RALEIGH, N.C. -- Duke's first week at No. 1 was a rousing
Alana Beard had 22 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and five
steals to power the top-ranked Blue Devils over No. 2 Tennessee
76-55 Sunday in the inaugural women's Jimmy V Classic.
It was the 35th meeting of No. 1 vs. No. 2 in women's college
basketball. Tennessee, with six national titles, has been involved
in 19 such matchups and dropped to 4-6 when ranked second.
"This was a great opportunity for us to show the nation that we
were here to play,'' said Duke coach Gail Goestenkors, whose team
won its opener over East Carolina by 62 points Friday. "This
hopefully proves to people that not only were we here to play, but
we're here to stay.''
Iciss Tillis added 17 points for Duke, on 7-for-10 shooting.
"Going into the game we had a lot of doubters,'' Tillis said.
"There were a lot of people who believed that we did not deserve
to be No. 1. Knowing that gave us a lot of motivation. We wanted to
go out and prove it.''
Tennessee (1-1) turned the ball over 23 times and shot 21
percent in the second half, shooting just 6-for-29. Gwen Jackson
led the Lady Vols with 12 points.
"We're extremely disappointed and embarrassed by our lack of
competitiveness,'' Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said. "It was
"The one thing you learn about a basketball team right off is
what happens when things are not going well,'' Summitt added. "Our
turning the basketball over was atrocious at times. All I can tell
you is Duke deserves to be the No. 1 ranked team in the country and
Tennessee obviously doesn't look to be second-best. We have an
awful lot to learn.''
Tennessee hasn't had much luck recently in big games against the
Blue Devils in North Carolina. Duke (2-0) broke Tennessee's string
of three straight NCAA championships with a 69-63 win in the East
Regional title game in 1999 at the Greensboro Coliseum.
The Blue Devils took the first double-digit lead of the game at
44-32 four minutes into the second half. Tennessee started 0-for-7
from the field with three turnovers.
"They were able to take away our first option and we weren't
able to go to our second, third or fourth options,'' said Tennessee
point guard Kara Lawson. "Credit their defense for affecting us.''
Beard had a follow shot and a free throw during Duke's 8-1 run
to start the period.
Moments later Beard fed Tillis for a layup, and Tillis sank a
3-pointer for a 17-point lead with 13:54 left as Summitt called
timeout to try to calm her reeling club.
Duke freshman Jessica Foley gave the Blue Devils a 20-point lead
less than two minutes later with a 3-pointer from the wing.
Tennessee never got closer than 15 the rest of the way.
"I thought we played a great second half of basketball,''
Summitt didn't disagree.
"They went after us and they went after this game,'' Summitt
Duke fell behind by five early on, but Beard keyed an 11-2 run
with a bank shot and a pair of layups in a first half in which the
All-American guard was a factor on both ends of the court.
The Lady Vols -- who had 15 turnovers in their season-opening
26-point win over No. 22 Oklahoma -- gave the ball up 12 times in
the opening 20 minutes. Beard had four steals in the half.
"Coming into this game we wanted to be up in their face,''
Beard said. "We wanted to extend their offense and that's what we
did. We put a lot of pressure on their guards.''
Grandmother of Baylor's Moon Ursin dies of coronavirus
The grandmother of Baylor junior guard Moon Ursin died Tuesday in the New Orleans area after being infected with the coronavirus.
Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett lead star-studded Basketball Hall of Fame class
Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Tamika Catchings, Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens, Eddie Sutton, Rudy Tomjanovich and Patrick Baumann have been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Catchings 'excited and blessed' for Hall of Fame selection
Tamika Catchings shares her immediate thoughts and reactions after being selected as part of the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame class.