Nov. 14, 2008
|November. 15, 2008 - 1:00 p.m. ET|
Thompson-Boling Arena (21,678) - Knoxville, Tenn.
The #7/6-ranked Lady Vols officially open the season on Sat., Nov. 15 at 1 p.m. (Fox SportSouth) in Thompson-Boling Arena taking on the University of San Francisco Dons. Tennessee, 2-0 in preseason exhibitions, will hang the 2008 NCAA Championship banner in pre-game ceremonies. Candace Parker, Alberta Auguste and Quan and Jerome Hornbuckle (standing in for daughter Alexis) will also join in the banner raising fesstivities. USF is coached by a pair of former Lady Vols in head coach Tanya Haave (1980-84) and assistant coach Abby Conklin (1993-97). USF was 2-0 in exhibition games having defeated San Francisco State, 69-59, and Showtime Basketball, 67-61.
LADY VOLS AT A GLANCE
This is the Lady Vols' 35th season under Head Coach Pat Summitt...She has compiled a staggering 983-182 overall record... Is just 17 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 finished with a 36-2 overall record and were also the SEC Tournament Champions...
This season, UT returned five letterwinners, a redshirt freshman and welcomed a talented six-pack rookie class...The 2008-09 season marks 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 will see their first action in the Orange and White this season. A redshirt freshman, #52 Kelley Cain, a 6-6 center from Atlanta, Ga., will be restarting her rookie season after undergoing surgery last December.
TENNESSEE'S SEASON-OPENERS UNDER SUMMITT
Over the last 34 years on opening day, the Lady Vols have won 31 times and lost just three contests. Coach Pat Summitt lost her very first game as a college head coach -- a heartbreaking one-point decision at home to Mercer, 84-83, on Dec. 7, 1974. The next time UT lost an opening game was in Knoxville on Nov. 21, 1981, to Stephen F. Austin, 80-74. Most recently, UT fell in their first contest of the 1999-2000 campaign dropping a 69-64 decision to La Tech on Nov. 14, 1999. Until the loss to the Lady Techsters, the Lady Vols had won 18 consecutive season openers.
OUR SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
The Lady Vols open the season playing three games in the first week of action facing San Francisco on Nov. 15, #15 ranked Virginia on Nov. 17 and then traveling to Chattanooga on Nov. 21.
ON THIS DAY IN LADY VOL BASKETBALL HISTORY
UT is 2-1 in games played on Nov. 15. The Lady Vols are 1-0 at home, 0-1 on the road and 1-0 on neutral courts. The last time out on Nov. 15, the Lady Vols registered a 70- 67 victory over Oklahoma in 2007 at the St. Pete Times Forum in the ESPNU Classic in Tampa, Fla. The Lady Vols returned to the same venue a little over four months later to win the 2008 NCAA Final Four.
Last year at this time, the #1-ranked Lady Vols were 1-0 on the campaign having defeated UT-Chattanooga in the season-opener, 76-56.
LADY VOLS ON TV
Currently, 20 Lady Vol regular season games are slated for television this season. Upcoming TV games include: San Francisco and Virginia (SportSouth) and UT-Chattanooga (CSS). Last season, UT had a school record 36 television appearances.
SAN FRANCISCO DONS
11-Shay Rollins, G, 5-4, Sr., 22.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg
USF IN GENERAL
The Dons return six letterwinners from a squad that finished 14-16 in 2007-08. Entering the game with UT, they swept both of their pre-season exhibition opponents. Senior center Necolia Simmons scored 15 points and grabbed 18 boards in a 69- 59 victory over San Francisco State on Nov. 5, while San Francisco was paced by senior guard Shay Rollins' 25-point effort in a 67-61 win over Showtime Basketball on Nov. 9.
SAN FRANCISCO TIDBITS
Seniors Shay Rollins and Necolia Simmons led the Dons to a 2-0 record in exhibition games last week...Rollins 20 points in the win over San Francisco State, and recorded a double-double (25 points, 10 rebounds) against Showtime Basketball... Simmons scored 15 and grabbed 18 boards versus the SFS Gators and tallied another doubledouble (10 points, 14 boards) against Showtime... Simmons was named to the West Coast Conference Preseason All-Conference team this season after averaging 11.0 ppg and a team-best 7.3 ppg in 2007-08...Simmons played her first two seasons at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, Calif. and was named a junior college All-American after averaging 18 points and 12 boards a game...Rollins, a three-year starter at the point, is the leading returning scorer at 12.7 ppg...She was a WCC Honorable Mention pick in 2006-07 and a member of the conference's All-Freshman Team in 2005-06...The Dons lose three starters off the 2007-08 team, including four-time First Team All- WCC guard Dominique Carter, who is second on the all-time USF scoring list and averaged 17.9 ppg in 2007-08...Seniors Leslie Walker and Alexis Musante and sophomores Donnisha Taylor and Jakkie Boka-Timmerberg each saw limited action as reserves last season for the Dons....
OLD HOME WEEK FOR TANYA AND ABBY
As a Lady Vol (1980-84), USF head coach Tanya Haave was the first UT hoopster from west of the Mississippi, hailing from Evergreen, Colorado. Haave was one of the rare two sport athletes at Tennessee (volleyball and basketball). Media nicknamed her "LaMachine" because of her instant offense. As a freshman on the volleyball team (while also going to basketball practice and earning Dean's List) she was a big swinging lefty. She earned recognition as an honorable mention Volleyball All-American and was named to the All- SEC first team, All-State, All-AIAW Region II team. Had 756 kills (still a single season record), 1,631 attacks (still a single season record), 92 service aces and 164 blocks her freshman season. On the basketball court, she earned the Lady Vols "Sixth Player Award" her rookie season. Tossed in 21 points against Southern Cal as a freshman. Tough off the bench as UT lost to Louisiana Tech in the AIAW Championship game. As a sophomore, earned a starting position. Had great handles for her time as a 6'2" forward and dished out 104 assists to go along with 13.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg. Went to the first NCAA Final Four where UT lost to Louisiana Tech in the semifinals. As a junior, she had a breakout year. Played and started in all 33 games. Led the team in scoring, 18.6 ppg and was second in rebounding with 7.5 rpg. Uncorked a 43 point outing against Stephen F. Austin. Had 34 against Kentucky. Was named Kodak All-American, All-SEC, All-Tournament SEC, CoSIDA Academic All-American, 1983 NCAA All- Regional team. UT beat Ole Miss in the Sweet 16 in the longest game played in Lady Vol history, triple overtime. Game could have been over in second OT but Haave stepped over the end line inbounding the ball to give Ole Miss a chance to tie. They did and sent the game into a third OT. Tennessee won but was so dog tired that in the finals, Georgia beat UT to go to the Final Four in 1983. As a senior in 1984, Haave was second in scoring 14.8 ppg and rebounding 5.5 rpg. Was All-SEC, All-SEC Academic again...Earned a spot on the NCAA Mideast All-Region Team and tossed in 21 points against Georgia to send UT to the 1984 Final Four. Haave and USC's Cheryl Miller were named the Co-MVP's of the game by CBS. Haave finished with 1,771 career points (13.8 career ppg), 758 rebounds (5.9 rpg)...had a career field goal percentage of 51.1%, free throw of 81.5%. For her fifth year, she re-joined the volleyball team as she was completing her degree in Public Relations. She received a B.S. and graduated with high honors. She picked up where she left off as a rookie and earned MVP honors in the team's first tournament for the 15th ranked Lady Vol volleyball squad. On a balanced squad, Haave performed double duty as an outside hitter (301 kills) and on defense (141 digs) as the Lady Vols won the SEC Tournament, upset highly ranked Penn State in the regular season finale and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament advancing to the NCAA South Regionals. Haave earned All-SEC Academic honors.
USF assistant coach Abby Conklin was a 6'3" rookie post from Charlestown, Indiana, who could also step out and nail the three-ball as a Lady Vol. During her rookie season, she played in all 33 games and averaged over 11 minutes per contest... On 14 occasions, Abby shot over 60 percent from the field...Her teammates voted her Most Improved Player for 1994...She was also named to the Lady Vol Academic Honor Roll... As a sophomore, Abby played in all 37 games and earned seven starts ...Improved in practically every statistical category, contributing 5.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, and 16.6 minutes per game...Poured in a seasonhigh 16 points, including a 4-6 performance from three-point range, versus Memphis...Attempted 100 more treys as a sophomore (113 to 18 in her rookie year)...A scholastic standout, Abby was named to the All-SEC Academic Team...Also received the Lady Vol Torch Award for Academic Excellence...As a junior, Abby started 30 of 35 games and ended the season as the team's thirdleading scorer with 11.6 ppg...Was voted the Most Improved Player by her teammates...Recorded 23 games in double-figures scoring.....Her threepoint shooting prowess gained full strength as a junior...She connected on 38 of 90 treys (.422) to lead the Lady Vols...In the NCAA title game versus Georgia, Abby connected on four backbreaking three-pointers, two in each half as the Lady Vols claimed NCAA title number four...She secured UT's SEC Tournament title with a threepointer against Alabama as time was running out in the 64-60 victory...She was named to the All- SEC Academic squad...In her final go-round, she was the reluctant star of the HBO documentary, "The Cinderella Season," as the Lady Vols collected back-to-back NCAA titles defeating Old Dominion in 1997...Abby scored her 1000th career point against Florida... Member of the 1997 All-Southeastern Conference Second Team and named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll for the third consecutive season...Recipient of the Leadership Award... Exploded for a career-high 26 points and set single-game Lady Vol records for three-pointers made (6) and attempted (11) in victory at Texas Tech...Buried the game-winning jumper at the buzzer in UT's thrilling triumph over Ole Miss...Finished second on the team in scoring (11.7 ppg)... Career totals for blocked shots (102) and three-point field goals attempted (349) were both second on the all-time Lady Vol list.
THE CONKLIN FILE (prior to her senior year) What was your hardest practice at UT? "I was having a flat-out awful practice my sophomore year. Pat warned all of us at the water break that we had better get going or she'd send us home. I couldn't get it going -- I couldn't remember the offense, pass the ball or dribble. Pat, in a low-key manner, finally told me to get off the court and to just go home. Pashen (Thompson) was the only player who noticed I was gone. Everyone else must have been in a zone because at the end of practice when they huddled, someone asked where I was and Pashen had to tell them I'd been kicked out."
UT VS. THE WCC
UT has a 6-0 record all-time versus the West Coast Conference. The Lady Vols are 2-0 vs. Gonzaga, 2-0 vs. Portland, 1-0 against Santa Clara and 1-0 verus St. Mary's (Calif.)
For the second season in a row, the Lady Vols will hoist a banner to the Thompson-Boling Arena rafters to commemorate another NCAA title. Championship number eight will be celebrated on Nov. 15 in pregame ceremonies before the Lady Vols' game with San Francisco. NCAA MVP Candace Parker and Alberta Auguste will be on hand representing two of the starting five who completed their eligibility after season's end last year. Quan and Jerome Hornbuckle will stand in for their daughter Alexis Hornbuckle who is currently playing in Turkey. Also playing professionally overseas and unable to attend are 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 five 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.
JUST AN EXHIBITION
UT head coach Pat Summitt embarks upon her 35th season at the helm of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers just 17 victories away from reaching 1,000 career wins. The two exhibition games - versus Carson-Newman and Love & Basketball did not count in her career victories total. The countdown to 17 wins starts with San Francisco.
SO THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS
The much anticipated countdown to Coach Pat Summitt's 1,000 career victories has begun. Summitt needs just 17 wins to hit the magic mark and with such a young team, it will be awfully hard to predict when that could be in 2008-09. Last year, 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.
TOP OF THE LADDER
In partnership with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), Werner Ladder, the Official Ladder of the NCAA ®Basketball Championships, will present Coach Pat Summitt and her Tennessee Lady Volunteers with a pair of ladders in honor of their 2008 NCAA® Women's Basketball National Championship. One ladder, used to cut down the championship nets, will be given to Coach Summitt while the second will be signed by the coach and auctioned off with proceeds going to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer FundTM. A presentation will be made at the beginning of the San Francisco at Tennessee women's basketball game on Saturday, November 15. Tipoff is at 1:00 p.m. ET.
The Lady Vols continue play in Knoxville facing #15 ranked Virginia on Nov. 17 and then travels to Chattanooga on Nov. 21. Virginia opens the regular season at 7 p.m. on Friday at home against High Point before traveling to Knoxville.
BUMPS AND BRUISES
Several Lady Vols have been nicked up already this season and qualify for "Moshak's Medical Moments." Cait McMahan practiced this week but Baugh, Bjorklund and Cain observed. Vicki Baugh-Continuing to rehab from torn ACL suffered in the 2008 NCAA title game. Angie Bjorklund- Dealt with back spasms. MRI revealed a bulging disc in her back. Conservative treatment underway and she is listed day-to-day. Kelley Cain- Suffered a concussion in practice and is listed as day-to-day. Cait McMahan-occasionally resting knees as needed.
BETTER BUY A PROGRAM
Six Lady Vols make rookie debutes today. Shekinna Stricklen and Alyssia Brewer are first-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.
KEEP AN EYE ON REBOUNDING
For 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 finished as the sixth worst in Lady Vol history last year. UT's two 2008-09 exhibition tilts found the Lady Vols averaging 63.0 rpg and allowing just 31.5 rpg.
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-figure 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-figure rebounding average but had to settle for 9.8 rpg.
TV ADDED AND TIP TIME CHANGED AT UT-C
CSS has opted to air the Tennessee at UT-Chattanooga contest on Nov. 21 at the McKenzie Arena. As a result, the game will be moved up a half-hour with tip-off at 6:30 p.m. On the UTC campus, it's "Pack the House Challenge" as the Lady Mocs look to set a women's basketball attendance record at the "Roundhouse."Gates open one hour prior to tip off and tickets are on sale at the box office. To obtain tickets, fans can contact the McKenzie Arena box office at 423-266-MOCS or go online at GoMocs.com and click on the ticket button on the top left corner of the main page. As of Nov. 6, a few courtside tickets were available for $20 with a limit of eight per person. Upper level reserved side court seats are $15 and upper level general admission baseline seats are $10.
ALWAYS A HOT TICKET
Joe Arnone, UT Asst. AD for Tickets, says Lady Vol season ticket sales have been impressive despite the loss of five 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.
The Tennessee Lady Vols will start the season in somewhat unfamiliar territory in the Top 25 Preseason polls released in the last week. The Associated Press has UT in the seventh position to start the season, while the ESPN/USA TODAY Coaches Poll has UT in the sixth spot receiving one first 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 MEAL
The 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.
GONZAGA GAME IS SOLD-OUT!
All of the tickets were snatched up just a couple of hours after single game ducats for the Tennessee Lady Vols' showdown at Gonzaga went on sale on Monday, Oct. 28. Tennessee, the 2007 and 2008 defending NCAA Champions, are slated to play the Bulldogs at the McCarthey Athletic Center on Dec. 30. The game will be televised regionally on FSN.
A couple of freshmen figure to be in the starting line-up for the game versus San Francisco. In the exhibitions, rookies Glory Johnson, Shekinna Stricklen and redshirt freshman Kelley Cain earned starts. Only once before in Lady Vol history have two rookies started on opening night - 23 years ago Bridgette Gordon and Sheila Frost earn starts in their very first official games as Lady Vols. When Pat Summitt started freshman forward Angie Bjorklund against the USA National Team on Nov. 4, 2007, it marked only the 10th time in her coaching career that a freshman started her very first game at Tennessee. The list of opening day rookie starters: Angie Bjorklund 2007, Candace Parker, 2005, Shyra Ely 2001, Ashley Robinson 2000, Gwen Jackson 1999, Kyra Elzy 1996, Chamique Holdsclaw 1995, Tiffani Johnson 1994, Bridgette Gordon and Sheila Frost 1985.
Last season, Angie Bjorklund became the 52nd alltime Lady Vol to start during her freshman season -she started in 30 of 38 games. Previously, Cait McMahan earned a start at point guard versus Louisiana Tech during her freshman season. Prior to Cait's starting nod, then-redshirt freshman Candace Parker played and started in all 36 games her rookie season in 2005-06. A season earlier, Tennessee coach Pat Summitt liked what she saw out of the 2004-05 rookie class as two players earned starting nods during the season. Nicky Anosike played in all 35 games with 25 starting assignments and Alexis Hornbuckle played in all 35 games with 21 starts. This duo became the 48th and 49th rookies all-time to earn starting assignments at UT as rookies. The 2001-02 rookie class found three players earn a starting nod as Loree Moore, Shyra Ely and Brittany Jackson all started at some point as rookies.
THOMPSON-BOLING ARENA WELCOME TO "THE SUMMITT"
The playing court in the Thompson-Boling Arena on the University of Tennessee campus donned a new look for the 2005-06 season. After Lady Vol coach Pat Summitt passed Dean Smith for most NCAA collegiate basketball wins of all-time with a 75-54 win over Purdue on Mar. 22, 2005, UT named the TBA court, "The Summitt." The floor had a complete overhaul with permanent logos of both the Lady Vols and Vols painted directly in front of the scorer's table; the free throw lanes were painted orange with "SEC" reversed out; the giant jump circle/mid-court TENNESSEE was given a new brighter color scheme, and "The Summitt," Coach Summitt's actual signature adorns the sidelines opposite the team benches.
ON OUR WAY TO 300 WINS
Tennessee recorded its 200th win in Thompson- Boling Arena when the Lady Vols defeated the University of Southern California on Nov. 18, 2001, 106-66. UT has now amassed a 293-18 (.943) 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 flawless 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 18 LOSSES
The 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 18 all-time losses at TBA have come at the hands of just nine teams: 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 WINS
The 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 34 years producing a 444-43 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 18 in Thompson-Boling Arena since 1987.
A LOOK AT ATTENDANCE
The 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 GAMES
Since 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.
The Lady Vols are 25-14 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 73-69 loss to Stanford on Dec. 22, 2007, on the road.
LADY VOL STREAKS
The Lady Vols last lost at home was against LSU, 78-62, on Feb. 14, 2008, since then UT has won two home games. The last time UT lost on the road was on Dec. 22, 2007 at Stanford, since then, UT is 11-0 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. RANKED
Tennessee'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 398-150 (.724) versus ranked teams. The 2007-08 NCAA Champ Lady Vols were 18-2 versus ranked teams.
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 five years previous (to the day) losing to Auburn on Mar. 2, 1997 at the SEC Tournament.
TENNESSEE IN HOME EXHIBITIONS
Until the loss to the USA National Team on Nov. 4, 2007, Tennessee had scored 17-consecutive victories against exhibition opponents...The streak began with an 111-54 dismantling of the U.S. Armed Forces on Nov. 4, 1997...UT has now posted a 33-4 record in home exhibition tilts... Losses were to USSR Olympic Team (102-59) in 1979, Athletes in Action (70-68) in 1992 and to the USA National Team (82-58) in 1995 and (83-72) in 2007.
SEC COACHES SELECT LADY VOLS AS #2
The Southeastern Conference unveiled its fifth annual women's basketball preseason All-SEC first and second teams, Wed., Nov. 5, to tip off the 2008-09 season. In addition, the coaches voted on a predicted order of finish, overall champion and a preseason Player of the Year. Vanderbilt 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 finish with Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia, LSU and Florida rounding out the top half of the league. Kentucky comes in at seven while Mississippi State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Arkansas and Alabama round out the bottom half of the conference. Auburn senior guard DeWanna Bonner was named SEC Women's Basketball Preseason Player of the Year while three Lady Vols were selected to either the first or second teams.. Joining Bonner, on the All-SEC First Team were Florida's Marshae Dotson and Sha Brooks, Georgia's Ashley Houts, LSU's Allison Hightower, Ole Miss' Shawn Goff, Tennessee's Angie Bjorklund, and Vanderbilt's Christina Wirth. Second team: Auburn's Whitney Boddie and Sherell Hobbs, Georgia's Angel Robinson, Kentucky's Victoria Dunlap, Mississippi State's Marneshia Richard, South Carolina's Demetress Adams, Tennessee's Vicki Baugh and Shekinna Stricklen, and Vanderbilt's Jennifer Risper.
UT PICKED NUMBER TWO AT SEC MEDIA DAYS
Tennessee has been picked to finish second in the SEC race with 261 points by a vote of conference and national media members. UT sophomore Angie Bjorklund and freshman Shekinna Stricklen were each selected to the All-SEC Second Team. Vanderbilt was picked to finish first with 273 points, followed by UT, Auburn with 246 points, Georgia with 216 points and LSU rounded out the top-five at 183 points. Auburn's DeWanna Bonner was tabbed as Player of the Year. Joining her on the All-SEC First Team was Vanderbilt's Christina Wirth, Florida's Marshae Dotson, Georgia's Ashley Houts and Ole Miss' Shawn Goff. Bjorklund, the 2007-08 SEC Freshman of the Year and Stricklen, were joined on the second team by Whitney Boddie of Auburn, Sha Brooks of Florida, Angel Robinson of Georgia and Allison Hightower of LSU.