Lady Vols Win At MS-State ... BUT Candace Parker Goes Down With An Injury

Candace Parker was OK after she was helped off the court because of a knee injury during No. 2 Tennessee's 87-69 win over Mississippi State on Thursday night.

The two-time All-American hurt her left knee with 3:09 left in the game. Parker finished with a season-low 11 points.

Parker's previous low this season was 13. She was evaluated by the team's trainer and an orthopedic surgeon after the game and they said her knee was "solid." She will be listed as day to day going into Monday's game against No. 7 Rutgers.

The 6-foot-4 junior two-time All-American has had two surgeries on the same knee. She had a torn anterior cruciate ligament repaired during her senior season in high school and had a second surgery her freshman year to resurface the bones in her knee.

Parker was not made available for interviews after the game.

Alexis Hornbuckle and Shannon Bobbitt scored 16 points each and the Lady Vols won their 11th in a row despite one of their poorest overall performances of the season.

Tennessee (21-2, 8-0 Southeastern Conference) trailed at halftime for the first time this season and was held without a point for more than 8 minutes midway through the first half as Parker and the Lady Vols struggled to find a rhythm against the collapsing defense of Mississippi State (14-9, 2-6).

It took a 17-4 run out of halftime to erase Mississippi State's 40-33 lead and it wasn't until a 12-2 run fueled by a pair of 3-pointers by Bobbitt during a span of 1:06 midway through the second half that Tennessee put the game away.

Alexis Rack had 32 points off the bench for the Bulldogs, who have never beaten Tennessee in 27 tries. Mississippi State coach Sharon Fanning is now 0-for-32 against Pat Summitt.

It looked as if Mississippi State might finally break through in the most lopsided streak in the Southeastern Conference midway through the first half.

Each time Parker received the ball in the low post, she was immediately surrounded by two or three Mississippi State players.

The Lady Vols built a quick 13-point lead as Parker passed out of the defense and her teammates made three 3-pointers in the first 3:47 for a 17-4 lead. But the shots stopped dropping after Angie Borkland made the team's fifth 3-pointer on Parker's sixth assist to make it 24-11 with 12:52 remaining in the half.

Parker left the game soon after for a rest and Mississippi State put together a charge.

The Bulldogs held Tennessee without a field goal for 9:50 and without a point for 8:04 during a 23-3 run that gave them a 34-27 lead with 3:31 left till halftime.

Tennessee was 0-for-12 during the run and had six turnovers as well. The Lady Vols hit just 34.4 percent of their shots in the first half, but rallied to make 57.9 percent in the second half as they pulled away.

Your WVLT, Volunteer TV Sports Overtime Team Will Have The Latest On Parker's Injury As It Becomes Available...

Tennessee hosts Rutgers on Monday at 7:00 p.m.

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Notes…

-Tennessee scored with 12:52 left in the half on an Angie Bjorklund three-pointer to go ahead 24-11 before Mississippi State went on a 21-0 run. The Lady Vols didn’t score again until Alex Fuller made a free throw at the 3:48 mark – a span of nine minutes and four seconds without a UT point. The Lady Bulldogs would go on a 29-9 run in the last 12:52 of the first half.

-Mississippi State scored 40 first-half points, tying North Carolina for the most by an opponent in the opening period this season.

-Tennessee trailed at halftime for the first time in since March 3, 2007 against LSU in the SEC Tournament – a stretch of 27 straight games not trailing at the half.

-The seven-point deficit was the largest for UT at the half since trailing by 11 against Duke on Jan. 22, 2007.

-Mississippi State led by as many as nine points – the biggest lead by
an opponent this season.

-Tennessee extended its streak of games with a three-pointer to 324.

-Five Lady Vols scored in double figures, tying the most in a game this season (also did so against Gonzaga and UCLA).

-Mississippit State’s Alexis Rack scored 32 points, the most by an opposing player since Armintie Price scored 30 on March 27, 2007.

-Tennessee scored at least 80 points in a game for the 12th time this season.

The win tonight…

-Improves Tennessee to 21-1 on the season, 8-0 in the Southeastern Conference

-Gives the Lady Vols a 27-0 all-time record against Mississippi State

-Gives UT a 389-58 all-time record against teams from the SEC and a 260-33 record in league games.

-Gives UT a 579-32 all-time record and a 36-game winning streak against unranked opponents

-Gives Pat Summitt a career record of 968-181 in her 34th season at Tennessee, including a 319-80 record in road games.

-Extends the Lady Vols’ winning streak to 11, tying the 13th-longest streak in program history.

Alexis Hornbuckle…

-Scored in double figures for the 12th time this season and the 61st time in her career.

Alberta Auguste…

-Scored in double figures for the second straight game and the ninth time in her career.

-Scored a season-high and SEC-tying-high 12 points

Candace Parker…

-Had a career-high-tying seven assists

-Grabbed double-digit rebounds for the ninth time this season and the 42nd time in her career.

-Extended her streak of double-digit scoring to 28 games and earned her ninth double-double of the season and the 40th of her career.

Nicky Anosike…

-Scored in double figures for the 11th time this season and the 32nd time in her career.

-Needs 20 points to become the 33rd all-time Lady Vol to reach 1,000 career points.

Shannon Bobbitt…

-Scored in double figures for the 11th time this season and the 27th time in her career.

-Moved past Kellie Jolly and into 11th place the UT record books for career three-point field goal attempts (273).

Story's Courtesy: AP Wire Reports & UT Lady Vols Sports Information


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