Lady Vols onto the Elite-8 after defeating Notre Dame, 74 to 64 in Oklahoma City


Candace Parker ties her career high with 34 Points in the game, after the Lady Vols were trailing at half-time to the Lady Fighting Irish.

Candace Parker did all she could to keep Tennessee's hopes alive for a second straight national championship.

Parker matched her career best with 34 points and hauled in 12 rebounds, pushing the top-seed Lady Vols to the regional finals for the eighth straight year with a 74-64 win against Notre Dame on Sunday night in the Oklahoma City Regional.

The 6-foot-3 All-American put back Nicky Anosike's miss and then converted a three-point play off a transition jumper to send Tennessee into the lead with a 14-0 run early in the second half, and the Lady Vols never looked back on their way to the round of eight for the 23rd time.

Shannon Bobbitt added a pair of 3-pointers as Tennessee built its lead to 60-44 before Notre Dame made a late rally. Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw, who led the Irish to the 2001 national championship, fell to 0-16 against Tennessee.

The Lady Vols will face Texas A&M on Tuesday night in the regional final. Tennessee is going for its 17th Final Four berth, while the Aggies are trying for their first.

For a while, Notre Dame was able to stay in front of the Lady Vols even with Parker on a tear.

Parker scored Tennessee's first eight points while her teammates combined to miss their first eight shots, and she had 19 by halftime. But the rest of the Lady Vols combined for only 12 in the first half, and Notre Dame led 33-31 at intermission.

It was only the third time this season the Lady Vols trailed at halftime, and they'd come back to win both times against Mississippi State and Georgia.

It was no different this time.

Notre Dame freshman Becca Bruszewski scored 16 to match the career-high she had in the first round against SMU and Charel Allen also had 16 for the Irish.

Tennessee will play second-seeded Texas A&M on Tuesday night. The Aggies defeated Duke 77-63 earlier in the evening.

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Notes…

-Tennessee trailed at the half for just the third time this season (previously at Mississippi State and at Georgia).

-Tennessee made a three-pointer for the 337th consecutive game.

The win tonight…

-Improves the Lady Vols to 33-2 overall and 3-0 in the NCAA Tournament this season.

-Gives UT an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 101-19 in 27 years, including a 23-4 mark in Sweet 16 contests.

-Gives UT an all-time record of 395-150 against ranked foes, including a 15-2 mark this season.

-Gives UT a 20-0 all-time record against Notre Dame, including a 3-0 mark in postseason matchups.

-Gives UT a 76-19 all-time record against teams from the BIG EAST, including a 5-0 mark this season.

-Gives Pat Summitt a career record of 980-182 in her 34th season at UT.

Candace Parker…

-Now in 10th place in the SEC career record books for careers free throws made (512) and attempted (714).

-Moved past Chamique Holdsclaw (724 in 1998-99), Jill Rankin (730 in 1979-80) and Bridgette Gordon (735 in 1988-89) and into fifth placed in the UT single-season scoring book (753).

-Her 34 career blocks in NCAA Tournament games rank her sixth all-time.

-Scored in double figures for the 41st consecutive game and the 102nd time in her career.

-Earned her 13th double-double of the season and the 44th of her career.

-Scored 30+ points for the third time this season and the eighth time of her career.

-Her 34 points tie a career-high and are her most in an NCAA Tournament game.

-Moved past Chantelle Anderson (270 – Vanderbilt, 2000-03), Dawn Staley (274 – Virginia, 1989-92) and Ruth Riley (276 - Notre Dame, 1998-2001) and into ninth place in scoring for career NCAA Tournament games.

Nicky Anosike…

-Played in her 143rd career game, moving her into a tie for third place with Kara Lawson and Abby Conklin for most games in a UT career.

-Her 35 career blocks in NCAA Tournament games rank her fifth all-time.

-Earned a double-double for the sixth time this season and the 11th time of her career.

-Moved past Gwen Jackson (133 – Tennessee, 2000-03), Kirsten Cummings (136 – Long Beach State, 1982-85), Tamika Catchings (142 – Tennessee, 1998-2000), and Bridgette Gordon (142- Tennessee, 1986-89) and into seventh place for NCAA Tournament career rebounds (132).

Alexis Hornbuckle…

-Moved past Alana Beard (47 - Duke, 2001-04) for career steals in NCAA Tournament games (49)

Shannon Bobbitt…

-Moved past her 2006-07 season performance (69) and into fourth place in the UT single-season record books for three-pointers made (71).

-Scored in double figures for the 15th time this season and the 31st time of her career.

Story's Courtesy: AP Wire Reports & UT Lady Vols Sports Information


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