January 2, 2008
CHICAGO (AP) -- Benched for the first half for missing curfew, Candace Parker scored 17 points and third-ranked Tennessee beat No. 15 DePaul 102-68 on Wednesday night.
This wasn't the homecoming Parker had envisioned when coach Pat Summitt scheduled the game. Parker, who grew up in nearby Naperville, didn't start for the first time in her career. She had close to 60 family and friends in attendance including both her grandmothers, who were seeing her play at the collegiate level for the first time.
It was easy to spot Parker's family. They were sitting right behind the Tennessee bench wearing shirts with her photo on the front. On the back was Parker's No. 3. Her mom had the word "Mama" above the number.
They had to wait until the second half to see Parker play.
Even without their All-American, the Lady Vols were too much for DePaul.
Alex Fuller scored 19 points and Nicky Anosike added 17 for the Lady Vols (11-1).
Deirdre Naughton, Allie Quigley and Natasha Williams each scored 13 for DePaul (11-2).
With the game tied at 27 with 7:17 left in the first half, Tennessee went on a 17-2 run over the next 5 minutes. The Lady Vols pounded the ball inside as Anosike and Fuller combined for eight of the points.
DePaul's Erin Cattell made a 3-pointer with 2:20 left to cut it to 44-32, and the teams traded baskets before Fuller scored the last seven points of the half for Tennessee to extend the lead to 19.
After Quigley hit a 3-pointer to start the second half, the Lady Vols scored the next seven points to put the game away. DePaul could get no closer than 21.
Fuller was 8-for-8 from the field in the first half as the Lady Vols shot 62.5 percent (20-for-32) from the field.
Parker started the second half to a rousing cheer from the crowd. After drawing two quick offensive fouls, she finally scored on a layup.
This game was a chance for the Blue Demons to see how they stacked up against one of the best teams in the country. DePaul was coming off its first loss of the season on Friday night when they lost to Texas in the Maggie Dixon Surf 'N Slam Classic.
The Blue Demons, who had matched their best start in school history, rebounded from that loss to rout Appalachian State in the second game of that tournament.
DePaul was no match for Tennessee, which has won all 17 meetings with the Blue Demons.
Associate head coach Holly Warlick was back on the sidelines for Tennessee. She missed the team's West Coast trip after breaking her right ankle and developing a blood clot in the leg.
The Lady Vols, who were coming off their first loss of the season, scored over 100 points for the first time since last season. They fell in overtime to Stanford on Dec. 22.
-Tonight’s game at McGrath Arena was sold out.
-The Lady Vols led at halftime for the 12th time this season and the 18th-time in a row dating back to last season.
-The Lady Vols’ first half field goal percentage (62.5) was their highest of the season.
-All nine Lady Vols on the team scored in the game.
-Tennessee surpassed 100 points in a game for the first time this season and improve to 69-3 in games when scoring over 100 points.
The win tonight…
-Gives Tennessee an 11-1 record on the season including a 4-1 mark in games played away from Knoxville.
-Gives Tennessee a 17-0 record all-time against DePaul.
-Gives Tennessee a 6-1 record against ranked foes this season
-Gives Tennessee a 73-19 record all-time against teams from the BIG EAST
-Gives Pat Summitt a career record of 958-181 in her 34th season at UT
-After missing curfew, she failed to start in a game in which she played for the first time in her Lady Vol career (83 previous games).
-Scored in double figures for the 18th straight game, the 12th time this season and the 79th time in her career.
-Started for the first time this season and the second time in her career
-The first Lady Vol to reach double figures in the game, crossing the 10-point clip for the second time this season and the 10th time in her career.
-Scored a career-high 19 points
-Went eight-for-eight from the floor in the first half, but missed one of her two field goal attempts in the second period.
-Started for the 94th time in her 113-game career, tying her for 14th place on the all-time career starts list at UT.
-Crossed the 1,100-point and 600-rebound plateaus for her career
-Reached double figures for the eighth time this season and the 57th time in her career.
-Moved into eighth place in the UT record books for career free throw attempts (496)
-Reached double figures for the fifth time this season and the 26th time in her career.
-Scored a season-high 17 points
-Went to the free throw line for the first time in her career
Story Courtesy: UT Sports Information