Jan. 10, 2009
|January 11, 2009 - 3:00 p.m. ET|
Memorial Gym (14,168) - Nashville, Tenn.
The #7/11-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols (12-2, 1-0 SEC)) hit the road for the first away game in the 2009 SEC season and head cross-state to face the #24-ranked Vanderbilt Commodores (12-4, 1-0 SEC) at the Memorial Gym in Nashville on Jan. 11 at 2:00 p.m. CT. In the pre-season polls, Vanderbilt was picked by the media and the coaches to win the SEC, while Tennessee was picked to fi nish #2 in league play.
LADY VOLS AT A GLANCEThis is the Lady Vols' 35th season under Head Coach Pat Summitt...She has compiled a staggering 995-184 overall record... Is just FIVE wins away from a remarkable 1,000 career victories... Collected her 900th coaching win with a 80-68 decision over #19-ranked Vanderbilt on Jan. 19, 2006... She passed Dean Smith (879 wins) for most NCAA collegiate basketball wins of all-time with a 75-54 victory over Purdue on Mar. 22, 2005 ...Her 2006-07 and 2007-08 squads were crowned as the NCAA Champions producing the program's seventh and eighth titles...Last season, UT fi nished with a 36-2 overall record and were also the SEC Tournament Champions... This season, UT returned fi ve letterwinners, a redshirt freshman and welcomed a talented six-pack rookie class...The 2008-09 season marked the Lady Vol debut for freshmen: #1 Briana Bass, a 5-2 guard from Indianapolis, Ind., #10 Amber Gray, a 6-1 forward/center from West Chester, Ohio, #15 Alicia Manning, a 6-1 guard/forward from Woodstock, Ga., #25 Glory Johnson, a 6-3 forward from Knoxville, Tenn., #33 Alyssia Brewer, a 6-3 forward from Sapulpa, Okla. and #40 Shekinna Stricklen, a 6-2 guard/forward from Morrilton, Ark. -- all have seen their fi rst action in the Orange and White this season. A redshirt freshman, #52 Kelley Cain, a 6-6 center from Atlanta, Ga., restarted her rookie season after undergoing surgery in December 2007.
OUR SCHEDULE THIS WEEKTennessee began Southeastern Conference play with a tough home win over Kentucky (69-64) in a game that saw 14 lead changes. This weekend, UT heads mid-state to Nashville for a matinee match-up against No. 24/24-ranked Vanderbilt at 2 p.m. CT on Sunday, Jan. 11. The contest will be aired on CSS with Joe Fisher and Joe Ciampi calling the action. Tickets are available.
NEXT UPThe Lady Vols travel to Starkville, Miss., to face the Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (12-3, 0-1 SEC) in a 7 p.m. CT game to be aired on CSS.
ON THIS DAY IN LADY VOL BASKETBALL HISTORYUT is 9-1 all-time on January 11 featuring a 5-0 record at home, a 4-1 slate on the road and a 0-0 mark on neutral courts. The last time the Lady Vols were in action on this date, Tennessee earned an 80-58 win at Florida in 2007.
LOOKING BACKLast year at this time, the #2-ranked Lady Vols were 13-1 on the campaign after defeating #22-ranked Auburn, 85-52, in Knoxville.
LADY VOLS ON TVCurrently, 21 Lady Vol regular season games are slated for television this season. Upcoming TV games include: at Vanderbilt (CSS), at Mississippi State (CSS) and South Carolina (FSN South). Last season, UT had a school record 36 television appearances. UT is 7-2 in TV games this year.
COUNTDOWN TO 1,000The much anticipated countdown to Coach Pat Summitt's 1,000th career victory continues today with a game against Vanderbilt. Summitt (with 995 wins) now needs just six victories to hit the magic mark. Summitt started the year needing 17 victories to reach 1,000. Last season, UT grabbed win number 17 on Jan. 24 vs. Arkansas (98-55) and in 2006-07, win number 17 occurred on Jan. 18 with a victory over Miss. State. Traditionally, Tennessee has reached 17 wins in 20.5 games each season (on average).
1,000 win milestone opportunities
SEC ROOKIE OF THE WEEKTennessee freshman Shekinna Stricklen (Morrilton, Ark.) was named Southeastern Conference (SEC) Freshman of the Week for the second time this season, after helping the Lady Vols to a pair of wins over Gonzaga, 77-58, and the come-from-behind win at Rutgers, 55-51. The explosive rookie scored 12 points and grabbed six boards, while dishing out a career-high fi ve assists and making four steals in the win over the Bulldogs on Dec. 30. On Jan. 3 against Rutgers, Stricklen notched her fi rst career double-double with team-highs of 16 points and 11 rebounds and was named the CBS Chevrolet Player of the Game. She was 4-of-8 for 13 points and grabbed six rebounds in leading the Lady Vols to a 20-point comeback win, the largest in school history.
THE 4-1-1 ON VANDERBILTIn the last outing before facing Tennessee, Jennifer Risper scored 17 points to lead No. 24 Vanderbilt to an 85-76 victory over Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Jan. 8. Christina Wirth added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Commodores (12-4, 1-0 Southeastern Conference), Merideth Marsh scored 13 points, and Hannah Tuomi and Chanel Chisholm had 12 each. The Commodores rebounded from consecutive losses and snapped Alabama's six-game winning streak by beating the Crimson Tide for the seventh straight time and 11th of the last 12. Vanderbilt led 51-25 in the second half before Bama stormed back. Alabama pulled to 78-72 on Courtney Strauthers' layup with 2:49 to go.
LAST MEETING WITH VUThe No. 3-ranked Lady Vols earned a shot at their third SEC tournament title in four years after beating instate rival No. 21 Vanderbilt, 63-48, on March 8, 2008 in Nashville, Tenn. Tennessee, which already has 12 SEC tourney championships, will be making its 18th appearance in the title game after knocking off the defending champion. Vanderbilt lost for the fi rst time in nine games after winning the 2002 and 2004 titles at the Sommet Center. Tennessee has now won 16 straight in the series. Candace Parker poured in 25 points and added four blocks, three assists and went a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe. Alexis Hornbuckle added 14 points for Tennessee. Jennifer Risper led Vanderbilt with 14 points and nine rebounds. Christina Wirth, the Commodores' leading scorer with 13.1 points, was held to seven after scoring 24 and 14, respectively, in the teams' fi rst two meetings this season. Even though Vanderbilt was playing so close to home, the biggest crowd ever to watch any SEC tourney session at 12,897 felt like Tennessee's own court with orange fi ltering throughout and up to the upper deck. This was much more a defensive struggle between the SEC's top two scoring teams, especially in the second half when both teams managed just six fi eld goals. The Lady Vols held Vanderbilt to a seasonlow in total points and its worst three-point shooting performance of the season (2-of-17). Despite the early 10-point defi cit, UT used 53.6 percent shooting in the fi rst half to lead 37-28 at the break.
FIRST TO FIFTYVanderbilt became the fi rst opponent to face UT more than 50 times in a series and the fi rst opponent the Lady Vols have defeated 50 times in a series all-time.
UT-VANDY SERIES RANKINGSTypically, going into the Tennessee versus Vanderbilt match-up, the Lady Vols have entered the contest as the higher ranked team. In fact, in the last 39 meetings dating back to Jan.30, 1993, the Commodores have been ranked higher just six times. Going into that memorable oversold game on the Nashville campus in 1993, Vanderbilt was ranked number one while the Lady Vols were a step behind at #2.
BIG TURNSTILE NUMBERSTennessee and Vanderbilt love to attract the crowds on their campuses when the two teams meet. In UT's fi nal home game of 2007, with the old arena confi guration, UT and Vandy attracted the largest crowd ever in the series as 24,251 clicked thru the turnstiles on Senior Day. Here are all of the attendance averages dating back to 1986-87 season. KNOXVILLE TOTAL (AVG.) --18 games - 286,131 (15,896); NASHVILLE TOTAL (AVG)--20 games - 232,949 (11,647); NEUTRAL TOTAL (AVG)--9 games- 73,065 ( 8,118). Largest gatherings: 24,251 in Knoxville 2/23/07, 15,317 in Nashville 1/30/93 and 12,897 in Nashville (Sommet Center) 3/8/08.
VANDY'S SUCCESS VS. UT IN NASHVILLEFour of Vandy's wins in the series have come at Memorial Gymnasium on the Nashville campus, while two of the Commodores six victories over UT have come on neutral courts in the SEC Tourney. The closest Vanderbilt has come to claiming a win in Knoxville in 22 meetings was a two-point loss on Feb. 26, 1984, 74-72, in Stokely Athletics Center on the UT campus. Other near misses include a three-point loss in 1996 and a four-pointer on 2-22-01.
ONCE, TWICE, THREE TIMES . . .With last season's meeting in the SEC Tourney, UT and Vandy have met three times in a season on eight different occasions. UT has registered fi ve 3-0 sweeps and three times at 2-1. Before 2008, UT and VU last met three times in a season in 2005.
UT-VU MEETINGS WITH RANKEDVanderbilt is 0-1 vs. ranked teams this season having lost to #12/6 Notre Dame (57-59). UT is 2-2 vs. the ranked with wins over #3/4 Stanford and #15/14 Rutgers and losses to #6/5 Texas and #16/15 Virginia.
BALCOMB IS 1-14 ALL-TIME VS. LADY VOLSVU head coach Melanie Balcomb is 0-14 vs. the Lady Vols while at Vandy since the 2002-03 season. However, as the head coach at Xavier, her Musketeers sent UT home from the 2001 NCAA Tournament dealing a Sweet 16 upset defeat, 80-65.
The UT-VU SeriesTennessee leads 52-6
VU SERIES TIDBITSTennessee and Vanderbilt have a storied past. This will mark the 59th meeting between these SEC foes. UT has played Vandy 38 times since 1994. No other team has recorded as many back-to-back games with the Lady Vols in single seasons since UT played Old Dominion home-and-home and in the postseason (practically every year) in the late 1970s and early 80s. Though the Lady Vols possess a dominant 52-6 advantage in the overall series, the last several years have brought a more competitive match-up as UT has edged Vandy 18-2 in the past 20 meetings. Vanderbilt and Tennessee met in the SEC's tournament fi nals twice with UT winning in 1994 and VU triumphing in 1995. Overall, UT is 8-2 in postseason meetings with Vandy.
UT'S OFFENSIVE OPPORTUNITIESIn all games, this is how Tennessee has shot from the fi eld: 60% FG: none; 50%FG: MTSU (.517), Gonzaga (.500); 40%FG: WCU (.475), LaTech (.429), DePaul (.427), Virginia (.413), Stanford (.403), San Francisco (.400), Rutgers (.400); 30%FG: ODU (.386), KY1 (.361), GWU (.353), UT-Chattanooga (.344), Texas (.333); 20%FG: none.
DEEE ----- FENSEIn all games, this is how the opposition has shot from the fi eld: 50%FG: Virginia (.500), 40%FG: KY1 (.455), MTSU (.412), GWU (.404), Rutgers (.404); 30%FG: ODU (.385), DePaul (.373), Gonzaga (.371), Stanford (.362), Texas (.369), UT-Chattanooga (.365), LaTech (.313), 20%FG: WCU (.298); 10%FG: San Francisco (.186)
2008-09 WON-LOSS DIFFERENTIALWins: +35 (1), +29 (2), +27 (1), +21 (1), +19 (1), +12 (1), + 10 (1), +5 (2), +4 (1) +3 (1) Losses: -1 (1), -14 (1)
GOING FOR 400 TODAYShould the Lady Vols earn success over Vanderbilt today, it would mark the 400th all-time victory for Tennessee over a SEC foe. Lady Vol coach Pat Summitt has been on board for 397 wins and 58 losses. A 2-1 record versus South Carolina pre-dates Summitt.
TWOSIESThe Lady Vols will face Kentucky and Mississippi State twice again this season and Vanderbilt twice as the "natural rival" in SEC play.
THIS IS AMAZINGFrom 1980-1997, the Lady Vols claimed a total of six SEC regular season titles in 17 years. From 1998- 2004, Tennessee captured seven consecutive SEC regular season crowns producing an amazing 109-4 record. UT's only league losses were to Vandy, Georgia and LSU (twice) during this stretch. EIGHT WAS GREAT Over the years, eight Lady Vols teams have gone undefeated in SEC play: 1993, `94, `95, `98, 2001, `03, `04 and `07.
UT WINNING STREAKS VS. SEC TEAMSSchool Streak and last loss
Alabama 33 in a row, since 3-3-1984
Arkansas 14 in row, since 12-29-1996
Auburn 16 in a row, since 3-2-1997
Florida 3 in a row, since 2-26-2006
Georgia 7 in a row, since 3-6-2004
Kentucky 4 in a row, since 1-26-2006
LSU 2 in a row, 2-13-2008
Mississippi 16 in a row, since 2-4-1996
Mississippi State 28 in a row, never lost to MSU
South Carolina 5 in a row, since 1-23-1980
Vanderbilt 17 in a row, since 2-2-2002
AGAINST THE SECTennessee owns a 399-59 record all-time record vs. 12 teams from the Southeastern Conference. UT maintains a winning record against every team in the SEC.
AMAZING AT HOME VS. THE SECSince Tennessee began contesting games with SEC opponents, the Lady Vols have produced a 165- 12 record in home games. Only six SEC teams have ever managed a victory over the Lady Vols in Knoxville - Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU and Ole Miss. Georgia has won three games on UT's turf while Auburn, Kentucky, Ole Miss and LSU have registered two wins each and Florida one win. Georgia was the only team to defeat UT at home in the 1990s (1991 & 1996). LSU and Florida are the only SEC teams to defeat UT at home in the 21st century.
SEC LEAGUE PLAYUT owns a league best record of 266-34 (.886) against all SEC teams dating back to the 1982-83 season.
SEC ROAD WIN STREAKTennessee is on a 17-game SEC road winning streak. The Lady Vols have not lost on the road to an SEC opponent since Kentucky turned the trick on Jan. 26, 2006 in Rupp Arena (66-63).
SEC REGULAR SEASON STORYUT's last SEC win at home:
Kentucky, 69-64, 1-8-09
UT's last SEC win away:
Georgia, 72-63, 3-2-08
UT's last SEC loss at home:
LSU, 78-62, 2-14-08
UT's last SEC loss away:
Kentucky, 66-63, 1-26-06
15 SEASONS OF AT LEAST 10 SEC WINSIn the win over Alabama on Feb. 21, 2008, Tennessee claimed its 10th SEC victory of the 2007-08 season. The Lady Vols have now registered doubledigit victories in conference play an incredible 15 times. Since the 1991-92 season when SEC play expanded, the Lady Vols have won at least 10 games in the following years: 1992-10 wins, 1993-11 wins, 1994-11 wins, 1995-11 wins, 1998-14 wins, 1999-13 wins, 2000-13 wins, 2001-14 wins, 2002- 13 wins, 2003- 14 wins, 2004-14 wins, 2005- 13 wins, 2006-11 wins, 2007- 14 wins and 2008-13 wins.
BAUGH QUESTIONABLE FOR VANDYUT sophomore starting post Vicki Baugh was injured in the Lady Vols practice at Rutgers Prep on Jan. 1, 2009. Baugh went down and grabbed her left knee -- the same knee she injured (torn ACL) in the 2008 NCAA title game against Stanford last April. Baugh was taken to the hospital for x-rays which were negative. When UT returned home following the shocking come-from-behind win over Rutgers, Baugh's knee was re-examined. According to Jenny Moshak, Lady Vol Associate Athletics Director for Sports Medicine, "Vicki suffered a sprain of the lateral collateral ligament in her left knee. She will be treated accordingly and is listed as day-to-day." Baugh missed the game at Rutgers (1-3-09) and vs. Kentucky in the SEC season opener (1-8-09) and is listed as questionable for Vanderbilt.
YOUNGSTERS NOT TOUGH ON "D"Tennessee's young team evolves each game but took a step backwards defensively against Kentucky. The Cats tossed in 45% of its fi eld goal tries -- the second-best by an opponent vs. UT this season. Virginia is the only team to hit 50% vs. UT this season. To their credit, the Lady Vols have held nine of 14 opponents below 40% from the fi eld.
THE COMEBACK KIDSIn all of UT coach Pat Summitt's career collegiate games, none of her Lady Vol teams had mounted the kind of comeback they fashioned against Rutgers on Jan. 3, 2009. Tennessee trailed 33-13 at the half. The 13 points were the fewest ever the Lady Vols have scored in the fi rst half. The defi cit also marked the fi rst time in the 2008-09 season, UT has trailed at the half. Additionally, the 20-point halftime defi cit was the largest in school history. The previous fi rst-half low was 14 at Virginia on March 25, 1996. The previous largest halftime defi cit was 19. Once on Feb. 4, 1996, at Ole Miss and on March 28, 1986, against Southern California in the Final Four in Lexington, Ky. Rutgers led by as many as 23-points before UT rallied for the win. Previously, the Lady Vols had to come back from a 22-point defi cit to defeat Illinois in the 1997-98 season.
COAST-TO-COASTOver the Christmas holidays, the Lady Vols gave new meaning to coast-to-coast. UT traveled to Spokane, Washington on Dec. 27 for Angie Bjorklund's homecoming game and made Gonzaga their temporary home-away-from-home. The hospitality of Angie Bjorklund's mom and dad, Kris and Jim, made the junket even more enjoyable in the 56 inches of snow that blanketed the city. After defeating the Zags, 77-58, on Dec. 30, the Tennessee traveling party headed to the East Coast on New Year's Eve. Following the Jan. 3 come-from-behind game against Rutgers, 55-51, the Lady Vols fi nally returned to Knoxville.
ROOKIES CARRYING THE LOADUT's seven rookies are handling 68% (51.2 points per game) of the team's total of 75.2 ppg scoring load and 60.6% (28.3 rebounds per game) of the total of 46.4 rpg.
LEADING AT THE BREAKThe Lady Vols have led at halftime in 12 of 14 games this season. Tennessee and Texas were knotted at 31-all at halftime in the loss at Austin, and the Lady Vols trailed 33-13 after 20 minutes at Rutgers. On average, UT holds a 36.9 to 30.5 halftime lead. The Lady Vols have outscored the opposition 38.2 to 31.5 in the second stanza.
PICKING UP THE PACESince the disappointing 73-59 loss at #6/5-ranked Texas on Dec. 14, a couple of Lady Vols have picked up the pace. In the fi ve wins since, rookie Shekinna Stricklen has been UT's leading scorer with 17.8 ppg. Sophomore Angie Bjorklund and rookie Glory Johnson have been impressive as well. Bjorklund has been averaging 15.6 ppg while Johnson has been adding 9.0 ppg and snagging 6.0 rpg. Sophomore Vicki Baugh has taken over on the glass recording 11.3 rpg.
HOME COURT STREAKS BROKEN BY UTThroughout the years, UT has been responsible for breaking a number of lengthy home court winning streaks, 21 to be exact. This season, UT has taken down three streaks -- the Lady Vols broke Rutgers' 20-game home winning streak at the RAC. Also this season, UT snapped ODU's nation-leading 29 game home court winning steak at the "Ted" on Dec. 18. Earlier in the month, the Lady Vols snapped GWU's 17-game streak at the Smith Center on Dec. 2. Last season, UT snapped Duke's 24-game winning streak which was the longest in the nation at the time.
The Lady Vols know something about home court winning streaks - Tennessee shares the NCAA record at 69 consecutive wins at home.
SEC ROOKIE OF THE WEEKTennessee freshman Shekinna Stricklen (Morrilton, Ark.) was named Southeastern Conference (SEC) Freshman of the Week (Dec. 15-22) for the fi rst time this season, after leading the Lady Vols to a 79- 69 upset overtime win over #3/4-ranked Stanford on Dec. 21. After missing the game at Old Dominion on Dec. 18 due to illness, the rookie came back strong to lead the Lady Vols over the Cardinal. She scored a career high 25 points including the fi rst eight of the Lady Vols 11 points in overtime. For good measure, she grabbed seven rebounds, snagged three steals and registered a career high four assists. Stricklen joins teammate Glory Johnson who has been named SEC Freshman of the Week twice this season.
COMING OF AGE WINTennessee's overtime upset victory against #3/4-ranked Stanford, 79-69, was a great way to go into the Christmas break. The team, minus West Coasters Angie Bjorklund and Vicki Baugh, reassembled in Knoxville on Dec. 26 for practice prior to traveling to Spokane. The fi rst full team practice back after the break was on Dec. 27 following a full day of fl ying. Hopefully, the Lady Vols muscle-memory will recall the great OT defensive effort in the win over the Cardinal holding SU to just one point in the extra stanza.
CAITY-MAC WAS BACKLady Vol redshirt sophomore Cait McMahan was back in the line-up at Gonzaga and played two minutes. McMahan had been experiencing pain in her surgically repaired knees and had been sidelined since playing just fi ve minutes in the game at Texas on Dec. 14.
HEY! THE GANG'S ALL HERE -- FINALLYIt's a little known fact that Lady Vol Coach Pat Summitt is a master juggler. After all, she's only had a full roster of 12 players available in just four games this season -- DePaul, George Washington, Texas and Gonzaga. Against DePaul on Nov. 30, Lady Vol Coach Pat Summitt enjoyed a full roster available to play for the fi rst time in the 2008-09 season. Sophomore Angie Bjorklund, the only returning player with solid experience as a starter (30 starts) was available for the fi rst time this season after missing fi ves games. Back from concussions were Alicia Manning and Kelley Cain who missed one and four games, respectively.
BAUGH WAS BACK IN A BIG WAYLady Vol sophomore Vicki Baugh missed a lot of the preseason rehabbing her ACL repaired knee. It didn't seem to matter that she was having to play catch up. Since she was cleared to play, Baugh has played and started in 10 games and is averaging 7.8 ppg, 9.7 rpg and 2.0 bpg in 23.6 minutes of action. She recorded backto- back double-doubles of 13 pts. and 12 rbs. (La Tech) and 11 pts. and 15 rbs. (Western Carolina). She suffered a setback when she injured her knee prior to the game at Rutgers. She missed the game at RU and the SEC season opener with Kentucky.
ALL THINGS ACADEMICSeven Lady Vol hoopsters earned Dean's List honors for the just completed Fall semester. Rookies Briana Bass, Kelley Cain, Glory Johnson, Alicia Manning and sophomores Vicki Baugh, Angie Bjorklund and Sydney Smallbone all earned over a 3.0 GPA.
VYING FOR A PATCHTennessee athletes who have achieved honor roll status in the classroom display a "Vol Scholar" patch on their uniform. The "VS" letters are wrapped around a replica of the torch carried by the UT Torchbearer. Currently, sophomores Angie Bjorklund, Cait McMahan and Sydney Smallbone display the academic patch on their uniforms. Following Fall semester grades, new additions to wear the patch will be Briana Bass, Kelley Cain, Glory Johnson, Alicia Manning and Vicki Baugh.
2008-09 RANKED TIDBITSUT claimed its second win over a ranked team this season with a 55-51 road win at #15/14 Rutgers... Number 3/4-ranked Stanford is the highest ranked opponent the Lady Vols have faced this season (a 79-69 OT win)... The Lady Vols lost at #6/5-ranked Texas, 73-59... Virginia was Tennessee's fi rst ranked opponent of the 2008-09 season... The Cavs were ranked #16/15 when they defeated the #5/6 Lady Vols, 83- 82... Tennessee's 2008-09 slate includes 11 contests against currently ranked opposition... Last season, Tennessee faced a total of 20 ranked opponents in 38 games and produced a 18-2 record...
GLORY BREAKS OUT OF MINI SLUMPRookie Glory Johnson broke out of a mini scoring slump vs. Kentucky with 14 points. In the three games previous, she managed single digits and was held to a season low four points against Gonzaga. Against Stanford, Johnson was held to just single digit scoring for the fi rst time in her Lady Vol career with seven points. One game previously (against Old Dominion), she became only the second Lady Vol to open her career with double-digit scoring in her fi rst 10 games... Fourtime All-American Chamique Holdsclaw holds the UT record for most consecutive double-digit scoring outputs to begin her Tennessee career with 14... Against ODU, Johnson passed Candace Parker for second on the list... Parker had nine straight games of double-digit scoring to open her freshman year...
IN THE GROOVEComing off a career-high night against Old Dominion with 29 points, sophomore Angie Bjorklund continued her hot streak against Stanford. She tallied 16 points and four assists in 41 minutes. As a rookie, she did not score a single point against the Cardinal last season in two games. Senior Alex Fuller maintained her groove after a career-high fi ve assists and tying a career high with 12 rebounds after being inserted back into the starting lineup replacing an ailing Shekinna Stricklen.... Fuller was 4-4 in free throws in a critical stretch versus Stanford and played some tough "D."
AP STREAK WAS BROKENTennessee's record run in the top 10 was fi nally stopped. The Lady Vols' streak of 211 straight weeks in the top 10 ended on Dec. 15, 2008, when they were ranked 11th in The Associated Press Top 25 poll. Tennessee, which lost at then-No. 6/5 Texas 73-59 on Dec. 14, was last out of the fi rst 10 on March 3, 1997. The run went 56 weeks longer than the men's record of 155 set by UCLA. North Carolina, which stayed No. 2 this week, now has the longest active streak in the Top 10 with 70 consecutive weeks. It would take them nearly eight years to match the Lady Vols' run.
GOT BACK ON TRACKBefore UT lost at Texas on Dec. 14, 2008, the Lady Vols had won 13 consecutive road games dating back to a 73-68 OT loss at #5-ranked Stanford on Dec. 22, 2007. Tennessee got back on the winning road track with a tough 81-76 win at Old Dominion on Dec. 18.
YOUNGEST LINE-UP IN LADY VOL HISTORYWhen rookies Shekinna Stricklen, Glory Johnson and Briana Bass started the game versus Middle Tennessee with sophomores Vicki Baugh and Angie Bjorklund, it marked the youngest starting lineup in Lady Vol history. Three rookies have started in three other lineups in the past but never with a couple of sophomores as their wing men. Previous three freshmen lineups: 1980-81 - Tanya Haave (Fr.), Mary Ostrowski (Fr.), Pat Hatmaker (Fr.), with Lea Henry (So.) and Cindy Noble (Sr.); 1984-85 - Karla Horton (Fr.), Kathy Spinks (Fr.), Dawn Marsh (Fr.), with Shelley Sexton (So.) and Shelia Collins (Sr.); 1997-98 - Tamika Catchings (Fr.), Semeka Randall (Fr.), Teresa Geter (Fr.), with Chamique Holdsclaw (Jr.) and Kellie Jolly (Jr.).
THE NATIONAL YOUNGSTER WATCHTennessee has a young team this season but there are a few other schools also up to their elbows in Pampers and Desenex. The Lady Vols have the fourth youngest team in the nation.
FAST STARTS FOR LADY VOL ROOKIESUT has enjoyed a tremendous tradition of some great Lady Vol rookies. Glory Johnson registered double-fi gure scoring in her fi rst 10 games before being held to seven versus Stanford. Other Lady Vol rookies double-fi gure scoring streaks to start their UT career--
Consecutive Double-Digit Scoring Performances
NO WHAMMIESThe Lady Vols have lost back-to-back games just 24 times in Coach Pat Summitt's 35-year career. The last time it happened, UT lost at #2 Duke, 75- 53, and at Kentucky, 66-63, on Jan. 23 & 26, 2006. Before that, you have to go all the way back to the 1996-97 season for back-to-back losses.
CAN'T SPOT OPPONENTS 36 POINTSIn Tennessee's loss at Texas, the Lady Vols missed 13 free throws (11-24) and allowed Texas to register 23 points off of 18 UT miscues -- basically spotting the Longhorns 36 points. Ironically, UT played the Horns to a 31-31 tie at the half.
GOTTA HAVE GLORYThe Lady Vols were a little hamstrung in the Texas game with leading scorer Glory Johnson on the bench. The super rookie from Knoxville was whistled for two fouls in the fi rst 1:52 of the game and took a seat on the bench. After watching her teammates fall behind by eight points during a 13 minute span, Johnson was sent back into the game. A scant 52 seconds was all the action Johnson saw before she was whistled for her third foul. Amazingly, Johnson played all 20 minutes in the second stanza and did not pick up another foul.
REVIEWING THE GOOD...The Lady Vols have been hitting the boards in the early going... Tennessee is grabbing 46.4 rpg and outrebounding the opposition by +8.6 (37.9)... At Texas, the Longhorns schooled the Lady Vols on the boards, 52-41...Leading the charge on the boards is sophomore Vicki Baugh who is grabbing 9.7 rpg -- just dipping below the +10 rpg she had been pulling down... Should Baugh be able to maintain a doubledigit rebounding slate, she'd be the fi rst Lady Vol since Patricia "Trish" Roberts to record extra digit rebounds in a season... Roberts averaged 14.2 rpg (1976-77)... Quick hands and feet for Shekinna Stricklen and Glory Johnson have resulted in the rookies leading the team in thefts this season as "Kinna" has 34 steals and Johnson 22...Stricklen has the individual team lead with fi ve steals against GWU... Speaking of team leaders, Briana Bass dished out eight helpers in the game versus Louisiana Tech... he was one assist off the Lady Vol rookie record of nine set by Jody Adams twice during her freshman campaign in 1989-90.
THEN THERE'S THE BAD AND/OR UGLY...Perhaps one of the reasons UT has been so tough on the boards is that there are a lot of misses on the offensive end this year resulting in a 40.9 percent fi eld goal shooting accuracy... The team took a big step in the right direction notching their second 50% game of the season reaching 50 percent (exactly) against Gonzaga. Previously, UT connected on 51.7 percent from the fi eld vs. MTSU and fell off the apple cart one game later posting the worst FG percentage of the season registering 33% at Texas... With the exception of Angie Bjorklund, the Lady Vol three-point bombardiers have only reached 33.7 percent of their tries... As young players learn the UT system, they need to embrace the "Love thy neighbor" credo... The Lady Vols have only registered 186 assists on 367 made fi eld goals... Free throws improved to 68.3 percent after a shaky start but dipped to 45.8% in the Texas game -- missing charity tosses could cost a bigger win down the line... In the second effort department, the Lady Vols are looking to improve on 16.8 ppg second chance points.
"BIRD" AND ALEX = GRADUATION RATE PERFECTThe Fall semester came to a close on the UT campus on Dec. 11 and redshirt senior Alex Fuller fi nished up her undergraduate degree requirements. On Sat., Dec. 13, Fuller went through commencement and then boarded the plane with her Lady Vol teammates to travel to Texas. Fuller received her degree in exercise science and will begin grad school in January 2009 majoring in both Sport Management and Sport Psychology. Also graduating on Saturday with Fuller was former Lady Vol hoopster Alberta "Bird" Auguste who completed her eligibility last May and was a member of the 2007 and 2008 NCAA title teams.
THINGS CEREBRALThis season, four Lady Vols dealt with concussions just eight games into the season -- a scary stat. Three of the head blows were suffered in practice as Shekinna Stricklen, Kelley Cain and Amber Gray all went to the mat. Rookie Alicia Manning was knocked in the head in the game with Louisiana Tech. Gray was cleared to play against MTSU.
AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLRookie Shekinna Stricklen had a break-out game against MTSU. The Morrilton, Ark., native tossed in a career high 20 points while pulling down six rebounds. Her ATC moment came just before halftime when she nailed a 33-footer before the buzzer.
BOMBS AWAY ANGIE BThe old Angie Bjorklund showed up for the game at Old Dominion. The long-range gunner hit 6-10 treys en route to tying her career high of 29 points. The sophomore was back as a starter in the game versus MTSU. As a rookie, Bjorklund started 30 games and then hit a wall in February and suffered a case of the "February Freshman Fade." To open this season, she had to deal with a bulging disc in her back and has only played in the last several games. Against Middle, she tossed in 16 points including a couple of her signature treys.
GLORY BELady Vol rookie Glory Johnson has picked up SEC Rookie of the Week honors twice this season. She received the award for the week of Nov. 23-30 after leading the Lady Vols to wins over Western Carolina (83-56) and DePaul (88-67). In each game, she scored a season-high 19 points. Johnson was also named SEC Freshman of the Week for the opening week of the new campaign after leading UT to a 68-39 win over San Francisco with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
FIRST LOSS IN SECOND GAME OF THE SEASONThe last time Tennessee opened the season with a 1-1 record was during the 2002-03 campaign. The Lady Vols started the year with a win over #22-ranked Oklahoma, 94-68, and then fell to #1-ranked Duke, 76-55, in the Jimmy V Classic at the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C. UT met Duke again later that season and handed the Blue Devils a 66-56 loss in the NCAA Final Four semifi nals.
ANOTHER SUMMITT ACCOLADECoach Pat Summitt was selected as an inaugural recipient of the Joe Lapchick Character Award. Also honored at the Nov. 20 ceremony at Madison Square Garden in New York City was Hall of Fame coaches Lou Carnesecca of St. John's and Dean Smith of North Carolina. "It is an honor to have been selected as the fi rst recipient of the Joe Lapchick Character Award. He was a legendary fi gure on both the collegiate and professional level of our game," said Summitt. "I am humbled to accept an award which bears his name."
JOINING THE LADY VOL FOLDUniversity of Tennessee Lady Vol basketball head coach Pat Summitt announced the early signing of three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent for the 2009-10 academic school year. Joining the eight-time NCAA Champions are signees Taber Spani, a 6'1" home-schooled shooting guard from Lee's Summit, Mo., playing for the Metro Academy Mavericks; Kamiko Williams, a 5'11" combination guard from Northeast High School in Clarksville, Tenn., and Faith Dupree, a 6'3" post from The Webb School in Knoxville, Tenn. Spani, ranked by ESPN.com as the nation's 13th ranked overall player in the class of 2009, is also regarded as one of the top backcourt players. She is a heady guard with incredible three point range. Last season, she averaged 29.6 points, 11.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists, three blocks and 2.4 steals a game and capped her junior campaign by winning the DiRenna Award, which honors the top boys and girls basketball players in metropolitan Kansas City. In signing Dupree and Williams, it marks the fi rst time Summitt has picked up two scholarship players from the state of Tennessee in the same recruiting class since Misty Greene (Decatur), Kellie Jolly (Sparta) and Brynae Laxton (Oneida) signed with the Lady Vols in 1995. That trio went on to win three consecutive NCAA titles in 1996, 1997 and 1998. Dupree plays at The Webb School and is coached by former Lady Vol Shelley Sexton Collier. As a junior, she averaged 14.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.2 steals per game as the Spartans were the Division IIAA state runner-up and she was named to the Division II-AA all-tournament and all-region teams. Dupree will join former teammate and current Lady Vol starting rookie forward Glory Johnson at UT. Williams was the fi rst player to commit to this recruiting class when she notifi ed Summitt of her intentions in the Fall of 2007. She is a left-handed combination guard who is comfortable at the point or on the wing. In 22 games last season, she averaged 19.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game and also recorded 87 assists and 84 steals. These signees will join 11 returning players on the Lady Vols 2009-10 roster. Tennessee's lone graduate will be fi fth year senior forward Alex Fuller. Next year, UT's roster will have no seniors, four juniors, seven sophomores and the freshmen class of Dupree, Spani and Williams.
ABOUT THE ROOKIESSix Lady Vols made their rookie debut on Sat., Nov. 15 against San Francisco. About the newbies... Shekinna Stricklen and Alyssia Brewer are fi rst-time Lady Vols from their home states, Arkansas and Oklahoma, respectively. Briana Bass, from Indianapolis, Ind., grew up watching Tamika Catchings play for the WNBA's Indiana Fever from a bird-eye view. Bass was a ball girl for the Fever. Glory Johnson is the sixth player from Knoxville to don a Lady Vol jersey. She joins Liza Graves (1975-78), Holly Warlick (1976- 80), Pat Hatmaker (1980-84), walk-on Kristie Snyder (1983-84) and Tanika Smith (1993-95) as local products who wore the orange and white. Alicia Manning, from Woodstock, Ga., is sure happy that video streaming and Lady Vol radio broadcasts are available on the internet. Her parents (Virginia and Jeff) currently live in Hawaii where her dad has a job. Amber Gray lives in a long shadow. Her father, Carlton had a sevenyear playing career as an NFL defensive back. Her great grandfather, Benjamin Hooks, was a colleague of Martin Luther King and once headed the NAACP. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
KEEP AN EYE ON REBOUNDINGFor two of the past three seasons, the Lady Vols have reset all-time low rebounding marks. The 2007 NCAA Champs hold the distinction as the worst UT rebounding team of all-time with just 38.4 rpg. The 2008 NCAA Champs collected 40.9 rpg and fi nished as the sixth worst in Lady Vol history last year.
GET THIS...It's a fact that Tennessee has produced some of the greatest players ever in women's collegiate basketball. It's a little known fact that there has only been one double-fi gure rebounder in the history of the program -- Olympian and Kodak All-American Patricia Roberts. Roberts hauled in 14.2 rpg (467 total) in her only season as a Lady Vol in 1976-77. She also claimed scoring honors with 29.9 ppg (987 points). In 2006-07, Candace Parker came the closest to a double-fi gure rebounding average but had to settle for 9.8 rpg.
300 WINS INTBA Te n - nessee recorded its 300th win in Thompson- Boling Arena when the Lady Vols defeated the Stanford C a r d i n a l , 79-69 OT on Dec. 21, 2008. Seven years earlier, UT grabbed its 200th TBA win over the University of Southern California on Nov. 18, 2001, 106-66. UT has now amassed a 301-19 (.942) record since the Orange and White moved into the Thompson-Boling Arena to start the 1987-88 season 20-years ago. Along the way, the Lady Vols have produced nine fl awless home records in 1988-89 (15-0), 1991-92 (14-0), 1992-93 (13-0), 1993-94 (15- 0), 1994-95 (15-0), 1997-98 (16-0), 1998-99 (14-0), 2000-01 (15-0) and 2002-03 (16-0). UT also registered an NCAA record 69-game home court-winning streak from Feb. 1, 1991 thru Jan. 2, 1996.
JUST 19 LOSSESThe Tennessee Lady Vols rarely lose at home. In fact, since moving to the Thompson-Boling Arena for the 1987-88 campaign, UT has lost two games in one season just six times. UT lost two games in TBA during the inaugural 1987-88 campaign, 1996- 97, 1999-00, 2001-02, 2003-04 and the 2005-06 seasons. The 19 all-time losses at TBA have come at the hands of just 10 teams: Virginia (2008), Florida (2006), LSU (2006, 2008), Duke (2004, 2007), Connecticut (2004, 2002, 2000, 1996), Louisiana Tech (1999, 1989), Georgia (1996, 1991), Texas (2003, 2002, 1987), Stanford (1996) and Auburn (1988).
HOME SWEET HOME -- OVER 400 HOME WINSThe victory over Georgia on Jan. 31, 2005, was the Lady Vols 400th home win since Pat Summitt took over as head coach in 1974. Summitt has won 91.4 percent of all home games in 35 years producing a 450-44 overall record. Home losses (in the Summitt era) include: six in Alumni Gym from 1974-76; 18 in Stokely Athletics Center from 1976-87; and 19 in Thompson-Boling Arena since 1987.
A LOOK AT ATTENDANCEThe Tennessee Lady Vols staying power with the home fans is evidenced by the huge numbers who have turned out for games in Knoxville since 1990. Tennessee has won the attendance challenge 13 out of the last 19 years. From 2000-08, the Lady Vols attracted 1,719,694 spectators per game for an average of 14,451 at 119. Texas Tech is second with 1,317,848 attending 108 games in Lubbock for an average of 12,202. Connecticut ranks third with 1,534,673 folks at 128 games for an average of 11,989.
100 POINT GAMESSince 1974, the Lady Vols have gone over the century mark 69 times. Last season, DePaul allowed 102 Tennessee points on Jan. 2, 2008. The 1987- 88 team hit triple digits in seven games to lead the NCAA.
IN OVERTIMEThe Lady Vols are 26-14 all-time in overtime games. The most OT games in a year was tied in 2003- 04 with four as the Lady Vols went 3-1 in overtime losing to Georgia, 68-66, and defeating Auburn, 68-61, DePaul, 96-89, and Stanford, 70-66. It tied the mark set in 1996-97, when the Lady Vols were 3-1 in overtime contests losing to Georgia, 94-93, and defeating Texas, 68- 65, Vanderbilt, 92-79 and LSU, 100-99. UT's 22 points in the OT against Florida (2-3-05), was the most ever scored by the Lady Vols in a single overtime. UT's most recent OT affair was a 79-69 win over Stanford on Dec. 21, 2008, at home.
LADY VOL STREAKSThe Lady Vols last lost at home was against Virginia, 83-82, on Nov. 17, 2008, since then UT has won six home games. The last time UT lost on the road was on Dec. 14, 2008 at Texas, since then, UT is 3-0 in road games. The last time the Lady Vols lost on a neutral court was against LSU, 63-54, in the SEC semis game on Mar. 3, 2007. Since that time, UT is 16-0 on a neutral court.
OVER 500 GAMES VS. RANKEDTennessee's game versus #12 Georgia on Feb. 16, 2006 was the Lady Vols' 500th all-time versus a ranked team since the inception of the polls in 1976. UT is an amazing 400-152 (.725) versus ranked teams. The 2007-08 NCAA Champ Lady Vols were 18-2 versus ranked teams.
BANNER RAISINGFor the second season in a row, the Lady Vols hoisted a banner to the Thompson-Boling Arena rafters to commemorate another NCAA title. Championship number eight was celebrated on Nov. 15 in pregame ceremonies before the Lady Vols' game with San Francisco. NCAA MVP Candace Parker and Alberta Auguste were on hand representing two of the starting fi ve who completed their eligibility after season's end last year. Quan and Jerome Hornbuckle stood in for their daughter Alexis who is currently playing in Turkey. Also playing professionally overseas and unable to attend were Shannon Bobbitt (playing in Turkey) and Nicky Anosike (playing in Israel). Prior to raising the 2007 Championship last Nov. 18 on the day the Lady Vols defeated #21/22 Texas, 92-67, nine years and fi ve days had passed since the Tennessee Lady Vols last hung a NCAA Championship banner in Thompson-Boling Arena. On Nov. 13, 1998, UT celebrated the 1998 title with a banner raising against another WCC school, the Portland Pilots with a 94-57 win.
ALWAYS A HOT TICKETJoe Arnone, UT Asst. AD for Tickets, says Lady Vol season ticket sales have been impressive despite the loss of fi ve starters from last year. Going into tonight's exhibition game, 10,491 season tickets have been sold. Last year, the Lady Vols sold 11,484 season ticket packages.
POLLSTERSThe Tennessee Lady Vols started the season in somewhat unfamiliar territory in the Top 25 Preseason polls. The Associated Press had UT in the seventh position to start the season, while the ESPN/USA TODAY Coaches Poll had UT in the sixth spot receiving one fi rst place vote. Tennessee's start in the AP poll is the lowest since the 1985-86 season when UT started in the number nine spot.
HEY! WE LOVE A HAPPY MEALThe Tennessee Lady Vols lead the nation with the number of McDonald's High School All-Americans on their roster in 2008-09 with nine players. Rutgers follows with eight "Mickey D" selections and Duke has seven. Four schools have six McDonald's honorees on their rosters - North Carolina, Maryland, Stanford and Connecticut. Tennessee's McDonald's All-Americans: Vicki Baugh, Angie Bjorklund, Alyssia Brewer, Kelley Cain, Alex Fuller, Amber Gray, Glory Johnson, Alicia Manning and Shekinna Stricklen.
LAST LOSS TO AN UNRANKED TEAM?It was in the 2005-06 season. Florida became the second unranked team in the 2005-06 season to knock off the Lady Vols, when they won 95-93 OT on Feb. 26, 2006. Exactly one month earlier, unranked Kentucky turned the trick with a 66-63 win over#1/3- ranked Tennessee on Jan. 26, 2006 at Rupp Arena. Previously, it had been four years since an unranked team upset the Lady Vols. So before Florida and Kentucky had their way with UT, when was the last time Tennessee lost to an unranked team? That would have been to LSU on Mar. 2, 2002 at the SEC Tournament in Nashville, Tenn. LSU had been in and out of the Top 25 polls in late January and February. Prior to that, UT's last loss to an unranked team was fi ve years previous (to the day) losing to Auburn on Mar. 2, 1997 at the SEC Tournament.
SEC COACHES SELECT LADY VOLS AS #2Vanderbilt was predicted to win the SEC women's basketball regular season championship. The Commodores were 25-9, 11-3 in the SEC last season. Vanderbilt tops the order of fi nish with Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia, LSU and Florida rounding out the top half of the league.