KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) --Nicky Anosike scored a career-high 20 points and second-ranked Tennessee physically dominated No. 22 Auburn in an 85-52 win Thursday night.
Anosike and Candace Parker dominated the paint and the boards, both achieving double-doubles as Parker scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Anosike pulled in 12 for the Lady Vols (13-1).
The Southeastern Conference's second-leading scorer, DeWanna Bonner, finished with 19 points for Auburn (12-4), but was no match for the Lady Vols on defense in the SEC opener for both teams.
Tennessee didn't score in the first 2 minutes and Auburn jumped out to a 6-0 lead.
But Bonner fouled Anosike as she was taking a shot, and the 6-foot-4 center made both free throws. That kicked off a 19-0 run that ended on a jumper by Angie Bjorklund to put the Lady Vols up 19-6 with about 11 minutes before halftime.
The Lady Vols built their lead to 37 points with 5:51 left in the game off a 3-pointer by Bjorklund that put Tennessee up 79-42.
-Tennessee fell behind 6-0 before Nicky Anosike sank a free throw at the 18:03 mark in the first half which would spark a 19-0 UT run. Auburn was held scoreless from the 18:16 mark until 10:58 left in the half.
-Tennessee has led at the half for all 14 games this season. Today’s 21-points halftime advantage was the Lady Vols’ biggest since a 29-point edge over Louisiana Tech.
-The Lady Vols opened up the second half on a 10-0 run; Auburn didn’t score until 15:34 left in the game.
-For the third straight game, all dressed Lady Vols scored in the game.
-Tennessee led by as many as 37 points – its largest lead in a game this season.
-For the first time this season, two Lady Vols earned double-doubles.
-Auburn’s 52 points were its fewest of the season.
The win tonight…
-Gives the Lady Vols a record of 13-1 for the season, including an 8-1 mark against ranked opponents.
-Gives the Lady Vols an SEC opener record of 24-5, including a 12-2 mark at home.
-Gives Pat Summitt a career record of 960-181 in her 34th season at UT
-Extends Tennessee’s winning streak against Auburn to 16 games and the Lady Vols’ overall lead in the series to 32-8.
-Gives Tennessee a 382-58 all-time record against teams from the SEC, including a 158-11 mark at home.
-With her first steal tonight, joined former Mississippi State star, Tan White (2001-05) as the only two players in SEC history to amass 1,000 points, 600 rebounds, 400 assists, 300 steals and 50 blocks for their careers.
-Started in the 96th game of her career, moving her into a tie for 13th place with Shyra Ely for career starts.
-Moved past Loree Moore (422) and into ninth place in the UT record books for career assists (427).
-Reached double figures for the seventh time this season and the third game in a row.
-With her first bucket of the second half, she crossed the 900-point plateau for her career (906)
-Scored a career-high 20 points
-Grabbed double-digit rebounds for the third time this season and the 16th time in her career.
-Earned her second double-double of the season and the seventh of her career.
-Moved past Michelle Snow (327) and into 14th place in the UT record books for career free throws made (332).
-Moved past Teresa Geter (135) and into a tie with Tamika Catchings (136) for fifth place in the UT record books for career blocks (134)
-Moved past former Lady Vol and current Auburn assistant coach Daedra Charles-Furlow (594) and into 15th place for career field goals made (600)
-Scored in double figures for the 20th straight game and the 81st time in her 86-game career.
-Grabbed double-digit rebounds for the sixth time this season and the 39th time in her career.
-Earned her sixth double-double of the season and the 37th of her career.
-Moved past Dana Johnson (1,621) and into 11th place in the UT record books for career points (1,626)
-Moved past Karla Horton (766) and into 14th place in the UT record books for career rebounds (772)
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH PAT SUMMITT--
(on the performance of Nicky Anosike): “She was very active. On offense, she was running and brought composure. She was able to freeze them on defense. There were times early on this season that she was rushing and trying to create things. Now, she’s playing with a lot of composure.”
(on Tennessee’s defense): “This speaks to what we talked about before the game. First and foremost was our transition defense and defending one-on-one on dribble drives. We made some good defensive stops. Nicky (Anosike) stepped up in the middle of the floor. We didn’t have to rotate as much tonight. Our intensity in practices paid off. We’re trying to get better and to be a 40-minute team.”
(on Tennessee’s bench play): “We have to get play off of our bench and have situations where we can count on the bench. We’ve got to keep Vicki (Baugh) on the court. She got some reaching fouls. Alex (Fuller) missed some shots in the first half, but with that exception, we got nice play off the bench. Sydney Smallbone came in and did a nice job, and Alberta (Auguste) did a nice job. It’s a long season, and we’re going to need our bench. When we get into foul situations, we have to have people ready to step in and play.”
(on Tennessee’s size): “I don’t think we anticipated at the beginning our size and the impact that it would have. A lot of coaches have talked about our team being long and rangy, and with few exceptions, that’s true. It’s difficult to get inside against us. Candace (Parker) has great timing, and Nicky (Anosike) is playing big as well.”
(on accountability): “What we’re trying to do is hold them accountable statistically and by segments. Every segment, we try to outscore the other team 10-4. There were times against Notre Dame in the second half that they outscored us in a segment. These small goals are significant throughout the game. It’s more about us and how we come and play. There are times when we are playing zone that we look like an elementary team and aren’t playing with intensity and moving our feet. We’re aggressive in our man defense.”
(on playing up to expectations): “I have to be very honest. How you go into a game—if you expect to dominate, then you tell them. They watch tape. There are certain teams that they’re up for more than others. It’s one good possession at a time. Bad habits are hard to break. In the end, we’re a very skilled team. I’ve said we’re the most talented team, but that doesn’t mean that we’re the best team.”
“In terms of having an aggressive mindset on the defensive end, we had greater support. It goes back to practice. If we don’t reach specific goals in practice, they have to run. It makes a difference. That’s where it starts. I told our staff and I’ve challenged myself that we’ve got to raise the bar for this team. They are expected to compete in every possession.”
TENNESSEE SENIOR NICKY ANOSIKE:
(on her performance tonight): “I don’t know what gets in my mindset. I just wanted to come out and play hard, and I did it. We talked about it before the game. We knew that it was an important game.”
(on defending Auburn’s DeWanna Bonner): “This was (assistant coach) Dean’s (Lockwood) scout. He said they (Auburn) needed Bonner to score big points. She was my assignment. I knew that she couldn’t score a lot of points if we wanted to be successful.”
(on starting Southeastern Conference play): “We spoke about it before the game. It’s another season. We had a tough loss at Stanford, but this is like starting over and going undefeated.”
“The hard part is just beginning. Last year, Arkansas stayed with us, and we came out with a one-point win in overtime. We don’t take any team lightly. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
TENNESSEE SENIOR ALEXIS HORNBUCKLE:
(on the performance of teammate Nicky Anosike): “Nicky did a great job. She came out with great intensity and a great mindset. The rest of us just tried to follow suit.”
“This was one of our most aggressive games. Nicky came out, and we just followed suit. She had an all-around game tonight. She was getting steals and and-ones.”
(on blocks): “Blocks are pretty. We’re going to get hyped about it. Candace (Parker) was on the helpside, and she wanted the block. She was getting greedy.”
(on not scoring as much): “I didn’t need to score. Nicky (Anosike) was scoring. When you’ve got two players getting 20 points each, or close to it, you’re getting the ball to them and letting them do what they do. It’s about a Tennessee win, not Alexis.”
AUBURN HEAD COACH NELL FORTNER:
(Opening Comments) “That was a long forty-minute game.”
(On Tennessee Forward Nicky Anosike) “She is an experienced player and a good defender. She can really change the game with her size and mobility. More than anything, though, Tennessee’s overall size and length is hard to get around. It’s hard to pass through that. We didn’t do a good job of getting anything going tonight.”
(On playing with a freshman point guard) “It’s a real tough place to open. It’s a tough place to play no matter when you play them. To come in with a freshman point guard who is only starting her third game is tough. She is going to be a really good little point guard, but we still have some adjusting to do with her and the other players on the floor. We still have a long way to go.”
(On getting her team ready to play Tennessee) “They are really excited because they know they are going to get to eat at Calhoun’s. Just playing in the SEC brings a little more anxiety to the team. Especially with the SEC, we know how tough the conference is and you feel it a little bit, but we were focused and we were ready. I think that it’s very important that, when you play a team of Tennessee’s caliber, you have to have some positive things to happen in the first eight minutes of the game so that you can get some confidence. I thought that happened for the first four minutes of the game; then it went the other way and we couldn’t get that confidence back. Tennessee’s pressure was part of it, but we also missed some shots and it affected our confidence. It’s hard enough to score against Tennessee as it is, and when you create opportunities to score and you don’t, then it’s like now what do we do? Then we gave up some easy baskets to them, as well as some open threes and offensive rebounds and that made it tough.”
(On her team’s depth) “Our bench is a little thin right now, and we got tired. That last seven minutes of the first half about killed us. The last timeout was at the 25-second mark, which made it tough.”
(On the play of Tennessee) “We saw what we expected to see. They have really good depth, and I thought their bench came in and played well. Smallbone knocked down a few threes, and Alex Fuller is a nice player. I’ve always liked her. She is a nice player coming off the bench that is very versatile. Candace was Candace. I thought they played well.”
(On Auburn Junior Guard DeWanna Bonner) DeWanna takes on a lot of responsibility for this team. She really tried to create some things for herself tonight, and we just did not have a lot going on. If we did, maybe we could have gotten on a roll, but we didn’t. She is really turning herself into a pretty special player.”
Story Courtesy: AP Wire Reports & UT Lady Vols Sports Information
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