Bjorklund, Parker lead onslaught of Hogs


Angie Bjorklund scored 29 points on seven three-pointers and Candace Parker scored 24 as the No. 2 Tennessee dominated Arkansas 98-55 Thursday night in Thompson-Boling Arena.

Bjorklund connected on her first four three-pointers during a 18-0 Lady Vol start to the game. Parker picked up where Bjorklund left off scoring 18 first half points pushing the lead to 56-28 heading into the locker room.

Tennessee made 13 three-pointers in the game on 30 shots tying the record for most threes made in a game. Sidney Smallbone hit four threes and Shannon Bobbitt added the other two. UT outrebounded the Lady Razorbacks 47-27.

Bjorklund tied the record she tied twice earlier in the year with seven three's made in a game. An obviously tired Bjorklund had four attempts at the end of the game but failed to break the record.

Tennessee coasted the rest of the way improving to 17-1 and remained perfect in conference in five games. Arkansas dropped to 16-4 and 1-4 in the SEC.

Tennessee plays at No. 10 Duke on Monday night as part of ESPN's Big Monday. The game can be seen on ESPN2 at 7:00 p.m.

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Notes…

-Alexis Hornbuckle missed her first game since sitting out six games from Feb. 16 – Mar. 19, 2006 when she was recovering from a navicular scaphoid bone fracture in her wrist.

-Alberta Auguste started in place of Hornbuckle for the first time in her career.

-Tennessee jumped out to an 18-0 lead before Arkansas scored with 15:18 left in the first half. This was the fourth game in a row that UT has started the game with at least an 8-0 lead.

-With their first steal of the night, the Lady Vols kept alive a 403-game streak of games with at least one theft.

-The Lady Vols’ 56 points in the first half were their most this season.

-All dressed Lady Vols scored in tonight’s game.

-The Lady Vols sank 13 three-pointers, tying the most in a game in school history.

The win tonight…

-Improves the Lady Vols to 17-1 on the season and 5-0 in the SEC

-Gives Pat Summitt a career record of 964-181 in her 34th season at UT.

-Gives Tennessee a 19-1 lead in the all-time series with the Lady Razorbacks, including a perfect 10-0 mark in Knoxville.

-Gives Tennessee a record of 257-33 in league games and a 386-58 all-time record against teams in the SEC.

-Gives Tennessee a 576-32 all-time record against unranked opponents.

Candace Parker…

-Scored the first points of the game en route to double-digit scoring for the 24th straight game and the 85th time of her 90-game career.

-Scored 20+ points in a game for the 10th time this season and the 37th time in her career.

-Moved past Bridgette Gordon (423) and into fourth place in the UT record books for career free throws made (424).

-Moved into a tie with Dana Johnson for fifth place in the UT record books for career free throws attempted (584).

-Dished out a season-high six assists.

Angie Bjorklund…

-Connected on her first two three-point attempts and her first jumper to give the Lady Vols a 10-0 lead and force Arkansas to call timeout. She would make her next two three-point attempts before missing her fifth shot of the night from beyond the arch.

-For the third time this season, she tied the UT record in three-pointers (7)

-Scored in double figures for the eighth time this season and the first time since Jan. 13, 2008 at South Carolina.

-Surpassed 20 points in a game for the third time this season.

-Scored the fourth-most points in a game by a Lady Vol freshman (29)

Shannon Bobbitt…

-In the first 12 minutes of the game, she’d grabbed an SEC career-high five rebounds... she finished with six

-Has now dished out at least four assists in 11 games this season and 23 games in her career.

-Has now picked up at least three steals in six games this season and 12 games in her career.

-Sank her 102nd career three-pointer, moving her past April McDivitt for 11th place in the UT record books.

Nicky Anosike…

-Scored in double figures for the ninth time this season and the 30th time in her career.

-Grabbed double digit rebounds for the fourth time this season and the 17th time of her career.

-Earned her third double-double of the season and the eighth of her career.

-Moved into a tie with Gwen Jackson (345) for 11th place in the UT record books for career free throws made (343)

Vicki Baugh…

-Recorded an SEC career-high three blocks and scored seven points in seven minutes of action.

Sydney Smallbone…

-Matched her career high in points (9) in the first half, finished with a new career high (12)

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TENNESSEE HEAD COACH PAT SUMMITT

(opening remarks): “First of all, I was encouraged by our overall intensity, particularly playing without Alexis Hornbuckle. Alberta (Auguste) didn’t shoot well, but she rebounded and played defense. Overall, we made an effort to work on our man-to-man defense and our 3-2 and match-up zones, and we maintained intensity. Shannon (Bobbitt) did a good job of pushing tempo. She’s a very unselfish player. Her shot wasn’t falling, but I told her that if she kept pushing tempo, good things will happen. Everyone responded well to the challenge.”

(on the performance of freshman Angie Bjorklund): “We talked before the game that Angie has to hunt her shots all the time. There’s a reason that she’s in the lineup. She’s a very efficient offensive player. She has to work as hard to get open as she does to defend. Her teammates are always looking for her. It takes the pressure off of our offense and opens up our inside game. She has to understand her role. We tried every way to get open shots for her to get the record. She is a freshman, so that will come in time. We don’t look for her to take 20 shots every night. She has to hunt for her shot, she can’t stand around. She’s got to get open. She is moving better without the basketball. Her teammates are looking for her, this is a very unselfish team.”

(on Vicki Baugh): “She had an upset stomach. In the first half, she was very active and played solid defense. I wish we could have played her in the second half, but there will be other games and situations for her.”

(on the unselfishness of the team): “When you look at the stat sheet, you expect the team to keep the ball moving. This is a very unselfish team. The number of assists speaks to that aspect. They can play inside-outside. They take pride in getting open looks for their teammates. Early on, they didn’t share the ball as well as they are now.”

(on three-point shooters Smallbone and Bjorklund): “In recruiting, we identified them as two of the best shooters in their class. That was a priority. We expected to add to our back court and three-point game. Both can play off the dribble. They look for the threes. I am pleased where we are with both of them. Sydney is looking to get comfortable with her defense, but you can teach defense, you can’t teach players to be the scorers that they are.”

(on Tennessee’s strong start): “It is good to get off to a good start. We want to play in four and five minute segments and they responded. They could have let down, but they were efficient at both ends of the court.”

(on the play of Candace Parker): “Candace played a solid all-around game. She did a great job of moving and finding open players. She did a great job of getting to the boards and the free throw line. In the last few games, if I had to identify an area where she has improved the most, it would be on the defensive end. She can change how we play on defense.”

(on defending the high-low): “Arkansas got good looks in the high-low in the first half. We did a better job in the second half of defending it. Every year it seems like teams are running the same thing and this year it seems like everyone is committed to the high-low. We are doing a better job of defending it, but we can get better. When we do, our defense will go to a different level.”

(on three-point shooting): “When you get as many three-point attempts as we did, it is good. We look for it, but we don’t set a goal for a certain number of threes. We talk about spacing and double teams. It made a difference for us tonight.”

TENNESSEE FRESHMAN ANGIE BJORKLUND

(on her performance): “The team was trying to get me the ball tonight. We’ve got a lot of games left. We’ll see if the record comes. Ball movement is important and also spacing, it allows us to get the ball inside. When they double on Candace, that helps me. I am trying to move without the ball. I worked on changing speeds and making hard cuts and throwing the ball inside. That is what I’m working on.”

TENNESSEE JUNIOR CANDACE PARKER

(on Tennessee’s strong start): “That was our goal – to get out to a great start. The shots were falling, we were playing good defense and making steals. We held them scoreless through the first timeout, that is a testament to how hard we were playing on defense.”

(on the pace of the game): “That is Tennessee basketball. We were up and down the floor and as I’ve said before, you pick your poison. If you defend the paint, Angie is going to get her points. If you defend the perimeter, then we are going to score inside. We are pushing tempo night-in and night-out.”

(on the play of Alberta Auguste): “Bird did a great job of stepping in. Even though she didn’t shoot very well, she brought energy and had a presence. That is how Bird plays. I was happy with her energy, she didn’t let it affect her defense that her shot was off. Energy is always a constant with her.”

(on Tennessee’s next game against Duke): “I am excited about how we are playing right now. That will be a huge test against Duke. It will be a hostile environment. We are getting better, we don’t want to peak at the wrong time.”

(on Tennessee’s 13 three-pointers): “I tell Angie all the time, that when she is hitting, that makes my life easier. When we are knocking down shots, it is beautiful basketball. That is the way coach is wanting us to play. She wants us to work inside-outside. When we do, that makes everyone’s life easier and I’m sure Pat sleeps easier at night.”

(on Vicki Baugh): “As I’ve said all season, Vicki is a great player. It is unfortunate that she only got to play seven minutes tonight. She came out ready to play and as with Bird, she never lacks energy. Hopefully she’ll be able to get more minutes before crunch time.”

Arkansas Head Coach Tom Collen

(Opening Comments): That was a humbling experience. I’ve felt it before, coming from the BIG EAST, I’ve wandered into UConn and played a few games in their venue as well. These are the two toughest environments in the country to play in right now.”

(On Tennessee’s fast start): “It was frustrating. The last thing we needed to happen to us, coming into an environment like this, was to get off to a slow start and let Tennessee get off to a fast start. We made the decision to play zone because we didn’t really feel like we could match up with them. I don’t think it was an error to play zone, but we obviously needed to do a better job of tracking shooters in it.”

(On the effect the fast start had on his team’s effort): “We let Bjorklund get off early on us. You can’t give up a 15-0 run like that. It was really deflating to our players. Although I don’t think they quit, I don’t feel like they could win. When you feel like you can’t win, it makes it really hard to stick with it and compete. To their credit, they tried.”

(On the play of Sarah Pfeifer): “Sarah’s a sixth-year senior and she’s been here before. She’s fought off this crowd before, and I thought she played a pretty solid game.”

(On moving forward): “You have to give Tennessee credit, and they were playing shorthanded without Hornbuckle. Hopefully, it’s a good learning experience for us. We have to get beyond this game in a hurry. We have to get back to practice at Noon tomorrow and try to figure out how to beat Mississippi State. We badly need to get a win under our belt so that we can get the same kind of confidence back that we had when we jumped out to a 15-0 start. We just have to keep moving on.”

(On what his team can take from this game): “We shot the ball well. Some of that was because they went to zone. I’m sure Pat wasn’t particularly pleased with the way they played zone because they gave us a lot of open shots, and we knocked some of them down. I think it’s a positive that we didn’t quit.”

(On playing his bench): “We made the decision to go ahead and play our bench at the end, which was something we needed to do because we need to be as fresh as possible going into the Mississippi State game.”

(On the challenge of playing at Tennessee): “This is my first year at Arkansas as the head coach, and I think that anytime you are trying to lay a foundation for a program, you have to take the Tennessee’s and UConn’s of the world and hold them up as an example to your young kids. You have to get them to understand, not what it’s like to play here, but what we have to do to find a way to win here someday. I didn’t take the Arkansas job to get humbled by Tennessee every time I come into this arena. I think we can get there, but we are in the beginning phases.

(On Bjorklund pursuing three-point record): “I really wasn’t aware of that. I was well aware that the crowd would have liked for them to get 100. I thought that was probably what the main focus was. I can tell you this, I told my kids in the locker room that we clearly weren’t focused enough to get the job done. We weren’t focused enough to stop her early, but I commended Kendra Roberts in the locker room because she was focused to stop her at the end. When she heard the crowd roar and saw how hard they were trying to get the ball back to her to get the shot, she was focused enough to make up her mind that she wasn’t going to let her get another shot. I give her credit for that. That might have been the 30 most focused seconds of any player on our team all night, and I didn’t coach her into that, she just did it. If all of our players had been that focused the entire game, maybe we could have made a little bit of a game out of it.”

(On Bjorklund’s potential): “She’s only a freshman. She has a lot of time ahead of her and as talented as Tennessee is in all the other areas, you can’t really make up your mind that you want to put all your focus on her. She’s a great player and one of the best freshmen in the country, no doubt.”

(On Candace Parker): “She’s a tough matchup for anybody in the country. She’s just so versatile. She can go out and play like a guard. She’s long, athletic and has great coordination and balance. I can’t look my team in the eyes and tell them that they are better than Candace Parker so go out there and stop her. It takes more than one person. When you make up your mind that you are going to play zone, you’re going to lose track of her. We looked at it like she was going to get hers no matter what. With Hornbuckle out of the game, we thought she would get hers, and we would be able to shut everybody else down. Obviously, Bjorklund went off on us, Smallbone made her shots and Bobbitt hit the two she took down in the corner.”

Arkansas Senior Forward Sarah Pfeifer

(On the fast start): “Been here done that. It’s happened to us before.”

(On playing at Tennessee): “I think Ayana and Whitney didn’t really play a whole lot of minutes last year when we had some success against them at home. It’s sort of shell-shocking when you come here for the first time. I remember the first time I came here and you’re just kind of in awe because there is a huge crowd, it’s loud and you’re playing against people you’re used to watching on TV. That’s kind of what was going through their head and we just couldn’t get settled down. Once we did get settled down, they made another run and the game was basically over at the beginning. That makes it hard to keep going.”

Story's Courtesy: Sports Overtime & UT Lady Vols Sports Information


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