Big night for Lady Vols Seniors, as team defeats FL 88-61

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Candace Parker and Alex Fuller scored 18 points each and No. 3 Tennessee routed Florida 88-61 on Thursday night.

Nicky Anosike scored 15 points and tied a season high with 12 rebounds on the night the Lady Vols honored her and four other seniors, including Parker, who is skipping her final year of eligibility.

Angie Bjorklund added 14 points, and Vicki Baugh had 11 for Tennessee (26-2, 12-1 Southeastern Conference).

The Lady Vols scored 40 points in the paint, outrebounded the Gators 57-35 and forced them to tie a season high with 28 3-point attempts.

Sha Brooks led Florida (16-12, 5-8) with 27 points. She made a career high seven 3-point field goals out of 11 attempts.

Tennessee's 57 rebounds were a season high.

The teams traded baskets for the first four minutes before Tennessee launched a 16-2 run. Candace Parker hit a quick layup with 7:57 to put the Lady Vols up 25-8, prompting Florida to call a timeout.

Tennessee expanded their lead with the help of 3-point shooting from Angie Bjorklund, who finished 4-for-7 from behind the arc, and went into halftime with a 46-26 lead.

Story Courtesy: AP Wire Reports

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Tennessee vs. Florida Post-Game Notes

Notes…

-Prior to tip-off tonight, the 2008 Tennessee seniors (Nicky Anosike, Alberta Auguste, Shannon Bobbitt, Alexis Hornbuckle and Candace Parker) were honored.

-Tennessee made a three-pointer for the 330th consecutive game.

-The Lady Vols grabbed a season-high 57 rebounds and 27 assists.

-All nine Lady Vols who played scored at least two points.

The win tonight…

-Improved the Lady Vols to 26-2 on the season, 12-1 in the SEC

-Gives Tennessee a 36-2 lead in the all-time series with Florida including a 17-1 mark in Knoxville.

-Gives Tennessee a 393-59 all-time record against teams from the SEC and 264-34 in league games.

-Gives Tennessee an overall record of 582-32 against unranked opponents, including a 15-0 mark this season.

-Gives Pat Summitt a career record of 973-182 in her 34th season at UT

Nicky Anosike…

-Started for the 123rd time in her career, tying her with Lea Henry for fourth place in the UT record books for career starts.

-Scored in double digits for the 14th time this season and the 35th time of her career.

-Grabbed double digit rebounds for the sixth time this season and the 19th time of her career.

-Earned her fifth double-double of the season, the 10th of her career.

Candace Parker…

-Scored in double figures for the 34th consecutive game and the 95th game of her career.

-Moved past Tamika Catchings (471) and into second place in the UT career record books for free throws made (472).

-Reached the 1,900-point plateau for her career.

-Moved past Dana Johnson (884) and Michelle Snow (888) and into eighth place in the UT career record books for rebounds (889).

Alexis Hornbuckle…

-Grabbed double-digit rebounds for the first time this season and the third time of her career.

-Dished out a season-high eight assists

Alex Fuller…

-Scored an SEC career-high 18 points, one shy of her season and career-high of 19.

Angie Bjorklund…

-Moved into a tie for sixth place for single-season three-pointers made (62).

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TENNESSEE HEAD COACH PAT SUMMITT:

(Opening remarks) “I was really pleased with the energy we played with tonight. We got off to a good start, but we gave up too many threes. I was pleased with our work on different defensive looks. Changing defenses has been a priority of late, and that will help us against Georgia and in the tournament. Obviously, I am proud of our seniors, but they are not finished yet. They have to focus on closing out the regular season and playing in the SEC Tournament. That should be a great environment. We have to take one game at a time.”

(On Nicky Anosike) “I think she was mad because her family was late. She looked like it. I told her that their plane was delayed and when they got here, we’d take care of them, and that they would be here. She looked to be very focused. She rebounded and went to the rim. She got our offense off to a great start. Nicky comes to play every night whether she is shooting well or not. She leads by example. As a senior, in the second half of this season, she has been more aggressive.”

(On Alex Fuller) “Alex could have been out there tonight (with the other seniors), but she chose to stay, and I told our staff during the game ‘Aren’t you glad that she is staying?’ She has improved each season. She is shooting well and playing composure in our offense.”

(On the three pointers by Tennessee) “We are going to need to shoot from three and make some shots. That has been a key in some of our wins this season. Angie (Bjorklund) shot well tonight. We can count on some people to stretch the defense. They have a reputation to make those threes.”

(On Tennessee’s bench play) “Obviously, it was very encouraging. Vicki (Baugh) has to understand that we didn’t bring her here because of her defense. She has to have an offensive mindset. She and Alex (Fuller) will play a big role in the future for us. She gives us a spark, and we’ve seen that a number of times this year.”

(On rebounding) “Throughout my years here, we have focused on rebounding. Defensive boards are a great priority. You know when you get rebounds on the offensive end that you have a chance to score. When it is a defensive rebound, you don’t get the praise. You don’t get put in the headlines. Not many teams in women’s basketball shoot 50 percent or better. When it is one-and-done, you count on the defensive rebounds. This team has bought into defensive rebounds. If we want to win the SEC Tournament or be in the hunt for another National Championship in Tampa, we know that defensive boards will be just as important as offensive ones.”

(On sharing the ball) “We did share the ball tonight. There have only been a couple of games this season when the ball got stuck in player’s hands. We are in a good place in terms of sharing the ball. We are mindful of shot selection. That puts some pressure on the defense.”

(On Alexis Hornbuckle, Shannon Bobbitt and Alberta Auguste shooting) “They will be in the gym tomorrow. Alexis said she couldn’t buy a basket tonight, but she didn’t force it. At this point in the season, we are not going to place a lot of emphasis on it. The best place to get confident is in the gym.”

(On summing up the seniors) “It would take a lot of time to sum it up. Obviously, they have had a tremendous impact on this program. After a nine-year drought, we’ll remember them as the team that got us another banner. They are a very talented group. It was pretty emotional tonight. In a lot of ways, they are like daughters. They have worn the orange with great pride. They have taken care of business in the classroom. They still have a lot more basketball to play. I’ve said they are the most talented team in the country. They have to play with urgency and passion about execution.”

TENNESSEE SENIOR NICKY ANOSIKE:

(On her family’s late arrival) “I don’t know when they got here. They are always late. I expected that, and I was prepared for it.”

(On her strong start at the beginning of the game) “I had a meeting with myself. I’ve been letting this team down and knew I had to step up. I know it is not too late to lead this team to a championship.”

TENNESSEE SENIOR ALEXIS HORNBUCKLE:

(On senior night) “It is special coming in with these two (Parker and Anosike) and adding these two (Bobbitt and Auguste). It has been a great time. It has been a great journey and it is not over yet. We are a step closer to the end of the regular season and we need to be playing 40-minute games.”

TENNESSEE SENIOR SHANNON BOBBITT:

(On playing in front of her family) “I just played normal. I was happy to have my family here. They came a long way.”

(On sharing the ball) “As a point guard, that is my job. I have got to get the ball to open players, and they knock down the shots.”

TENNESSEE REDSHIRT JUNIOR CANDACE PARKER:

(On senior night) “There is no better place to play college basketball than Knoxville. The fans have given us motivation for four years. I appreciate their support. We play for them. They’ve been good to us through good or bad.”

TENNESSEE SENIOR ALBERTA AUGUSTE:

(On seeing UT play UF on her recruiting visit and now facing UF for senior night) “I had some flashbacks. I knew two years ago that I could help this team. I was happy.”

Story Courtesy: UT Lady Vols Sports Information


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