November 19, 2004

(1) Tennessee 68, Chattanooga 34

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- While their roster changes every season, two things always seem to remain the same for the No. 1 Tennessee Lady Vols -- stellar defense and rebounding.

Shyra Ely had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Tennessee held Chattanooga to 13-percent shooting Friday night in a 68-34 victory in the season opener for both teams.

Shanna Zolman added 14 points for the Lady Vols, whose roster looked strikingly different from last year's NCAA runner-up team that lost three seniors. But the results were the same.

The Lady Mocs shot 2-for-22 in the first half and were outrebounded 51-34 for the game.

``I think from the get-go our defense was crucial,'' Zolman said. ``Offensively we had good spurts and bad spurts. For our first road game, I think we played well.''

Freshman Laura Hall, the shortest player on the court at 5-foot-5, led Chattanooga with 11 points.

Three members of the Lady Vols' heralded freshman class made their debuts while the other three sat on the bench nursing injuries.

Ely played her first game as a small forward after playing power forward most of her college career. She had the task of guarding Southern Conference player of the year Katasha Brown, who averaged 14.4 points last season.

Brown was 1-of-9 from the field and ended up with five points.

``She's a great defender. She did a great job,'' Brown said of Ely.

Ely, however, was more critical.

``It was a new experience for me. There's a lot of work (to do),'' she said. ``I'm getting used to it.''

Defending Southern Conference champion Chattanooga, coming off one of its best seasons, showed flashes at times but was outmanned from the start.

Chattanooga tried to rally early in the second half but could not get the deficit lower than 15 points. The Lady Mocs made 3-of-8 shots to cut the lead to 39-24 with 15:44 left before Tennessee coach Pat Summitt got disgusted and called a timeout.

The Lady Vols quickly restored their lead to 20 on Ely's three-point play off a rebound, and Tennessee was up 49-29 with 12:04 left.

Summitt predicted Chattanooga would learn from this game.

``This game will be good for them in the end,'' she said. ``I think they are going to be very successful in their league.''

Tennessee freshmen Alexis Hornbuckle, Nicky Anosike and Sybil Dosty played while Candace Parker and Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood sat out with injuries. Alex Fuller plans to redshirt.

Chattanooga coach Wes Moore was impressed with all of Tennessee's talent, including the rookies.

``Their freshmen were high school McDonald's All-Americans,'' he said. ``Our freshmen ate at McDonald's in high school.''

The Lady Vols brought out the largest crowd in Lady Mocs history -- 10,051 fans. That included former Tennessee quarterback Casey Clausen, who was sitting behind the Lady Vols' bench with the mother of Tennessee forward Brittany Jackson.

(6) Duke 66, (23) Penn St. 58

DURHAM, N.C. -- Mistie Williams and Wynter Whitley powered Duke inside Friday night as Penn State's post players wilted.

Williams scored 12 of her 20 points in the second half as No. 6 Duke rallied from an 12-point deficit to beat No. 23 Penn State 66-58. Whitley finished with 11 points and a team-best eight rebounds for the Blue Devils (3-1), who shot 39 percent in the first half and 50 percent in the second.

Jennifer Harris led Penn State with 17 points, and Jess Strom finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Williams tied the score at 49 with 8:03 remaining. Whitley scored the go-ahead basket, and Monique Currie added a 3-pointer, giving the Blue Devils a 54-49 lead.

Penn State outrebounded Duke 21-9 in the first half and led 28-23 at the break.

The Blue Devils then started to rally and avoided a second straight loss. They fell to No. 11 Notre Dame 76-65 on Wednesday.

``We don't like to lose,'' Williams said. ``Coming off a loss, that should give you enough fire to get in gear and realize we have to get better.''

The Lady Lions got only 13 points in a 15-minute span as they lost a 41-29 advantage with 16:29 remaining.

``We put ourselves in a good position to be consistent and get the job done, but when you give away 40 points in the paint and 15 points off turnovers, you don't deserve to win the game,'' Penn State coach Rene Portland said. ``We made bad decisions offensively. Our turnovers were awful at key times. Then our defense in the post didn't help us at all.''

The Blue Devils surged without two key players.

Junior point guard Lindsey Harding, was expected to be Duke's primary ballhandler this season, has missed all four games following an indefinite suspension for violating team rules.

Chante Black, a 6-foot-5 freshman, has missed the last two games with an ankle injury.

At halftime, Duke retired the jersey number of former three-time ACC player of the year Alana Beard. The 2004 national college player of the year and ACC Female Athlete of the Year, is now a member of the WNBA's Washington Mystics.

No comments: