Parker, No. 2 Vols Snap Ninth-Ranked Blue Devils' Home Winning Streak


DURHAM, N.C. -- With the game on the line and the ball in her hands, Candace Parker expected more company. When only one defender showed up to stop her, Tennessee's statement victory was all but certain -- and Duke's long winning streak was history.

Parker's leaner with 22 seconds remaining lifted the No. 2 Lady Vols past No. 9 Duke 67-64 on Monday night, snapping a 24-game home winning streak.

"I turned and faced (the basket) to see if there was" a double team coming, Parker said. "And they didn't come."

Parker led Tennessee with 17 points and 12 rebounds, but briefly gave Duke hope with 3.4 seconds left when she missed the first of two free throws that would have iced it.

After she sank her second attempt, Duke inbounded to Chante Black, and she hesitated while looking for sharpshooter Abby Waner. Her 65-foot heave at the buzzer harmlessly hit the rim.

The Blue Devils never led in the second half but tied it four times, with the last coming when Waner dribbled off Joy Cheek's screen and knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key over Parker.

That made it 64-all with 45.8 seconds left, and Hall of Fame coach Pat Summitt made an easy decision to pound the ball inside to her biggest star.

"We knew we wanted to go inside to (Parker)," Summitt said. "When Candace is in the paint and demands the ball, she usually gets in pretty good position, but she has been more aggressive in getting to the rim and putting the ball on the floor. She is establishing herself as a go-to (player) and she didn't settle for faceup shots. That's important because people have a hard time defending her in the paint."

Especially Duke, at least on the decisive sequence. No Blue Devils defender rotated to help Black in the paint, the Lady Vols calmly worked the ball to Parker, and her leaning basket put Tennessee ahead to stay.

What was Black thinking as Parker lunged over her to score the game winner?

"'God, don't let her score,"' Black said. "But she did, and usually there is a double team coming. It wasn't there. That's just one thing we have to work on, making sure we execute down to the last second."

Angie Bjorklund had 13 points and Shannon Bobbitt added 11 for the Lady Vols (18-1), who won their eighth in a row and became the first visitors to win at Cameron Indoor Stadium since North Carolina did it two seasons ago.

Black and Jasmine Thomas each had 13 points to lead Duke (15-5), which shot 44 percent and forced 23 turnovers -- equaling Tennessee's season high -- but couldn't overcome a 40-29 rebounding disadvantage.

"This one stings, and there are some great lessons for us," Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "But the basketball gods said, 'Not tonight. Not if you're going to rebound like that. Not going to happen for you.'"

It added up to a noteworthy victory for the Lady Vols -- no player on Tennessee's roster had ever beaten Duke, and Summitt's team was still smarting from last year's 74-70 loss in Knoxville.

"Going 0-3 against Duke the past three years, no fun," guard Alexis Hornbuckle said. "So we wanted to come here our senior year and make a difference."

The most recent defeat was widely remembered for the Blue Devils jumping out to a 19-0 lead and shrugging off a raucous Thompson-Boling Arena crowd energized by men's coach Bruce Pearl, who painted his chest orange with a white "V" in the spelling of "GO VOLS."

This time, there weren't any sightings of a shirtless Mike Krzyzewski -- just an inspired Duke defense feeding off a sold-out crowd at Cameron in the first half.

Duke twice led by seven points and never trailed by more than one during an occasionally dominating first half in which it shot 50 percent and frustrated Tennessee's two most productive scorers.

The Blue Devils forced Parker to miss her first six shots and held her to six points on 2-for-9 shooting. Hornbuckle, who entered averaging 11 points, missed all four of her attempts and failed to score in the opening 20 minutes.

"(Hornbuckle) did not let her offense affect her game, and I think that's just because of her maturity and she knows she has the responsibility of leading," Summitt said. "They've been in a lot of big games, but they understand their role."

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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Tennessee vs. Duke Post-Game Notes

January 28, 2008

Notes…

-This is the fourth arena to sellout when the Lady Vols come to town this season. Stanford, Notre Dame and DePaul each enjoyed packed houses against UT.

-Playing in Cameron for their first time, Tennessee freshmen Angie Bjorklund and Vicki Baugh combined for 10 of the first 12 UT points as Nicky Anosike, Candace Parker and Alexis Hornbuckle (the only Lady Vols to have played in Cameron before tonight) started the game a combined 0-for-10.

-The Lady Vols went into halftime tied for the first time this season.

-UT jumped out on a 7-0 run to start the second half before Duke scored two-and-a-half minutes in.

-UT had a season-high tying 23 turnovers, off of which Duke scored 29 points – the most by an opponent this season.

The win tonight…

-Improves the Lady Vols to 18-1 on the season, including a 2-0 mark against teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

-Gives UT an all-time record of 80-16 against teams from the ACC.

-Knots the Duke-Tennessee series at five games a piece and snaps a three-game UT losing streak in the matchup.

-Gives the Lady Vols a 9-1 record against ranked foes this season and 389-149 all-time.

-Gives Pat Summitt a career record of 965-181 in her 34th season at UT.

-Snaps Duke’s 24-game home court winning streak, which marks the 16th time Tennessee has snapped an opponent’s home court winning steak of 20+ games.

Angie Bjorklund…

-Scored the first points of the night for the Lady Vols and was the leading scorer at half (8)

-Crossed the 200-point plateau for her career.

-Scored in double figures for the ninth time of her career.

Shannon Bobbitt…

-Moved past Tasha Butts and Jody Adams (103 treys each) for ninth place in the UT record books for career three pointers (104). Butts played in 141 games, Adams in 107 and Bobbitt just 55.

-Reached the 500-point plateau for her career after scoring in double figures for the ninth time this season.

Candace Parker…

-Missed her first six attempts of the game before scoring her first bucket.

-Reached double figures for the 25th consecutive game and the 86th time of her career.

-Grabbed double digit rebounds for the eighth time this season for her 39th career double-double.

-Coming into tonight, she was 3-of-11 from the free throw line against Duke (.273). Parker made 9-of-12 attempts from the charity stripe tonight, including the game clinching one with less than four seconds remaining.

Alexis Hornbuckle…

-Moved past Tamika Catchings (211) and into second place in the UT record books for career steals (207). Only Bridgette Gordon had more (333).

Story Courtesy: UT Lady Vols Sports Information


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