January 13, 2008
Columbia, SC -- Shannon Bobbitt scored 20 points, Candace Parker added 15 and No. 2 Tennessee beat South Carolina 71-48 Sunday in the Lady Vols' 35th straight win over the Gamecocks.
Tennessee (14-1, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) opened SEC play 2-0 for the 11th straight season.
Parker, Tennessee's junior All-American, showed why.
She had the team's second basket in a 9-0 start and added another bucket and two foul shots as Tennessee broke on top 17-5 with less than nine minutes gone.
South Carolina never got closer than 10 points the rest of way.
Bobbitt, a senior, matched her best SEC scoring performance.
Ilona Burgrova led South Carolina (11-6, 0-2) with 16 points and a career-best 13 rebounds.
Parker -- and the large contingent of Tennessee fans at the Colonial Center -- had a brief hold-your-breath moment when she banged her knee between two South Carolina defenders.
Parker rolled and winced before getting up and taking a few limping steps. But after a brief rest on the bench, Parker was back running the floor.
South Carolina scored the first three baskets of the second half to cut Tennessee's 23-point lead to 37-20. But the Lady Vols went on a 7-0 run capped by a basket by Parker to restore control.
The Gamecocks haven't beaten Tennessee since a 56-52 victory on Jan. 23, 1980.
South Carolina is 0-3 against top 10 opponents this year, all by lopsided margins. It earlier fell to then second-ranked Connecticut 97-39 and then No. 9 Oklahoma 95-63.
South Carolina didn't crack double digits until Burgrova's three-point play with 6:56 reamining.
By then, Tennessee was already in cruise mode, ahead by 12 points and steadily adding to its lead.
And why shouldn't they have?
The Lady Vols must have felt at home at the Colonial Center. Much of the crowd wore bright Tennessee orange.
Fans pushed against the railings overlooking the entrance from the locker room to snap a digital photo or cellphone shot of their Lady Vols. Parker's introduction drew a huge cheer, as did almost every Tennessee basket.
One fan waved a sign, "Candace, Marry Me."
The Lady Vols played strong defense, too.
South Carolina had 18 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, about one off their season's average for a game.
-South Carolina’s previous home attendance record for the season was in its Nov. 20, 2007 loss to Penn State, when 1,518 fans filled the stands. Today 7,841 fans were here.
-For the second game in a row, Nicky Anosike’s two free throws gave Tennessee its first points of the game.
-South Carolina’s first four offensive positions were turnovers as Tennessee jumped out to a 9-0 lead.
-South Carolina had 11 turnovers before Tennessee had one… the Lady Vols had only three at halftime.
-Tennessee forced four Gamecock shot clock violations in the first half alone.
-South Carolina’s 14 points in the first half were the fewest by an opponent this season and tie for the sixth-fewest by an opponent in UT history.
-Tennessee’s first half field goal percentage (.364) was its worst of the season.
The win today…
-Improves the Lady Vols to 14-1 on the season and 2-0 in the Southeastern Conference.
-Gives Tennessee an all-time record against unranked teams of 573-32.
-Gives Pat Summitt a career record of 961-181 in her 34th season at UT.
-Gives the Lady Vols a 39-2 lead in the all-time series with South Carolina, including a current streak of 35 wins in a row.
-Gives Tennessee an all-time record of 381-57 against teams from the SEC.
-Started for the 110th time in her 123-game career, tying her with former Lady Vol two-time All-American Mary Ostrowski for the eighth-most starts in school history.
-Scored in double figures for the fourth straight game, the eighth time this season and the 29th time in her career.
-Moved past Cindy Noble (335) and into 13th place in the UT record books for career free throws made (336).
-Moved into a tie with Michelle Snow and eighth place in the UT record books for career free throw attempts (512).
-In the first 11 games of her senior season (all played in 2007), she averaged 8.2 points and 6.2 rebounds. In the last four games (all player in 2008), she averaged 15.5 points and 8.0 rebounds.
-Grabbed her 100th
-Her second three-point field goal attempt moved her past former Lady Vol and current South Carolina assistant coach Michelle Marciniak (233) and into 13th place in the UT record books for career three-point field goal attempts (238).
-Sank her 100th three-pointer, moving her past Kellie Jolly (99) and into 11th place in the UT record books for career treys (100).
-Scored in double figures for the seventh time this season and the 23rd time in her 51-game career.
-Surpassed 20 points for the second time this season and the third time in her career.
-Moved into a tie with Kristen “Ace” Clement for eighth place in the UT record books for career assists (429).
-Her three-pointer moved her into a tie with former Lady Vol and current South Carolina assistant coach Michelle Marciniak and into 14th place in the UT record books for career treys (66).
Story Courtesy: AP Wire Reports & UT Lady Vols Sports Information