Nov. 23, 2004

Coach Summitt

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AP Sports Writer

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Veterans and talented freshmen are proving to be a good mix for top-ranked Tennessee.

Junior Shanna Zolman scored 14 points and reserve freshman Alexis Hornbuckle added 11 to help the Lady Vols beat George Washington 71-41 Tuesday night in their home opener.

Tennessee jumped out to a 10-0 lead, and George Washington didn't score until 12:19 left in the first half. The Colonials struggled with 22 turnovers that led to easy Lady Vols' baskets.

Tennessee's leading scorer, Shyra Ely, was held to 7 points on 3-of-5 shooting. But the Lady Vols (3-0) made do without her usual 16 points. Tennessee led by 22 points at halftime, and Zolman started the second half with two jumpers to keep the Lady Vols rolling.

"I think Shanna is one of our most improved players," Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said. "She's definitely expanded her offensive game aside from being just a catch-and-shoot player. She can be much more creative offensively. Obviously that's good for us."

Tennessee looked more comfortable on its home court after opening the season with two road games.

Hornbuckle, a member of Tennessee's heralded freshman class, made her debut with some nifty moves.

"When she comes in, she generates a lot of action. Defensively, she's around the ball," Summitt said. "A lot of good things happen when she's on the floor."

Ely got a steal and fed a breaking Hornbuckle, who scored an easy layup for a 47-22 lead with 14:21 left.

Hornbuckle added a 3-pointer and two free throws during a 9-0 run that ended any thoughts of a rally by the Colonials (2-1), who shot 32 percent.

Anna Montanana and Jessica Simmonds led George Washington with 12 points apiece.

"Everyone thinks you have to defend them. That's crap. You have to be able to score," George Washington coach Joe McKeown said. "That was our biggest concern coming in. I knew we couldn't get behind them."

Zolman also had six assists and three steals, and Hornbuckle had six rebounds.

"Even though I didn't start it was still great - the atmosphere and the fans going crazy," she said. "I was so excited. I was ready to run up and down the court."

The Lady Vols finish a season-opening stretch of four games in seven days with a visit to No. 4 Texas on Thanksgiving.





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