No. 2 Tennessee Hands Stanford First Loss

Dec 16, 2001

No. 2 Tennessee 68, No. 6 Stanford 62

Associated Press Writer

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - Tennessee coach Pat Summitt turned to her veteranswith the game on the line. Senior Michelle Snow and junior Kara Lawsonresponded.

Snow scored 24 points and Lawson added 16 as No. 2 Tennessee rallied for a68-62 victory Sunday over No. 6 Stanford in a matchup of unbeaten teams.

'Thank goodness for our veterans,' said Summitt after improving to 13-4against the Cardinal. 'They played with great poise down the stretch. Wewanted to start and end the game with our veterans.'

Lawson scored on a driving jumper with 1:48 remaining to put the Lady Volsin front for good at 62-61. They went on to beat Stanford for the fifthstraight time.

'I was looking to drive,' Lawson said. 'I knew who was guarding me and Iknew I could get my shot. You have to have the mindset that you're going tomake plays.'

Snow sank two free throws with nine seconds remaining to seal the victory.

'This was one of Michelle's better games in her career,' Summitt said.

Tennessee (7-0) outscored the Cardinal 9-1 in the final 3:13 to win its 20thconsecutive road game.

Nicole Powell scored 17 points for Stanford (8-1), whose 13-game homewinning streak against nonconference opponents was snapped. Lindsey Yamasakiadded 15 points and Bethany Donaphin had 10.

'Tennessee got on the glass and made some big free throws at the end,'Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. 'Their pressure gave us trouble.'

Stanford was 3-of-7 from the foul line - with four turnovers - in the finalsix minutes.

'Disappointment can't describe how I feel,' Powell said. 'We had somestupid turnovers at the end.'

Stanford guard Susan King, who started her first game in nearly a year aftertearing a knee ligament last December, hit a key 3-pointer to give Stanford a59-56 lead with 6:30 remaining. But that was the last field goal the Cardinalwould make.

'We couldn't hit the shots we got,' said Yamasaki.

After the lead changed hands 10 times in the first half, the trend continuedthrough the second. Neither team could establish much momentum as strategiesand defenses changed on nearly every possession in a playoff atmosphere.

'We came out pushing the tempo, then we stood around a lot,' Summitt said.'Our zones were very good to us. We had difficulty guarding Powell andYamasaki on the block.'

Tasha Butts hit her first three 3-pointers as six-time national championTennessee built a 19-8 lead in the game's first six minutes.

Stanford responded with a 16-0 run, sparked by Donaphin's six points, threerebounds and steal. Powell's 3-pointer gave the Cardinal a 24-19 lead midwaythrough the half.

Brittany Jackson hit a 3-pointer with 22 seconds left as the Lady Volsscored the final five points to tie the game at halftime at 38, the first timeeither team hasn't taken a lead into the intermission.

Both teams were playing for the first time in nearly two weeks. Neither teamhad played a close contest.

The Lady Vols, playing their third team ranked in the Top 10, were beatingteams by an average of 28.7 points. Stanford was winning by 22.1 points.

The last time Stanford hosted a team ranked as high was when No. 1 Purduevisited Nov. 22, 1998.

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