Lady Vols roll
KNOXVILLE -- The only all-stars on the court Sunday at Thompson-Boling Arena wore orange and white.
That was the assessment of coach Jerry Gatewood, whose West Coast All-Stars were smothered by Tennessee's defensive pressure in a 77-36 Lady Vol exhibition victory.
"This is without doubt the No. 1 team in the country," said Gatewood, who admits to a bias in that his daughter Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood is on the Tennessee roster.
The Lady Vols, who are ranked as the top team in the country in most preseason polls and will open the regular season at UT Chattanooga on Friday, ran out to a 28-8 lead and cruised the rest of the way, despite some sluggishness offensively.
"In fairness to the team, we've had a very tough week of practice and we'll start to taper off now," UT coach Pat Summitt said.
"This past week, what we concentrated on was what you saw today in our defensive intensity. There was a lot of improvement. All in all, I thought our half-court defense was solid, and we're going to need that as we start the season on the road."
The Lady Vols limited the All-Stars to only 25 percent shooting and forced 23 turnovers in an uptempo style game that was far different from last week's exhibition against Carson-Newman.
Loree Moore led the way on the offensive end of the court, putting up 14 points on 6 of 6 shooting from the floor. She also had four assists.
"I guess I was on tonight," Moore said. "I was looking for open shots and in transition, I try to take advantage of that."
Senior Shyra Ely tallied 14 points as well and was perfect at the free throw line, which was an area that Summitt says the team will work on after a 16 of 28 night.
Brittany Jackson added 10 points from the perimeter, and Tye'sha Fluker, who continues to improve in the post, scored 11 points and had seven boards. Freshman Alexis Hornbuckle had eight rebounds and four steals in her second impressive exhibition game.
Summitt wanted her squad to get the ball inside more to Fluker and freshman Nicky Anosike, but the Lady Vols were shooting so well from the outside in the first half that it wasn't necessary.
Gatewood, whose daughter is trying to recover from tendonitis in a knee, says getting the ball inside and dictating the tempo of the game are the two areas that UT needs to work on as the season begins.
"This was our Super Bowl," Gatewood said of playing the Lady Vols. "We've been all over the country and coming here, I wanted to help (Tennessee) get ready for the season. They (the Lady Vols) have great size and speed, and I wanted my team to show them what they need to work on.
"They need to go inside more. I think Tye'sha could come away with double figures in every game if she wants to do that. I also noticed that when Loree Moore is out of the game, there was no one who could change the tempo we tried to set."
Moore said the Lady Vols focused on offense prior to the first exhibition against Carson-Newman and worked primarily on defense this past week.
"I think we were a lot better defensively, more physical. Now we just need to put last week and this week together," she said.
After traveling to open at Chattanooga on Friday, Tennessee will play North Carolina State in the Jimmy V. Classic at Raleigh on Nov. 21. The Lady Vols will then host George Washington for their home opener on Nov. 23.
A New Member of Lady Vol Basketball "Rehab Row"
Margaret Cox, National Anthem soloist for Lady Vol Basketball, will miss the season
The University of Tennessee Lady Vol basketball program has added a new member to "Rehab Row" for the 2004-05 season.
"Rehab Row" has been pretty crowded with rookies Alex Fuller (knee-will redshirt), Candace Parker (knee), Sa'de Wiley-Gatewood (patella) and Sybil Dosty (concussion) all sidelined. A 24-year veteran was added Monday.
Head Coach Pat Summitt announced today that Margaret Cox, National Anthem soloist for Lady Vol Basketball, will be forced to redshirt this season. Cox, who has sung the National Anthem at Tennessee women's basketball games for 24 years, will miss the season due to polyps on her left vocal cord.
"Margaret is a part of the Lady Vol Basketball tradition," said Summitt. "Our fans and players have enjoyed her fantastic voice for over two decades. Right now, she must concentrate on her health and her Lady Vol family wishes her the very best as she prepares for her treatment ahead."
The prognosis includes surgery at the Vanderbilt Voice Center which is world-renowned for treatment of voice problems. No date has been scheduled for surgery, as of yet, and the recovery process will last approximately three months.
Cox plans to be back next season, her 25th with the Lady Vols.