Feb. 11, 2010
OXFORD, Miss. -- Angie Bjorklund is making a habit of beating Mississippi in the final second.
Bjorklund hit a 3-pointer with 1 second remaining as No. 5 Tennessee defeated Mississippi 61-58 Thursday night. It was the second consecutive game Bjorklund hit a game-winning 3 against the Lady Rebels.
Last season, Bjorklund hit a buzzer-beating shot from the corner for the 60-59 win over Ole Miss at home. This time, Bjorklund got free after stepping back from the right wing and nailed the jumper.
"We've got a couple of options on that play but I'm probably Plan B," Bjorklund said. "If we can roll Shekinna (Stricklen) free, it's her shot, but she wasn't open and I made the cut and was open, so it's my shot."
Tennessee (22-2, 10-1 Southeastern Conference) remained on top of the league standings with a one-game lead over Kentucky. Ole Miss (15-9, 6-5) lost for the fourth time in five games and is in a three-way tie for third place.
Stricklen led the Lady Vols with 13 points, while Alyssia Brewer and Bjorklund had 12 apiece. Bjorklund made four baskets, all 3s.
"She's been really big for us," Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said. "This was a very hard-fought game and you have to be happy when you find a way to win."
The decisive margin was inside as the Lady Vols dominated the boards, 47-24, including a game-high 16 from Kelley Cain. Ole Miss compensated by forcing 16 turnovers and hitting 10 3s.
Elizabeth Robertson and Bianca Thomas had 18 points apiece for the Lady Rebels. Thomas, the SEC's leading scorer, pulled Ole Miss into a 58-58 tie with 15 seconds left on a driving layup, setting up Bjorklund for the decisive shot.
"We knew exactly who was going to take that shot," Ole Miss coach Renee Ladner said. "Angie does a good job at making big shots for Tennessee. It's very disheartening because our players fought so valiantly."
The Lady Rebels led 30-25 at halftime and 54-40 with 5 minutes remaining. Ole Miss managed only two baskets the rest of the way and Tennessee's inside dominance set up the successful rally.
"Honestly, we're fortunate to get out of here with the win," Summitt said.