December 5, 2006
KNOXVILLE (AP) - Tennessee's Pat Summitt says she owed her alma mater for helping her get a start in the coaching profession.
As thanks, her sixth-ranked Lady Vols put Tennessee-Martin on their schedule and got an 85-29 victory on Tuesday, two days after Tennessee lost its first game of the season. Candace Parker led the Lady Vols with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
"Obviously if it weren't for the folks at UT-Martin I wouldn't have this job nor would I have been prepared for it," Summitt said. "I think just having the opportunity to have the folks from that area back here is very special for me."
Summitt was hired at Tennessee in 1974 after completing her playing career and has remained in Knoxville ever since.
UT-Martin named its basketball court in Summitt's honor in 1997.
The Lady Vols (7-1) lost 70-57 at second-ranked North Carolina on Sunday, struggling against the Tar Heels' defensive pressure.
UT-Martin was not expected to challenge the Lady Vols, and the Skyhawks (4-2) didn't.
The Lady Vols were ahead 18-0 before Jennifer Angler scored for UT-Martin with 11:43 left in the first half.
The Ohio Valley Conference team last played its sister school in 1999, and Tennessee won 133-60.
Summitt spoke to the Skyhawks in their locker room before the game, which turned out more like an exhibition contest.
UT-Martin coach Tara Tansil joked she was not happy to find out her team would face the Lady Vols after losing at North Carolina.
"I need to call (North Carolina coach) Sylvia (Hatchell) and thank her for that," Tansil said.
Reserve Alex Fuller added 14 points for the Lady Vols while Sidney Spencer had 13 and Nicky Anosike 10.
Tennessee led 43-13 at halftime and continued to pull away in the second half. The Skyhawks had trouble getting off shots, and the buzzer often sounded for shot clock violations. They were smaller than the Lady Vols and struggled to defend and rebound.
The Lady Vols had the rebounding edge, 46-24.
The Skyhawks were led in scoring by Nicole Holman, Phyllisha Mitchell and Andreika Jackson each with six points. UT-Martin made 10 of 49 shots from the field.
"I was pleased our team maintained their intensity. We got to work on some different looks. In the second half we played all match-up zone, and our coverage out of it was much better than it has been," Summitt said.
"We didn't play the scoreboard. We played to try to get a little bit better."
Parker scored 11 points in the first 12 minutes of the first half and then sat and watched until halftime. She added six points in the second half before going to the bench with most of the other starters with 10:15 remaining and the Lady Vols ahead by 41.
Parker airballed her first free throw of the game, and her teammates planned to give her a hard time about it.
"It's going to be fun, but I guarantee it's not going to happen again," Lady Vols freshman guard Cait McMahan said.