Nov. 21, 2004
By KEITH PARSONS
AP Sports Writer
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Brittany Jackson drew fouls twice in the final minutes with the shot clock winding down and made four free throws, helping No. 1 Tennessee hold off North Carolina State 64-54 Sunday in the Jimmy V Women's Classic.
In the opener, No. 9 North Carolina beat three-time defending national champ Connecticut 71-65, handing the fourth-ranked Huskies their earliest loss since 1995.
Tennessee (2-0) trailed by three at the half in the matchup of Hall of Fame coaches - Tennessee's Pat Summitt and the Wolfpack's Kay Yow. It was tied at 34 before Sidney Spencer started a 9-2 run for the Vols, and they made it 49-41 on a 3-pointer by Hornbuckle.
N.C. State (1-1) got back within four on a jumper by Monica Pope with about five minutes left, then didn't score again until the final minute.
Meanwhile, senior reserve Jackson used her experience to increase Tennessee's lead. On two occasions, she was fouled on drives to the basket just before the shot clock expired.
She made all four free throws and the Volunteers cruised from there. They haven't lost to an unranked team since a loss to LSU on March 2, 2002, in the Southeastern Conference tournament.
Tennessee started the season ranked No. 1 for the first time 1998. With talented veterans such as Jackson, Ely, Shanna Zolman and Loree Moore back, the Lady Vols are a contender for Summitt's seventh national title at the school.
Summitt also signed the nation's top-ranked recruiting class, including the No. 1 prospect, Candace Parker. But Parker and two other freshmen, Alex Fuller and Sade Wiley-Gatewood, are injured, and Fuller is out for the season.
Yow, in her 30th season with the Wolfpack, remained three victories short of 600, and she fell to 0-3 in the Jimmy V Women's Classic. N.C. State hasn't beaten Tennessee 1990.