No. 3 Tennessee 85, Mississippi 69
February 22, 2004
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) -- A defensive switch made all the difference for No. 3 Tennessee.
Shyra Ely and Shanna Zolman each scored 21 points and led a decisive second-half run that gave No. 3 Tennessee an 85-69 victory over Mississippi on Sunday.
The Lady Vols (23-2, 12-0 SEC), unbeaten on the road (12-0), trailed for most of the first 28 minutes.
Freshman Arminitie Price scored 32 points on 14-of-17 shooting for the Lady Rebels (15-11, 6-6), who led by as many as 12 points in the first half. Then Tennessee came out of its man-to-man defense, going to a zone that stymied the Lady Rebels.
``We could not guard them in our man-to-man defense and that's our bread-and-butter defense,'' Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said. ``Tonight, we had to go to plan B and I thought we matched up well in our zone. We covered shooters and penetration and we also rebounded well out of it. We hit our free throws and had a lot better composure (in the second half).''
The zone kept Price from getting to the basket.
``I wasn't working as hard against the zone in the second half and I have to step my game in the future. I think we'll learn from this and get better,'' Price said.
The Rebels have lost three straight, all to ranked opponents, and seven in a row to Tennessee. The Lady Rebels last beat Tennessee in 1996.
``We had an aggressive mind-set in the pregame and in the first half, but somehow we lost that,'' Ole Miss coach Carol Ross said. ``We were prepared for (the zone), but we simply quit attacking. It was a good change for Coach Summitt to make when she saw that.''
Price made a jumper with six minutes left in the first half to give Ole Miss a 33-21 lead. Ole Miss was up by six at halftime and led 50-46 when Price made two free throws with 13:36 left.
Then Tennessee took over.
A jumper by Ely started the Lady Vols on a 25-6 run. Zolman broke a 50-50 tie and put Tennessee ahead to stay when she scored on a layup and was fouled by Carletta Brown with 11:39 left. Zolman made the free throw to put the Lady Vols up 53-50.
Zolman hit a 3-pointer to make it 58-52 and Shyra's jumper with 5:13 left capped the run and made it 75-56.
Zolman scored 17 points in the second half.
``I played absolutely pathetic in the first half. I didn't make my reads and forced the ball, and that carries over to the rest of the team,'' said Zolman, who had three turnovers in the first half, but none in the final 20 minutes. ``We finally got ourselves out of that rut and we started playing better defense and that carried over to our offense.''
Ely and Zolman combined to shoot 17-for-30 for the game, while the rest of the Lady Vols were 14-for-40. Tennessee was 18-for-19 from the free throw line.
Tasha Butts and Sidney Spencer each scored 13 points for Tennessee.