Lady Vols nip Connecticut to add mystique to rivalry

Posted: Friday, February 02, 2001

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- With Chamique Holdsclaw watching, Gwen Jackson put on a Chamique Holdsclaw-type performance to lead Tennessee to victory in one of the biggest rivalries in women's basketball.

Jackson scored a career-high 28 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked five shots as the third-ranked Lady Vols (22-1) outlasted the No. 2 Connecticut Huskies 92-88 Thursday.

''If you had told me that we would be able to win with Michelle Snow and Semeka Randall playing the way that they played and Tamika Catchings in street clothes, I wouldn't have believed it,'' said Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, who earned her 750th win. ''Gwen Jackson was our biggest player on both ends of the floor.''

Holdsclaw, a member of three national championship teams at Tennessee, had her No. 23 jersey retired in a halftime ceremony.

In a frenetic and riveting game between the top programs in women's college basketball, Snow and Randall cooled off for the first time since Catchings went down with a torn ACL on Jan. 15.

Kara Lawson added 23 points and Kristen Clement had 10 for Tennessee, which has won 11 straight since losing 81-76 to the Huskies (17-2) on Dec. 30. Connecticut had won the last two meetings in the series, including last season's national championship.

The rematch lived up to its billing and remained close the entire way as neither team was able to extend a lead past nine points.

Tennessee led by seven with 1:02 remaining, but Connecticut refused to back down.

Jackson and Lawson each made two free throws down the stretch after the Huskies pulled within four on Sue Bird's basket to keep the Lady Vols in front.

Connecticut's Tamika Williams, who finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds, scored with 4.3 seconds left, cutting the lead to 88-90, before Tennessee's Ashley Robinson, who has struggled from the line, made two free throws after she was intentionally fouled on the next possession to ice the victory.

The Lady Vols rushed to center court as orange and white confetti fell to the floor after time expired.

''There's a lot of talent on this team. With Michelle and I playing like we did, it showed that there are other people there,'' Randall said. ''Gwen and Kara did an awesome job. I'm glad I'm on their team.''

The Huskies had an answer for just about everything Tennessee did. They outrebounded the Lady Vols 47-38 and scored 25 points off 11 turnovers.

''In any other game, we would have won, but not tonight,'' Huskies coach Geno Auriemma said. ''We played pretty well and they still beat us.''

Connecticut had won four straight since being overpowered by Notre Dame 92-76 on Jan. 15. The Huskies weren't about to outplayed like that again.

No. 4 Duke 66, Wake Forest 58

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Sheana Mosch scored 22 points as fourth-ranked Duke (21-1, 9-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) snapped a five-game home winning streak for Wake Forest (11-10, 3-7).

The Demon Deacons cut Duke's lead to 44-42 at the 14:09 mark, but failed to score in the next 5 1/2 minutes.

No. 9 Florida 75, No. 5 Georgia 64

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Brandi McCain scored 21 points and No. 9 Florida survived a late scare to break its long streak of futility against No. 5 Georgia.

The Gators (18-2, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) snapped a six-game losing streak against their archrivals and beat the Bulldogs (18-4, 6-2) for just the seventh time in the 37-game history of the series.

No. 6 Purdue 83, Illinois 67

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Camille Cooper scored 19 points and No. 6 Purdue extended its winning streak to 12 by beating Illinois.

The Boilermakers (20-3, 10-0 Big Ten) led by 23 points when All-American Katie Douglas left the game with an injury with 12:42 remaining in the game. Douglas jumped while trying to deflect a pass and landed awkwardly on her left ankle. She was helped to the bench, where the ankle was taped. She did not return and walked off the court at the end of the game on crutches.

No. 7 Louisiana Tech 65,

Fla. International 58

RUSTON, La. -- Ayana Walker had 17 points, 12 rebounds and two blocked shots as No. 7 Louisiana Tech moved closer to its ninth straight Sun Belt Conference regular season championship.

The victory gave Tech, which held a 43-28 rebounding edge over the taller Golden Panthers, a two-game lead over Florida International atop the Sun Belt standings with seven conference games remaining.

No. 13 Southwest Missouri St. 67, Indiana St. 52

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Jackie Stiles scored 15 points and Kinga Kiss added 14 to lead No. 13 Southwest Missouri State past Indiana State.

Stiles, the nation's leading scorer, was well off her average of 31.3 points per game, but received plenty of help from her teammates.

No. 15 Xavier 75, Florida St. 72

CINCINNATI -- Jennifer Phillips scored a career-high 29 points and Taru Tuukkanen had 25 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 15 Xavier over Florida State.

Phillips scored 18 points in the first half as Xavier (18-2) took a 37-35 lead, then sank a pair of free throws with 16 seconds to play to seal the victory.

No. 16 Penn St. 69, Ohio St. 52

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Kelly Mazzante scored 18 points to lead No. 16 Penn State (15-6, 7-3 Big Ten) over Ohio State 13-6, 3-7).

Maren Walseth added 10 rebounds and 14 points for Penn State, including two layups in an 15-6 run that put the Lady Lions up 54-39 with 8:06 left.

Maryland 68, No. 17 Clemson 62

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Marche Strickland scored 27 points, Deedee Warley had 16 of her 18 points in the second half and Maryland's inside game wore down No. 17 Clemson.

Maryland (15-6, 6-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) moved into a second-place tie with its fifth straight victory and first season sweep of Clemson in four years.

Oklahoma St. 69,

No. 20 Baylor 66, OT

STILLWATER, Okla. -- Kara Faulk had 24 points and eight rebounds and Oklahoma State overcame a 13-point halftime deficit to beat No. 20 Baylor in overtime.

The Cowgirls (11-8, 3-5 Big 12) were playing their first game since a plane crash Saturday in Colorado that killed two members of the men's basketball team and eight others. The game against Baylor (15-4, 4-4) had been scheduled for Wednesday, but was postponed one night because of a memorial service.

Arizona 88, No. 22 Oregon 76

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Elizabeth Pickney and Reshea Bristol each scored 26 points, a career high for Pickney, as unranked Arizona upset No. 22 Oregon.

No. 25 Wisconsin 70, Northwestern 35

MADISON, Wis. -- Nina Smith scored 14 points as No. 25 Wisconsin beat Northwestern in Big Ten action.

Wisconsin (13-7, 7-3) shot 46 percent from the floor, compared with just 26 percent for Northwestern.

Tami Sears had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Northwestern.

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