Nov. 30, 2008
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee provided a glimpse of the future against DePaul on Sunday.
Three freshmen tied or bettered career bests and the No. 9 Lady Vols (5-1) rolled to an 88-67 victory at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Tennessee coach Pat Summitt was worried about how her young team, but didn't have to fret for long -- Tennessee jumped out to a 13-0 lead on her way to career victory No. 988.
"I was a little concerned going into this game how we would come out and play from a defensive standpoint," Summitt said. "I was pleased."
DePaul (5-2) put four players in double figures, but shot 37.3 percent from the field.
"I don't know if you want to call it pleasurable, but it's always an honor to measure yourself against this historic program," DePaul coach Doug Bruno said.
The Lady Vols led by 19 in the first half. DePaul managed its own 10-0 run to cut the margin to 38-32 late in the half.
"After we got through the first five minutes of fear factor, I thought we settled down," Bruno said. "We finally showed some signs of being competitive."
Tennessee extended a 44-34 halftime lead to 68-43 midway through the second half when Johnson went on an 8-0 run that ended with a 10-foot fallaway jumper.
DePaul's Deirdre Naughton was limited to four points in the first half with Tennessee's Stricklen hounding her every step. She finished with 14 and Sam Quigley led the Blue Demons with 15 points.
"She's a long, athletic player and that's not something we've seen this year," Naughton said. "She definitely altered a lot of shots."
Stricklen said: "I just had heart and felt in my mind No. 32 wasn't going to get in the 20s."
Naughton finished 3-of-18 from the floor but added a team-high 10 rebounds with six assists and four steals.
Tennessee had its full complement of players for the first time this season.
Sophomore Angie Bjorklund, last season's Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year, saw her first action after missing the first five games with a back injury and Alicia Manning also returned from a concussion.