Mountaineers Can't Top Summitt

By: Wes Boling Email
By: Wes Boling Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- Candace Parker scored a season-high 29 points to lead top-ranked Tennessee to a 67-49 win over No. 16 West Virginia on Wednesday night.

Alexis Hornbuckle added 12 points and Nicky Anosike had 10 for Tennessee (4-0), which beat its third ranked opponent in six days, including No. 21 Texas on Sunday and No. 10 Oklahoma last Thursday.

Olayina Sanni scored 16 points for West Virginia (3-1) before fouling out with 6:27 remaining.

The Mountaineers had averaged 83 points in their first three games but were held to their lowest output of the season and couldn't figure out how to handle Tennessee's taller frontcourt.

Parker scored seven points in a two-minute stretch of the second half and the Lady Vols extended an 11-point halftime lead to 57-39 with eight minutes remaining.

Hornbuckle's lay-up with 5:25 left gave Tennessee its largest lead, 63-43.

It marked a homecoming for Hornbuckle, a three-time West Virginia player of the year who won four high school state championships at the Charleston Civic Center. Before the game she received the loudest ovation from the crowd of 10,677, the largest to ever watch a women's basketball game in the state. Dozens of fans lined up afterward hoping to get her autograph and photo.

Several thousand Tennessee fans made the 300-mile trip to see the Lady Vols lead for all but the game's first two minutes.

Parker scored 12 early points, mostly from inside, West Virginia had trouble finishing layups and Tennessee jumped ahead 22-9 midway through the first half.

Tennessee then went scoreless over a four-minute span and Chakhia Cole and Sanni each had two baskets to bring West Virginia within 24-20 with 5:21 left until halftime. The Mountaineers got no closer.

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