Overall Record: 29-10
Defeated Old Dominion 68-59 in NCAA Title Game
Standing (L-R): Kyra Elzy, Tiffani Johnson, LaShonda Stephens,
Abby Conklin, Pashen Thompson, Kellie Jolly.
Seated (L-R): Chamique Holdsclaw, Brynae Laxton, Laurie Milligan,
Niya Butts, Misty Greene.
No team had ever won the NCAA championship coming in with more than six losses. But proving that it's wise to save your best for last, Tennessee took its fifth NCAA championship and second straight title with a 68-59 win over Old Dominion despite entering the tournament with a 23-10 record.
"Of all our runs to a championship, this one is really the most unexpected," said coach Pat Summitt. "It came from a team with tremendous heart and desire."
Tennessee took control quickly at the start of the title game, jumping out to a 20-8 lead. By halftime, the Lady Vols still had a comfortable lead, 34-22.
In the second half, Old Dominion clawed its way back, taking its first lead at 44-43 with 9:06 left in the game. The Lady Monarchs extended the lead to two, 49-47, before Chamique Holdsclaw led the Lady Vols on a 12-2 run to put the game away for Tennessee.
Holdsclaw was a unanimous choice as the most outstanding player, as she poured in 24 points and 7 rebounds. Six of her points came during the decisive run at the end of the game. Joining Holdsclaw on the All-Championship team was Kellie Jolly, who only scored five points, but set a championship record with 11 assists in the final game and a Final Four record with 20.
With the win, the Lady Vols earned their fifth national title, played in their seventh championship game and became only the second team to win consecutive championships. (Southern Cal., 1983 and 1984).