NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- Tennessee's most grueling road trip ever
ended with another hard-fought victory.
This time, however, the Lady Vols didn't have to go into
overtime to get a win.
Shyra Ely scored 17 points and Shanna Zolman added 14 to keep
second-ranked Tennessee unbeaten with a 71-55 win over No. 15
Oklahoma on Sunday.
The Lady Vols (9-0) played their third game in 10 days and
posted their second win over an unbeaten top-15 team. Tennessee
also defeated then-No. 6 Stanford and DePaul, both in overtime, on
a road trip that covered more than 4,900 miles.
"Oklahoma fought us really hard," Tennessee coach Pat Summitt
said. "We've had three-in-a-row of these. I know (the players) are
ready to go home. I'm happy they didn't check out on us."
This game was played before a crowd of 12,080, the largest to
watch a women's basketball game in Oklahoma history.
The Lady Vols have managed to stay undefeated despite facing
five ranked opponents in their last six games. They'll play two
more -- No. 5 Texas and No. 19 TCU -- in the next three games.
Loree Moore had 12 points and eight rebounds for Tennessee, and
Tasha Butts finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Early in the second half, Zolman sandwiched two jumpers around a
3-pointer in a 14-2 run that gave Tennessee a 48-36 lead.
The Sooners (8-1) never got closer than eight points the rest of
"(Zolman) was due. Did you see her first-half stats?" Summitt
said of the sophomore guard, who scored only two points on 1-of-5
shooting in the first half. "When you've got a great shooter like
Shana, you want to give her the green light."
Caton Hill led Oklahoma with 17 points and nine rebounds.
Dionnah Jackson added 12 points and Maria Villarroel had 11.
Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale found a bright spot in first loss of
the season for her young team -- 10 of the 13 players are either
freshmen or sophomores.
Coale believes this group of youngsters could be Final
"I think we're right there," she said. "We played well, but
shot poorly. It's hard to fix that playing stuff.
"I don't think you'll see another night this season that we
shoot it that poorly."
Tennessee surged to a 19-4 lead, making all three of its 3-point
attempts, slicing into the lane at will and forcing the Sooners to
miss 13 of their first 15 shots.
Oklahoma responded with a 13-2 run over the next six minutes,
finally settling down after the shaky start and firing up the
Villarroel brought Oklahoma within 29-28 before the halftime
buzzer, scoring on a breakaway layup off a length-of-the-court pass
Oklahoma briefly took the lead after halftime on Erin Higgins'
basket that put the Sooners up 30-29.
But the Lady Vols kept up their defensive pressure despite an
equally rough outing on offense (38 percent).
The Sooners shot only 32 percent in the second half, including 7
percent (1-of-15) from 3-point range. That was well off their
season average of 51 percent.
"Our defensive intensity was much better in the second half,"
Ely said. "We tried to play a little bit faster than they wanted
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