Wednesday, December 05, 2007

(1) Tennessee 83, (24) Old Dominion 51

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Angie Bjorklund scored 19 points and Candace Parker added 14 as top-ranked Tennessee beat No. 24 Old Dominion 83-51 Wednesday night.

Nicky Anosike added 13 points and seven rebounds for the Lady Vols (7-0), who defeated the Lady Monarchs for the 27th time in their last 28 meetings. Tennessee now leads the series 32-9. Tiffany Green scored 14 points to lead Old Dominion (6-3), which played without leading scorer T.J. Jordan.

Tennessee treated Old Dominion like an unranked opponent, jumping out to a 10-2 lead and expanding its advantage to 33 points in the second half. The Lady Vols, who never trailed, limited the Lady Monarchs to 32 percent shooting from the floor and forced them into 20 turnovers that led to 27 points.

Still, Tennessee looked out of rhythm early in the game, the residual effect of Sunday's hard-fought 83-79 win over No. 4 North Carolina.

The Lady Vols were unusually careless with the ball and lacked much of their characteristic on-court swagger. They had 15 turnovers and just six assists on 15 made baskets in the first half. Tennessee finished the game with a season-high 23 giveaways.

Tennessee turned up its defensive tempo in the second half, forcing Old Dominion into turnovers while making a 7-0 run to start the period. A second 7-0 spurt put them ahead 63-35 with 10:30 remaining. The Lady Monarchs got no closer than 27 points the rest of the way.

Shannon Bobbitt was the fourth Tennessee player in double figures with 10 points, including 2-of-4 from 3-point range.

Jazzmin Walters and Shadasia Green were the only other Old Dominion players in double figures with 10 points each.

Jordan, who averages almost 17 points per game for the Lady Monarchs, missed the contest with a foot injury. Megan Pym and Jessica Canady, who averaged 10.5 points each for Old Dominion entering the game, were held to seven and six points respectively.

Tennessee, which gave up a school-record 57 rebounds against North Carolina, was more successful against Old Dominion, outrebounding the Lady Monarchs 45-35. However, they were beaten 16-13 on the offensive end.

Tennessee lost its unanimous No. 1 ranking this week as two of 50 voters chose Connecticut for the top slot. The Lady Vols have enjoyed 110 total weeks atop the Associated Press poll.

Meanwhile, Old Dominion entered the Top 25 for the first time since 2002 this week. The Lady Monarchs have made 15 straight NCAA tournament appearances and 24 overall. Only Tennessee and Louisiana Tech have more. ODU has won three national titles, the last in 1985. They lost to the Lady Vols in the 1997 NCAA title game.

The Lady Monarchs' three 2007 losses have come against teams ranked in the top five. Their previous defeats were against No. 2 UConn and fourth-ranked Stanford.

The Lady Vols, who have faced five ranked teams in their seven wins, will take a three-game break from such competition. Tennessee doesn't face another currently ranked opponent until taking on sixth-ranked Stanford Dec. 22. Old Dominion will take a two-week break before it faces Delaware State Dec. 20.

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