March 19, 2012
CHICAGO - A well-balanced team effort helped No. 2 seed Tennessee to a 63-48 victory over DePaul on Monday night at Allstate Arena in the NCAA Tournament Second Round. Shekinna Stricklen led the Lady Vols with 17 points and nine rebounds. Glory Johnson scored only eight points, but grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds. Meighan Simmons tallied 13 points while Vicki Baugh had 16 points and nine rebounds.
Tennessee (26-8) advances to the Sweet 16 and will play in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday, March 24. The Lady Vols will take on the winner of No. 3 seed Delaware-No. 11 seed Kansas game which will take place tomorrow night.
The Lady Vols have never lost an NCAA Second Round game, posting a 24-0 all-time record. UT is 48-1 all-time in first and second-round games. This will be Tennessee's 30th all-time appearance in the Sweet 16.
DePaul finishes its season at 23-11. Anna Martin led the Blue Demons with 20 points before fouling out with 2:15 left in regulation.
Tennessee led the game for the final 33 minutes, last trailing 9-8.
Tennessee dominated the glass, grabbing 51 rebounds to DePaul's 31.
Johnson's 21 rebounds were the most by a Lady Vol since Daedra Charles had 22 in the 1991 NCAA Tournament vs. SW Missouri State.
The Lady Vols limited DePaul to just 31.3 from the floor including 3-of-17 from 3-point range.
The Lady Vols held off a late push by DePaul, and never saw their lead fall below seven points for the final 19:50.
A 3-pointer by Deanne Ortiz cut the Lady Vols lead to seven at 53-46 with 2:21 left in regulation.
Martin's 3-pointer with 5:34 left in the second half cut the deficit to nine with 5:34 left in regulation, 48-39. But Tennessee answered as Stricklen bombed home a 3-pointer with 4:40 left in the game.
Tennessee took a 12-point lead on lay-up by Vicki Baugh with 17:21 left in the second half. The lead had ballooned to 10 points on a 3-pointer by Briana Bass, making it 35-25, just 2:25 into the second half.
The Lady Vols led 28-23 at halftime thanks to 12 points from Simmons.
Tennessee routed DePaul in December in New York and prevailed this time on the court where the Blue Demons' men's team play most of its home games.
No other school has made all 31 NCAA tournaments, and the only time Tennessee failed to reach the Sweet 16 was in 2009, when the Lady Vols got knocked out in the first round after capturing their eighth championship. The only player left from that team is Baugh.