Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lady Vols Close Regular Season with 75-63 Win over Ole Miss

KNOXVILLE -- Tennessee coach Pat Summitt could tell a difference in her team in its first game since clinching the Southeastern Conference regular-season championship.

She was hardly happy about it.

Shekinna Stricklen scored 23 points to help the No. 4 Lady Volunteers fight off a second-half rally from Mississippi for a 75-63 victory Sunday night, but Summitt was in no mood to celebrate Tennessee's 11th consecutive win to close out the regular season.

"Do I look like I'm happy? Do I sound like I'm happy?" Summitt said. "I'm disappointed in our team not bringing it all the time. If you are a team on a mission, you can see it. You can feel it, you know, and it's just obvious. But no, in this game, we decided to pick and choose, and we had two players step up and play great."

Alicia Manning recorded her first double-double with a career-high 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Lady Vols (27-2, 15-1 SEC), and Stricklen also had 10 rebounds.

"We won, and I know it's not one of our best games," Stricklen said. "But right now, we just have to let it go and just get ready for tournament time, and just go hard in every one of the games we play."

The Rebels (16-13, 6-8) got 34 points from Bianca Thomas and erased a double-digit deficit in the second half only to lose for the eighth time in 10 games and the second time this season against Tennessee.

Elizabeth Robertson's putback with 12:37 remaining completed Mississippi's comeback to tie the score at 50, but Tennessee put away the game by scoring 17 of the next 21 points.

Thomas, the SEC's leading scorer, hit 11 of 27 field goals and four of her 10 3-point attempts to post the second-highest point total of her senior season.

"I think she proved to everyone again tonight that she is one of the top players in the conference," Rebels coach Renee Ladner said. "She's still the leading scorer in the conference. I've said it all year. I think she's been a little disrespected, and she continues to prove people wrong. She was just outstanding for our team."

This one lacked some of the late drama of the last two meetings between the teams, both of which were won on last-second shots by Lady Vols guard Angie Bjorklund.

"It's happened two years straight," Thomas said. "Angie got a shot at the end in Oxford. It was very heartbreaking, not only to me but to the whole team."

The two teams could meet again in just a few days. The loss dropped Mississippi to the No. 9 seed for this week's SEC tournament in Duluth, Ga., where the Rebels will open Thursday against eighth-seeded South Carolina.

The winner will advance to play Tennessee for the third time this season on Friday.

"If we have to play Ole Miss again, that's a big challenge," Summitt said. "South Carolina is playing well."

The Lady Vols scored the game's first eight points in less than two minutes -- including two 3s by Stricklen -- and took a 40-32 advantage into halftime.

Stricklen finished with double-digit scoring for the sixth consecutive game for Tennessee, which shot 42.6 percent and scored 34 points in the paint.

"I think she's been in the gym and getting up just shot after shot after shot," Summitt said of Stricklen. "She's just committed to being a player that's going to have repetition offensively, and not just occasionally but often."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lady Vols Claim SEC Regular Season Title with 81-65 Win over Kentucky

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- When Kentucky upset Tennessee a year ago, Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt revoked her team's locker room privileges for nine months.

On Thursday night, the Lady Vols showed their demanding coach just how far they've come since that lowly day.

Fourth-ranked Tennessee celebrated another Southeastern Conference championship in that same locker room after an 81-65 win over Kentucky (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today, No. 16 AP).

"We went crazy in the locker room," said Tennessee sophomore Shekinna Stricklen, who was one of five Lady Vols in double figures.

The victory gave Tennessee its 15th SEC regular-season title and first since 2007, when they won the school's seventh national championship.

"I think they understand what it takes now," Summitt said. "I think this game meant a lot to our team. They wanted to win something, something very important."

Tennessee (26-2, 13-1) used several runs to pull away in the first half and stayed firmly in control in the second half thanks to consistent play inside and near-perfect free-throw shooting (25-for-27).

Kelley Cain, who was coming off a school-record 12-block performance against LSU on Monday, led the Lady Vols with 14 points and seven blocks, even though she sat out the final 16:46 of the first half after picking up her second foul.

She scored 11 of her points, pulled down all six of her rebounds and had all but one of her blocks in the second half.

Victoria Dunlap scored 22 points for Kentucky (23-5, 11-4). But the fourth-leading scorer in the SEC shot just 6-of-19 from the field.

Trailing from the opening minutes, the Wildcats managed to get within 23-16 on a layup by Amani Franklin, but the Lady Vols followed that with a 14-0 run that included consecutive 3-pointers from Angie Bjorklund.

"I watched a lot of film on them, and I think tonight they showed you another gear that they had," Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell said.

Alyssia Brewer added 10 points, as Tennessee outscored Kentucky 36-26 in the paint.

"We're excited we finally won something," Bjorklund said. "We're all pretty excited after this game. That was our focus. If we take this team out, then we win SEC. That's our first goal, and we accomplished it."

The Wildcats did not have the size to match up against a Tennessee team with all five starters at 6-foot or taller.

"Sometimes it's tough to handle big people when you don't have somebody on your bench that has the same kind of body that they have, but that's not the mentality you have to take," Dunlap said. "If they're bigger or smaller, you just have to play hard the whole time and not worry about it."

Tennessee now has 29 blocks in its past two games.

"I think if teams watch film, they have to take that into account," Bjorklund said. "This team, they're tall, they get a lot of blocks inside, and that helps us keep people out of the middle."

But the Lady Vols got balanced scoring from their backcourt as well, with Bjorklund and Stricklen each adding 12 points.

"Obviously some nights guard play is going to be more open than post game," Summitt said. "I think having balance is important, but at the same time, you have to take what good looks you have."

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lady Vols Earn Share of Regular-Season Title with Win Over LSU

KNOXVILLE -- Former Tennessee center Ashley Robinson phoned Pat Summitt recently to check on her old team and coach.

"Ashley called the other day and asked about our post game. I told her, 'Well, Kelley Cain is pretty good,'" Summitt said.

Good enough to break Robinson's single-game blocks record, it turns out.

Cain scored 16 points and blocked 12 shots to help Tennessee (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today, No. 4 AP) beat LSU (No. 20 AP) 70-61 on Monday night. Robinson had eight blocks against Rutgers on Dec. 11, 2003, a mark Cain tied against Arkansas on Feb. 4.

With the win, Tennessee (25-2, 13-1 Southeastern Conference) grabbed a share of the SEC regular-season title.

Cain, with Summitt's permission, skipped a trip to Alabama on Thursday to focus on a class that she had missed several times because of recent road trips. The Lady Vols barely pulled out a 74-67 win without her.

Midway through the first half against LSU (18-8, 7-7), it looked as if Cain again wouldn't be able to help her teammates much. After scoring six points and blocking two shots, she picked up her second foul with 10:27 before halftime and sat out the rest of the half.

While Cain was on the bench, the Lady Vols scored eight straight points in a three-minute span and grabbed a 32-21 lead with 57 seconds left before halftime. Four of those points came from Cain's fellow post player, Alyssia Brewer, who led Tennessee with 18 points.

LSU's Courtney Jones hit a 3-pointer as the first-half clock expired and Allison Hightower hit a jumper just after the break to cut Tennessee's lead to six points.

That's when the 6-foot-Cain and her 82-inch wingspan went to work on both ends of the court.

"She's a force. It's like their guards ran into a force field and got rejected," Brewer said.

Cain blocked a shot by Jasmine Nelson, and Alicia Manning's defensive rebound helped set up the first of back-to-back 3s by Shekinna Stricklen that gave Tennessee a 43-30 lead with 15:59 left.

Glory Johnson added 12 points for the Lady Vols, and Angie Bjorklund and Stricklen scored 10 each as Tennessee scored 44 points in the paint and committed just seven turnovers.

"They're big, athletic and strong. It was a problem for us, but who doesn't have a problem with a 6-6 player," LSU's Katherine Graham said.

Hightower led the Lady Tigers with 18 points. Graham and LaSondra Barrett both chipped in 13.

LSU threatened once more after a traditional 3-point play by Graham and a free throw by Hightower cut the Lady Vols lead to nine points, but this time Brewer answered. Brewer hit a jump shot in the paint and blocked Jones' next shot.

"Brewer and Cain are just unbelievable," LSU coach Van Chancellor said. "I've never seen two players on the same team that could score, that could get the ball."

LSU, the only team in the nation to beat Tennessee at least once in each of the past five seasons, had entered the game with some momentum off a three-game winning streak in which it recorded blowouts against Florida, Auburn and Vanderbilt.

The Lady Tigers are one of only five SEC teams that have managed to win at least two games in Knoxville, with victories at Thompson-Boling Arena in 2006 and 2008.

During the preseason, the media had picked LSU to win the SEC regular season title with Tennessee finishing second. The loss dropped the Lady Tigers to a three-way tie with Florida and Georgia for fourth in the league.

Meanwhile, Tennessee can win the conference outright with a victory over Kentucky, who will visit the Lady Vols on Thursday.

"They've got a shot," Chancellor said. "They've got a legitimate shot."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lady Vols Win 74-67, But Summitt Not Pleased

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- This was one win that didn't come close to making Pat Summitt happy.

Tennessee was outrebounded and hard-pressed to put away the Southeastern Conference's last-place team Thursday night before holding on for a 74-67 victory. The performance left the fifth-ranked Lady Vols' coach fuming at her team late in the game and not much calmer afterward.

"I'm very disappointed in the way we came out and played this game," Summitt said. "It was a lack of awareness and defensive intensity. We had no sense of urgency. Rebounding is heart and competitive desire.

"We disrespected the game of basketball tonight."

Or maybe the Lady Vols (24-2, 12-1) just disrespected Alabama (10-16, 2-11), which hasn't beaten them since 1984.

Alyssia Brewer had 20 points and 10 rebounds to help league-leading Tennessee claim its eighth consecutive win, if not in coach-pleasing fashion.

Alabama, which opened with an entirely new starting five, closed to within 54-49 midway through the second half.

Then, Tennessee finally kicked into gear with 10 straight points en route to a 67-51 lead on Alicia Manning's basket with 6:13 left. The Lady Vols missed five straight free throws at that point and made just 11 of 24 attempts from the line to help keep it close.

"We were horrendous from the free-throw line," Summitt said. "They're going to have to invest in that. It wasn't as much what they did, it's what we didn't do. It was just a lack of commitment on defense."

Brewer's one offensive shortcoming in the game: 6-for-12 shooting on free throws.

Shekinna Stricklen had 14 points and Angie Bjorklund added 13 for Tennessee, which forced 24 turnovers.

Tide freshman Celiscia Farmer had a career-high 21 points in her first start on 10-of-15 shooting. She came in averaging just 4.9 points a game but wound up being the team's only double-figure scorer.

Forward Tierney Jenkins was held to two points -- 10 below her season average.

It was the closest meeting between these teams since Tennessee's 67-63 win in 1998. Some of the missteps late in the game left Summitt either glaring at her team, hands on hips, or screaming loud enough at one point that her voice resonated through Coleman Coliseum.

"Are you going to guard anybody?" she yelled at her players as they walked toward the bench for a timeout with the lead shrinking.

Lady Vols center Kelly Cain missed the game, staying in Knoxville because the marketing/logistics major didn't want to miss more classes.

Without her, Tennessee was outrebounded 45-33 after coming into the game leading the league in rebounding margin. Stanford is the only other team to outrebound the Lady Vols this season.

"When we're missing someone, everyone has to step up," Bjorklund said. "Yeah, Cain's a huge inside force and that's hard for us but that's not an excuse. We should have been ready to come and work a lot harder than we did."

Alabama had lost five of its last six games and was coming off a 29-point defeat at Georgia. Tennessee had dominated Florida 83-44 but couldn't put together a similar performance.

Alabama coach Wendell Hudson shook up his lineup with a new starting five because of recent practice effort from his players, and it worked.

"We're going to play the people who play hard," Hudson said. "That was the group that was playing the hardest in practice."

As for his team's performance, he said, "We did not back up. We took the fight to them."

Tennessee finally scored 10 straight points to go up 33-23 late in the first half. But Alabama rallied, then the Lady Vols missed two shots in the final seconds for a 37-31 halftime edge.

They started out shooting just 4 for 13 before warming up.

"We just came out flat," Bjorklund said. "We didn't get off to a good start and let one thing lead to another and it kind of sucked the life out of us. It's just having more of a sense of urgency to start the game.

"If we could put together 40 minutes, everybody coming together, you'd be looking at an entirely different team."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bjorklund, Cain Lead Lady Vols Past Florida, 83-44

KNOXVILLE -- Up by just six points at halftime against Florida, Tennessee seemed bound for another one of the close calls that have become the norm in Southeastern Conference play.

Coach Pat Summitt preached once again to the fifth-ranked Lady Volunteers about the importance of playing with full effort for 40 minutes.

"I was not happy," Summitt said. "I told them, 'We're not going anywhere in the tournament unless we invest in being a 40-minute team.' There's a reason that we have eight championships. We have to change our level of commitment."

This time, the Lady Vols listened, shooting 64.5 percent and limiting the Gators to 21.2 percent as they beat Florida 83-44 on Sunday.

Nearly half of all SEC games played this season have been decided by single digits, and SEC-leading Tennessee (23-2, 11-1 SEC) has played its part.

The Lady Vols needed a reverse layup by Angie Bjorklund with 2.3 seconds left to pull out a 66-64 win over Florida in Gainesville on Jan. 14. Bjorklund also hit a game-winning 3 in a 61-58 win at Mississippi on Thursday.

Bjorklund still did her part in beating Florida (13-12, 6-6), but this time she helped by scoring 24 points, including six 3-pointers. Kelley Cain added 19 points, Shekinna Stricklen sank 12 and Alicia Manning added 11.

"It feels good," Bjorklund said. "I think once our team got together at halftime and everyone committed to defense and rebounding, that made a huge difference. We need to keep it like that more often and focus on playing a 40-minute game."

The teams traded the lead eight times and tied three times in the first half. Stricklen grabbed the ball from Tessah Holt and hit a layup to cap a 10-0 Tennessee run and give the Lady Vols a 31-21 lead with 2:06 in the first half.

Layups by Trumae Lucas and Jennifer George helped Florida trim the margin, and Tennessee led 34-28 at halftime.

"I thought we showed a lot of fight in the first half," Gators coach Amanda Butler said. "In the second half the fight wasn't there, the intensity wasn't there. The things that you have to do to compete with a team like Tennessee, especially on their home court, weren't there."

The Lady Vols stopped relying so much on their post game after halftime and found some perimeter shooting that had been missing recently, opening the half on a 12-3 run that included 3s by Bjorklund and Manning.

The Gators could only manage 16 points after the break, going long stretches between each basket, and never made it to the free-throw line. Steffi Sorensen led Florida with 12 points.

"This doesn't count, though," Summitt said. "It counts when we have 40 minutes of busting it up-and-down the court, defending and rebounding at both ends."

It was Florida's second blowout in as many games after the Gators 70-30 at home against LSU (No. 23 AP) on Thursday. Their road doesn't get any easier with games left to play against Kentucky (No. 16 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP), Georgia (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) and Vanderbilt before the end of February.

"After you've had losses like we've had, especially back-to-back, you find out who is tough and who is willing to do the dirty work in games," Sorensen said. "Right now, we have to respond. We can't just roll over and die and accept these losses."

Thursday, February 11, 2010

No. 5 Tennessee defeated Mississippi 61-58

OXFORD, Miss. -- Angie Bjorklund is making a habit of beating Mississippi in the final second.

Bjorklund hit a 3-pointer with 1 second remaining as No. 5 Tennessee defeated Mississippi 61-58 Thursday night. It was the second consecutive game Bjorklund hit a game-winning 3 against the Lady Rebels.

Last season, Bjorklund hit a buzzer-beating shot from the corner for the 60-59 win over Ole Miss at home. This time, Bjorklund got free after stepping back from the right wing and nailed the jumper.

"We've got a couple of options on that play but I'm probably Plan B," Bjorklund said. "If we can roll Shekinna (Stricklen) free, it's her shot, but she wasn't open and I made the cut and was open, so it's my shot."

Tennessee (22-2, 10-1 Southeastern Conference) remained on top of the league standings with a one-game lead over Kentucky. Ole Miss (15-9, 6-5) lost for the fourth time in five games and is in a three-way tie for third place.

Stricklen led the Lady Vols with 13 points, while Alyssia Brewer and Bjorklund had 12 apiece. Bjorklund made four baskets, all 3s.

"She's been really big for us," Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said. "This was a very hard-fought game and you have to be happy when you find a way to win."

The decisive margin was inside as the Lady Vols dominated the boards, 47-24, including a game-high 16 from Kelley Cain. Ole Miss compensated by forcing 16 turnovers and hitting 10 3s.

Elizabeth Robertson and Bianca Thomas had 18 points apiece for the Lady Rebels. Thomas, the SEC's leading scorer, pulled Ole Miss into a 58-58 tie with 15 seconds left on a driving layup, setting up Bjorklund for the decisive shot.

"We knew exactly who was going to take that shot," Ole Miss coach Renee Ladner said. "Angie does a good job at making big shots for Tennessee. It's very disheartening because our players fought so valiantly."

The Lady Rebels led 30-25 at halftime and 54-40 with 5 minutes remaining. Ole Miss managed only two baskets the rest of the way and Tennessee's inside dominance set up the successful rally.

"Honestly, we're fortunate to get out of here with the win," Summitt said.

Monday, February 08, 2010

No. 5 Tennessee downs Vanderbilt 69-60

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Coaching is never easy in Memorial Gym, not with the benches on the end lines. Pat Summitt couldn’t be happier at how her Tennessee Lady Vols responded Monday night.

Kelley Cain scored a career-high 19 points, and fifth-ranked Tennessee rallied and beat Vanderbilt 69-60 for the Lady Vols’ fifth straight victory.

Summitt said her Lady Vols (21-2, 9-1 Southeastern Conference) easily could have lost a second straight visit to Memorial Gym, something they’ve never done in consecutive seasons and not since 1985 and 1987 when the teams played only once a season. She was telling them not to lose this game when she noticed something.

“Right then, they started talking about what they needed to do. It wasn’t the coaches,” Summitt said. “It was the players. When they take the ownership, you’ll have better execution. Because it’s coming from them, and they want it.”

Angie Bjorklund credited Cain’s play and Shekinna Stricklen for speaking up.

“Once a teammate says we need to pick it up, it builds a lot more energy. It’s different coming from a teammate,” Bjorklund said.

The Lady Vols used their superior size to pound the Commodores inside and beat their instate rival for the 22nd time on their own floor after losing here 74-57 last season—just the seventh loss by Tennessee in this series.

“It’s a new year,” Cain said, who also had five blocked shots. “It’s not like we’re dwelling on last year. We’re concentrating on this year. We hate to lose to anybody, but we also learned you don’t lose to Vanderbilt.”

Vanderbilt (17-7, 6-5) saw its three-game winning streak end.

Bjorklund, Alyssia Brewer and Glory Johnson all finished with 10 points for Tennessee.

Merideth Marsh led Vanderbilt with 19 points. Jence Rhoads added 15, and Lauren Lueders 12.

Tennessee beat Vanderbilt 64-57 in Knoxville on Jan. 17, a game in which the Lady Vols managed only a one-rebound difference on the boards. On a snowy night in Nashville where about half the 6,005 fans wore orange, the Lady Vols took much better advantage of having 10 players 6-foot or taller compared to Vandy’s five such 6-footers and dominated 41-30.

“We let Bjorklund get open for two wide-open 3s down the stretch, you’re going to lose,” said Melanie Balcomb, who’s now 2-16 all-time against Tennessee. “You give away rebound after rebound … After they outrebounded us over and over, it was kind of like our sails went, ssssshh, down.”

In a meeting of the SEC’s top shooting teams, Tennessee also finished with a big edge there as well (44.6 percent to 37 percent) to overcome Vanderbilt’s 7-of-16 shooting from 3-point range.

“We have a confidence in ourselves this year,” Cain said. “If we get down, we have to take it one play at a time to get back in. … Leesy (Brewer) might be 2 inches shorter than I am, and we’re kind of built the same so it has to be a nightmare for people to guard two people 6-4.”

The score was tied six times in the first half, including at 28 at halftime.

Lueders hit a 3 from the right corner to open the second half and keep Vanderbilt ahead. The teams put on a sluggish and physical display, especially when Stricklen got a technical foul for giving a hip check to Jessica Mooney as the Vanderbilt guard came up to her as the Lady Vols tried to inbound the ball with 14:20 left.

Summitt said she’d never seen that called as a technical in her 36 seasons.

The Commodores led 47-40 when Rhoads scored on a layup, then Tiffany Clarke hit two free throws with 8:41 remaining.

Then Bjorklund, the SEC’s top 3-point shooter, finally got going.

She hit her first 3 with 8:27 left. Cain hit two free throws, then Alicia Manning scored on a layup, Bjorklund hit another long jumper. Cain blocked a shot, Manning got the rebound and then finished off the fast-break with a layup to give Tennessee the lead for good at 52-51 with 5:36 left—the Lady Vols’ first since 14-12.

Cain next stole the ball from Hannah Tuomi, and Manning had another layup. Vanderbilt stayed close, but Glory Johnson, who played only five minutes of the first half with two personal fouls, scored on a layup for her first field goal of the game. She also hit a jumper on the Lady Vols’ next trip down the court.

From there, the Lady Vols just put away the victory.

“I think we kind of gave it to them,” said Rhoads, who missed the game in Knoxville with a broken hand. “Bjorklund made some big shots at the end, but it’s mostly what we didn’t do and gave them the game.”

Thursday, February 04, 2010

No. 5 Tennessee beats Arkansas 74-57

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s Kelley Cain positioned herself on one post while Alyssia Brewer took the other one. Arkansas could handle one at times, rarely both.

Cain scored 14 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked eight shots, Brewer scored 20 and pulled in nine rebounds and No. 5 Tennessee beat Arkansas 74-57 on Thursday night.

“One of them shoots it on one block, the other one rebounds it on the other block,” Razorbacks coach Tom Collen said. “They’re a nightmare to defend.”

With eight games left in the regular season, Tennessee got its 20th win—a feat that took the Lady Vols (20-2, 8-1 Southeastern Conference) until the final game of the season a year ago. It’s the 34th consecutive season they’ve gotten at least 20 wins under coach Pat Summitt.

And even though the win kept Tennessee on top of the SEC and gave the Lady Vols their 21st win over Arkansas in 22 tries, Summitt still wasn’t completely pleased.

Sloppy screens and shots by the guards kept the Lady Vols from getting off to a fast start against one of the SEC’s worst teams.

The Razorbacks (9-13, 1-8) read the screens and had an easy time predicting the Lady Vols’ passes, making it easy for them to snatch the ball. C’eira Ricketts had five of Arkansas’s 11 steals which helped lead to 10 fastbreak points.

“The guards were trying to do too much,” Summitt said. “I said, ‘Get the ball inside. We’re going to play from the inside, out.’ That really changed how we played.”

Brewer and Cain both hit layups as Tennessee scored seven straight points to pull away from Arkansas in the first half. Glory Johnson missed her first free throw attempt but sank the second to give the Lady Vols an 18-10 lead with 9:12 left in the first half.

Tennessee finished with 40 points in the paint.

“We always emphasize getting the ball inside because we have two of the best posts in the country,” Tennessee’s Angie Bjorklund said. “They work really well together. I thought they both really battled inside, and I was proud of them. I hope they continue to play like that.”

The Lady Vols led 31-23 at halftime but could have been much more in control had they not missed six of 10 free throw attempts before the break.

Tennessee entered the game averaging an uncharacteristically low 63.6 percent on free throws in SEC play and hit just 54.5 percent against the Razorbacks.

The Lady Vols pulled away in the second half thanks to some help from Bjorklund, who scored all of her 17 points after halftime, including seven straight points. Shekinna Stricklen finished with 12 points.

They couldn’t completely shake the Razorbacks, who continued to threaten with their outside shooting.

Charity Ford led the way with 18 points and Ricketts added 13. Lyndsay Harris scored four of Arkansas’ nine 3s and finished with 12 points.

“We can’t beat teams that way,” Ford said. “We have to be able to get it inside.”

Summitt put Kamiko Williams at the point guard position in her first-ever start for the Lady Vols in hopes of curing some of her team’s offensive woes. Williams was coming off a career-high 17 points in a sloppy win over South Carolina.

It didn’t work quite as Summitt had hoped. Williams was responsible for two early turnovers, and Summitt pulled her at the first media timeout, opting instead for what she called “point guard by committee.”

“I thought (Williams would) be a lot better, but this is her first start at that position so we’ve got time,” Summitt said.