No. 6 Stanford Edged By No. 2 Tennessee In OT

Dec 14, 2003

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) -- Nicole Powell trotted off the court at halftime in a far better mood than when she marched out dejected following the final buzzer.

Once Tennessee figured out how to fluster the Stanford star, the Lady Vols began a remarkable rally.

Shanna Zolman scored five of her 18 points in overtime, and second-ranked Tennessee survived for a thrilling 70-66 victory Sunday over No. 6 Stanford in a game of two unbeaten women's teams.

Powell had 32 points -- five shy of her career high -- and 16 rebounds, but was 7-for-25 after halftime and missed her final 10 shots in regulation. The senior forward and All-America candidate missed under pressure just before the buzzer at the end of the fourth and a 3-pointer from the top of the arc with 11 seconds left in overtime that would have tied the game.

She slapped her hands to her legs as she walked off the court once it was over.

'It's something I've been looking forward to since I was 10 -- beating Tennessee,' Powell said, slumped over in her chair. 'We've just go to learn from this. ... Honestly, I think I forced a couple shots in the last few minutes of regulation. I should hit those shots.'

Shyra Ely and Ashley Robinson added 16 points apiece for Tennessee (5-0), which earned its second comeback victory in four days despite its poor shooting. Stanford (6-1), which shot 56.5percent in the first half, had 20 turnovers and allowed 17 offensive rebounds.

'Even though we're at a program like Tennessee, we doubt ourselves sometimes,' Robinson said. 'So, beating a team in the top-six shows how good we are.'

Tennessee's LaToya Davis forced the extra period when she stole the ball at midcourt from Kelley Suminski and tied the game at 56 with 20 seconds left. Then Powell went the length of the court, butmissed.

Moments earlier, Tennessee's Loree Moore was whistled for an offensive foul with 32 seconds left, her fifth; yet another chance on which Stanford didn't capitalize.

It was the third overtime game in the history of this series, led 15-4 by the Lady Vols. The two coaches -- Tennessee's Pat Summitt and Stanford's Tara VanDerveer -- have 1,407 wins between them.

Many scouts and former Stanford stars were among a sellout crowd of 7,391. Even the official NCAA mascot and Santa made it to this one, and saw Tennessee shoot an uncharacteristic 23.5 percent(8-of-34) in the first half and trail by as many as 14 points.

'But I missed the tree today, that's the only thing I missed,' Summitt said of Stanford's absent tree mascot.

Stanford went cold on offense and made some poor passes late in the game to allow the Lady Vols back in it. After a turnover by Suminski, Moore's basket on the other end pulled Tennessee to 56-52with 3:13 left before Stanford called a timeout.

Ely scored with 2:04 left to make it 56-54, and Tennessee went to its stingy full-court defense.

'In the first half, they shared the basketball,' Summitt said of Stanford. 'Then they went to Nicole in the second and everybody expected her to step up and make plays. She obviously had a heavyload to carry.'

VanDerveer asked Powell during timeouts if she was tired and needed a break, but Powell stayed in the game -- she played all 45 minutes and was the only one to do so.

'I don't think it's a good situation to depend on only one person,' VanDerveer said. 'Nicole was looking to create for other people, but we've got to make shots.'

Stanford has been stuck at No. 6 in the poll for about a year and hoped this would be the opportunity to move up. Last season, the Cardinal beat then-No. 2 Kansas State without Powell at MaplesPavilion, where Stanford had won 26 straight before losing to Minnesota in the second round of the NCAA tournament last March.

The Lady Vols received their first real test Thursday, when they resorted to trash talking in a come-from-behind 59-49 win over Rutgers after trailing by as many as six points in the second half.

Tennessee beat Stanford 71-56 last season at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, and hasn't lost at Maples since a 90-72 defeat on Dec. 16, 1995.

Both teams were sloppy early, combining for nine turnovers in the first 4:20.

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