan. 11, UT took care of business in "The Swamp" hanging a 80-58 loss on the Gators. Tennessee jumped out to a 25-0 lead before Florida scored with 12:20 left on the clock in the first half. It was the second longest opening drought by a UT opponent this season. Tennessee-Martin did not score until the clock read 11:44 and Tennessee had an 18-0 lead. In the bad news department, the 41.7 percent from the foul line was UT's worst mark this season as UT was a dismal 5-12 from the charity stripe. Individually there were some real bright spots: Sidney Spencer...scored in double figures for the 12th time this season, the 39th time of her career; tallied a career-high-tying 21 points; made four of her first five three-point attempts... finished the game 5-of-7 from beyond the arc; her five treys tied a career high and tied for the ninth-most in a game by a Lady Vol; Alexis Hornbuckle...extended her streak of games with a steal to 52...Earned season and SEC career highs in rebounds (9) and assists (10)...Moved into 20th place in the UT record books for career assists (290)...Moved past Mary Ostrowski and into 14th place in the UT record books for career steals (209)...Earned her first career double-double in assists (10) and points (10); Candace Parker...Scored in double figures for the 30th straight game Cait McMahan...Tied a career-high with seven points and Alex Fuller...Eight rebounds matched her career-best.


Junior Alexis Hornbuckle missed out on her first career triple-double in the game versus Florida on Jan. 11, 2007. Hornbuckle tallied 10 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in 29 minutes of action. At the end of the game, her teammates were encouraging her to grab one final board after Hornbuckle dished out her 10th assist with 27 seconds to go. Hornbuckle just missed a triple-double a year ago in the game against Connecticut in Knoxville on Jan. 7. 2006. She grabbed 14 rebounds, scored 10 points and dished nine assists.


The Tennessee Lady Vols hope to turn in a better showing in the Southeastern Conference regular season slate in 2006-07. Last season, UT lost an uncharacteristic three games in the SEC - at Kentucky (66-63), at home to LSU (72-69) and Florida (95-93 OT). Eight points separated UT from a perfect 14-0 mark to a nine-season low 11-3 SEC record. In fact, from the 1997-98 season until the 2004-05 campaign, Tennessee lost a total of four SEC games in the regular season.


The scouting report on Lady Vol junior Shannon Bobbitt has undergone some revisions of late. In a four-game stretch (ODU to UConn), Bobbitt emerged into more of a scoring role. The diminutive New Yorker averaged 11.8 ppg, 44% FG, 60% three-pointers, 100% from the free throw line in contests against Old Dominion, Notre Dame, Alabama and #5-ranked Connecticut. Against the Irish, Bobbitt connected for a career high 17 points. In the win over UConn, Bobbitt drilled three treys in the opening stanza.


Lady Vol coach Pat Summitt collected her 375th all-time win over a ranked team when #4-ranked Tennessee defeated #5-ranked Connecticut on Jan. 6. Summitt has a ridiculous 72 percent winning percentage in ranked games (376-146).


Tennessee appears in a number of categories in the latest NCAA stats (thru 1/16/07). UT ranks fourth in the nation in three-point field goal accuracy, 13th in the nation in field goal accuracy, seventh in blocked shots with 6.4 bpg, seventh in steals with 13.3, 11th in scoring margin at +20.1 ppg, 20th in scoring with 75.9 ppg, and 28th in assists with 16.5 per game. Individually, Sidney Spencer ranks first the nation in three-point field goal accuracy with 53.5 percent, Alexis Hornbuckle is 12th in steals with 3.4 thefts and Candace Parker is 19th nationally with 19.7 ppg and 17th in 2.7 blocks per game.


Tennessee, once again, leads the NCAA women's basketball attendance race. UT easily passed the 100,000 mark in home attendance before the new year with 19,092 versus Notre Dame. The current attendance standings: 1.Tennessee 13,222 (132,219/10), 2. Connecticut 11,526 (126,790/11), 3. Texas Tech 10,823 (86,583/8), 4.Oklahoma 9,994 (49,969/5) and 5. New Mexico 9,118 (82,066/9).


Junior post Nicky Anosike has moved into an elite Lady Vol club. "Big Nick" has joined Tennessee greats Chamique Holdsclaw and Tamika Catchings as the only Lady Vols all-time to accumulate at least 500+ points, 400+ rebounds, 80+ blocked shots, 100+ assists and 100+ steals. The mobile 6-4 Anosike has generated 633 points, 512 rebounds, 106 blocked shots, 141 assists, and 123 steals in 89 career games.


The Tennessee Lady Vols have eclipsed 100,000 in home attendance for the 13th consecutive season and the earliest in program history. Through nine home games, UT has recorded a total attendance of 132,219 for a nation-leading average of 13,222.


While Texas Tech's Bobby Knight finally reached 880 wins on the men's side, Lady Vol coach Pat Summitt recorded her 930th victory with a 73-44 win over Miss. State on Jan. 18, 2007. Summitt recorded her 880th win, passing North Carolina's Dean Smith on Mar. 22, 2005 with a 75-54 victory over Purdue in the NCAA Tournament. Summitt has registered 50 wins since then. Summitt is a season and a half of wins ahead of Coach Knight.


I know it is a huge surprise but the Tennessee Lady Vols hold a large percentile advantage in both the Ratings Percentage Index and the Strength of Schedule through the first 18 games of the season. Also listed are UT's opponents this season.

1. TENNESSEE 0.7394 1 0.6711
2 Duke 0.7170 4 0.6227
5. Stanford 0.6793 2 0.6280
8. G. Washington 0.6647 16 0.5921
9. North Carolina 0.6604 71 0.5473
12. Vanderbilt 0.6528 18 0.5898
13. Arizona St 0.6523 37 0.5715
14. LSU 0.6517 41 0.5707
15. Connecticut 0.6505 36 0.5732
16. Georgia 0.6477 14 0.6004
17. MTSU 0.6447 29 0.5790
28. Texas 0.6149 28 0.5792
31. Mississippi 0.6113 68 0.5483
33. Arkansas 0.6083 108 0.5278
36. Auburn 0.6053 61 0.5571
39. Notre Dame 0.6039 44 0.5699
52. Old Dominion 0.5884 15 0.5970
65. West Virginia 0.5731 55 0.5605
72. Chattanooga 0.5699 84 0.5377
88. Kentucky 0.5547 135 0.5115
91. UCLA 0.5524 23 0.5866
93. Mississippi St 0.5495 70 0.5474
96. South Carolina 0.5457 93 0.5346
105. Alabama 0.5361 69 0.5481
115. Florida 0.5295 13 0.6007
129. La Tech 0.5208 72 0.5463
219. UT-Martin 0.4609 310 0.4185


The Tennessee Lady Vols are the top-ranked team in the history of the Top 25 rankings in the Associated Press poll. The poll, now in its 31st season, has found Pat Summitt's Tennessee Lady Vols ranked in 514 of a possible 528 polls. Through the poll released on Jan. 16, the top five team poll rankings are:

1. Pat Summitt, TENNESSEE 514
(missed just 14 polls in entire AP history)
2. Andy Landers, Georgia 406
3. Jody Conradt, Texas 393
4. C.Vivian Stringer (Cheyney, Iowa, Rutgers) 349
5. Rene Portland (St. Joseph, Penn St.) 336



The playing court in the Thompson-Boling Arena on the University of Tennessee campus donned a new look for the 2005-06 season. After Lady Vol coach Pat Summitt passed Dean Smith for most NCAA collegiate basketball wins of all-time with a 75-54 win over Purdue on Mar. 22, 2005, UT named the TBA court, "The Summitt." The floor had a complete overhaul with permanent logos of both the Lady Vols and Vols painted directly in front of the scorer's table; the free throw lanes were painted orange with "SEC" reversed out; the giant jump circle/mid-court TENNESSEE was given a new brighter color scheme, and "The Summitt," Coach Summitt's actual signature adorns the sidelines opposite the team benches.


Tennessee recorded its 200th win in Thompson-Boling Arena when the Lady Vols defeated the University of Southern California on Nov. 18, 2001, 106-66. UT has now amassed a 275-16 (.943) record since the Orange and White moved into the Thompson-Boling Arena to start the 1987-88 season 19-years ago. Along the way, the Lady Vols have produced nine flawless home records in 1988-89 (15-0), 1991-92 (14-0), 1992-93 (13-0), 1993-94 (15-0), 1994-95 (15-0), 1997-98 (16-0), 1998-99 (14-0), 2000-01 (15-0) and 2002-03 (16-0). UT also registered an NCAA record 69-game home court-winning streak from Feb. 1, 1991 thru Jan. 2, 1996.


The Tennessee Lady Vols rarely lose at home. In fact, since moving to the Thompson-Boling Arena for the 1987-88 campaign, UT has lost two games in one season just six times. UT lost two games in TBA during the inaugural 1987-88 campaign, 1996-97, 1999-00, 2001-02, 2003-04 and the 2005-06 seasons. The 16 all-time losses at Thompson-Boling Arena have come at the hands of just nine teams: Florida (2006), LSU (2006), Duke (2004), Connecticut (2004, 2002, 2000, 1996), Louisiana Tech (1999, 1989), Georgia (1996, 1991), Texas (2003, 2002, 1987), Stanford (1996) and Auburn (1988).


The victory over Georgia on Jan. 31, 2005, was the Lady Vols 400th home win since Pat Summitt took over as head coach in 1974. Summitt has won 91.4 percent of all home games in 33 years producing a 427-40 overall record. Home losses (in the Summitt era) include: six in Alumni Gym from 1974-76; 18 in Stokely Athletics Center from 1976-87; and 16 in Thompson-Boling Arena since 1987.

226 OF 239 AT HOME

UT has won 226 of their last 239 games in Thompson-Boling Arena dating back to 2-1-91. UT's 13 losses during this time have been to Florida, LSU, Duke, Louisiana Tech, UConn (four times), Stanford, Texas (three times) and Georgia (OT).


Florida became the second unranked team in the 2005-06 season to knock off the Lady Vols, when they won 95-93 OT on Feb. 26, 2006. Exactly one month earlier, unranked Kentucky turned the trick with a 66-63 win over #1/3-ranked Tennessee on Jan. 26, 2006 at Rupp Arena. Previously, it had been four years since an unranked team upset the Lady Vols. So before Florida and Kentucky had their way with UT, when was the last time Tennessee lost to an unranked team? That would have been to LSU on Mar. 2, 2002 at the SEC Tournament in Nashville, Tenn. LSU had been in and out of the Top 25 polls in late January and February. Prior to that, UT's last loss to an unranked team was five years previous (to the day) losing to Auburn on Mar. 2, 1997 at the SEC Tournament.


Since 1974, the Lady Vols have gone over the century mark 72 times. Last season, UT eclipsed 100 points in two games - Princeton, 107 and #16/18 Texas, 102. The 1987-88 team hit triple digits in seven games to lead the NCAA.


The Lady Vols are 24-13 all-time in overtime games. The most OT games in a year was tied in 2003-04 with four as the Lady Vols went 3-1 in overtime losing to Georgia, 68-66, and defeating Auburn, 68-61, DePaul, 96-89, and Stanford, 70-66. It tied the mark set in 1996-97, when the Lady Vols were 3-1 in overtime contests losing to Georgia, 94-93, and defeating Texas, 68-65, Vanderbilt, 92-79 and LSU, 100-99. UT's 22 points in the OT against Florida (2-3-05), was the most ever scored by the Lady Vols in a single overtime. UT's most recent OT affair was a 95-93 loss to Florida on 2-26-06.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Summitt tells fans to be loud but clean

Wants no payback vs. No. 1 Duke

KNOXVILLE — The Tennessee women's basketball team wouldn't mind seeing the environment at Thompson-Boling Arena more closely resemble Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium.

At least in some ways.

The Lady Vols still are fuming after their last meeting with the Blue Devils on Jan. 23, when Duke's "Cameron Crazies" hounded UT guard Alexis Hornbuckle for her 2004 arrest on a charge of shoplifting at a Wal-Mart in West Virginia.

Students waved shopping bags and chanted "Wal-Mart" throughout the night, even during pregame warm-ups. Hornbuckle responded by committing six turnovers, and Duke ran away with a 75-53 win.

A year later, the sting of the loss has worn off slightly for the No. 4 Lady Vols (17-1). But that game appears to be in the back of their minds as they prepare for their rematch with the top-ranked Blue Devils (19-0) on Monday.

"I just want to get them back," UT junior center Nicky Anosike said. "That was really mean, especially for Alexis, who is one of my closest friends on the team. I think we owe them a little something."

Hornbuckle said the heckling served its purpose during the game but "was inappropriate to a point." Coach Pat Summitt admitted it might have bothered her more than any of her players.

"I thought it was really unfortunate that any player was put in that position," Summitt said. "I was very upset after that game. To me, there's no place for it. …

"I was probably more upset than anyone in the gym."

Seeking student support

Summitt admits that part of her would like to see a similar environment at UT's home games.

She said players have lobbied recently for better student attendance. Summitt visited four campus cafeterias this past week to drum up support for what should be one of this year's most anticipated regular-season games.

On each of Summitt's stops, students suggested that she remove the end-zone seats provided for students, following in the footsteps of men's Coach Bruce Pearl, who took out the seats before last season.

Summitt listened to the suggestions and has ordered for the seats to be taken out for Monday's game. She's hoping for a raucous environment, but with one caveat.

Said Summitt: "We're not going to be into dirt digging."

Parker continues to make hoops history with dunks

Central grad attracting plenty of attention for rare feats

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Dunk, jumper or layup.

It's all the same to Tennessee's Candace Parker, just another way to score for the No. 4 Lady Vols.

While others are raving about her latest dunk - a rim-rattler against archrival Connecticut two weeks ago - the Naperville Central graduate tries to brush aside all the attention.

"There's only so much you can say about it," Parker says politely but with obvious disdain for the subject. "I've done it a couple of times, and hopefully it's not as rare as it used to be."

Parker is the only woman in college to dunk this season, and her jam against UConn in Hartford gave her six for her career.

"It's a part of my game. It's not my game," Parker says.

Four other women have dunked in college games, but Parker, a sophomore, has dunked more often and has incorporated it into a style of play that separates her from others.

The 6-foot, 4-inch Parker is so versatile she's listed on the roster as a guard, forward and center. She leads the Lady Vols in scoring, rebounding and blocks.

Her four dunks this season have come on wide-open fast breaks. The one in Tennessee's 70-64 win against UConn won't soon be forgotten.

Early in the second half, Sidney Spencer grabbed a loose ball and passed it to Parker near midcourt as she was running toward the open basket. With no defender close, Parker rose up and slammed the ball in the basket with her right hand, rattling the rim.

"That was a pretty big atmosphere," teammate Alexis Hornbuckle said. "Everybody looks for it every time she gets a fast break, but I don't think UConn expected her to actually do it. That was great. That is probably the most memorable dunk so far. I'm sure there are more to come."

After the game, Parker said, "I wanted to have a chance to dunk on Connecticut's court and I did."

The Huskies were not thrilled about witnessing the first dunk against them.

"I knew it was coming," UConn's Charde Houston said. "It was just frustrating because I knew I couldn't catch her. It's embarrassing for our team to have someone dunk on us. But life goes on."

The play seemed to do more for UConn than the Lady Vols. Following the breakaway one-handed dunk, the Huskies went on a 31-15 run to tie the game at 60.

"It made a statement though, so it's good either way," Hornbuckle said.

Parker finished with 30 points, 12 rebounds, six blocks and four assists against UConn.

"There was a stretch that she was so dominant we didn't have an answer for her," Huskies coach Geno Auriemma said.

Tennessee coach Pat Summitt has been supportive of the dunks. After all, Parker has been dunking since high school in Naperville, and won the dunk contest against male college signees that was part of the McDonald's All-Americans game in 2004.

"I think it adds excitement. I think it brings a lot of exposure. There's players that can play at the rim. Obviously Candace can play above it," Summitt said. "She's not a showboat. She's just an aggressive player and has the ability to play above the rim, so I think it's good for the women's game."

The other women who dunked in college are Sancho Lyttle of Houston (once in 2003), Michelle Snow of Tennessee (once each in 2000, 2001, 2002), Charlotte Smith of North Carolina (once in 1994) and Georgeann Wells of West Virginia (twice in 1984). Lisa Leslie has dunked in a WNBA game.

While some women dunk only in practice, Parker believes more will start trying it in games. She's hoping her example will give them confidence.

"Women's basketball is growing a lot. We're a lot more athletic than we have been," she said. "I think there will be people eventually."

Parker's first two career dunks came last season in the first round of the NCAA tournament against Army, marking the first time a woman has dunked twice in one game.

Dunking has its drawbacks, too. Parker got a technical foul for popping her jersey after a dunk against West Virginia. Snow got one for hanging on the rim after a two-handed dunk, and Wells got whistled when her teammates ran out on the court.

Snow's feat wasn't always well-received. Summitt said some opposing coaches were critical, but she has not heard anything bad about Parker's dunks.

When Parker arrived at Tennessee as a freshman in 2004, fans wondered when - not if - she would dunk. A nagging knee injury and surgery forced her to redshirt her first season.

Last year, Parker made some attempts or changed her mind on a fast break and didn't dunk until the NCAA tournament.

"I think I've also gotten stronger and more comfortable with my knee," she said.

And there's the attention she draws after every dunk.

"That's one of the reasons why I didn't (dunk) as much last year because I don't like talking about it," Parker said.

For now, her dunks grab headlines.

"I don't see that changing for a while," Summitt said. "There's a lot of people that come here just hoping she will dunk."

Crazy response

Duke fans’ abuse has helped Hornbuckle

KNOXVILLE — It’s not easy to embarrass Alexis Hornbuckle.

The University of Tennessee’s spunky and talkative guard will match wits and words with anyone on the basketball court.

But one group of people she had no answer for: the "Cameron Crazies."

Duke University’s student section gained its fame for men’s games, but the Crazies made a special appearance at the women’s game last Jan. 23 for the arrival of then No. 1 and undefeated Tennessee. Duke, which won that game 75-53, is No. 1 as it visits No. 4 Tennessee on Monday.

The Cameron Crazies did their homework about Hornbuckle, dredging up a Wal-Mart shoplifting arrest from her past and throwing it in her face. For about two hours.

They held up plastic bags and chanted "Wal-Mart" at her until late in the game, when they switched to "Overrated" with Duke’s blowout victory assured.

"I was very upset after that game," Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said. "To me there is no place for it, but you can’t control how fans and students react. I think I was the angriest person in that gym."

Hornbuckle felt the effects and finished what she called "the worst game I can remember" with six turnovers. She scored 10 points but missed all four free throws, when the chants were especially noticeable.

She was just another loser in the mind games of the Cameron Crazies, who are legendary for not pulling punches about players’ troubled pasts.

"I was not prepared for the type of hostility that was thrown at me and our team," Hornbuckle said. "You can’t simulate something like that."

It was the low point of Hornbuckle’s career, and she decided it would stay that way. Thinking about Duke during the summer and through weight training and post-practice shootarounds, she worked so she wouldn’t get mentally beaten again.

"I think it has helped me grow," Hornbuckle said. "Sometimes you have to go through that fire in order to come out the other side as a stronger player and person."

Monday night at Thompson-Boling Arena she gets to show a national television audience how much stronger she is.

Hornbuckle’s teammates and coaches have already seen the maturation process. Almost unanimously they call her the catalyst for Tennessee’s improving defense, and they consistently laud her hustle and work ethic.

"She’s just a great leader for this team on so many levels, it’s hard to really put it in one area," senior Sidney Spencer said. "Even when things aren’t going right, she doesn’t let it get to her anymore."

In a 70-57 loss at North Carolina, the Lady Vols’ only defeat this season, they struggled in a hostile environment. But Hornbuckle never hung her head and never displayed frustration to a raucous Tar Heels crowd.

She credits the Cameron Crazies for that.

It was after UT’s win at Connecticut that Summitt said Hornbuckle officially left the Duke game behind her.

"I think she is playing the best basketball of her career right now," Summitt said. "I think that game last year had to have had an impact on her, but this year she understands how she can really help this team."