No. 13 Lady Vols narrowly escape another upset
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- As unhappy as Pat Summitt was after Tennessee escaped with a win, it could have been a lot worse.
For example, the Lady Vols could have played terrible defense and lost, to boot.
Instead, they only got a scare until Vicki Baugh made a tiebreaking free throw with 53.7 seconds remaining and Tennessee (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 5 AP) beat Chattanooga 66-63 on Friday night to avoid a major upset.
"Probably everyone in the building had the opinion that we haven't worked on defense not a day," the Tennessee coach said. "That's about the most miserable defense that a team could play when it comes to the 3-ball.
"Believe it or not, we did work on it this week."
Glory Johnson scored 19 points for the Lady Vols (2-1), who trailed 61-53 with 6 minutes remaining after building a 10-point lead earlier in the half.
Alicia Manning drilled a wide-open 3-pointer from the left corner to tie it at 63 with 1:22 left.
Baugh, Cait McMahan and Shekinna Stricklen each made a foul shot in the final minute for Tennessee, which has won 17 straight against Chattanooga (1-1).
Shanara Hollinquest scored 17 for Chattanooga, which squandered its final chance at an upset.
With 3.7 seconds left, Baugh missed a pair of free throws and the Lady Mocs used their final timeout with 2.6 seconds remaining.
But Chattanooga's Megan Rollins, unable to find an open player from her spot on the baseline, called a timeout to avoid getting a 5-second violation.
She got a technical foul for calling a timeout when her team didn't have any remaining, and Chattanooga never got a chance to win the game.
"I didn't realize we didn't have any timeouts left," Rollins said. "I thought the previous timeout was a media timeout."
The whole affair was far too close for Summitt's comfort, especially after the Lady Vols were upset earlier in the week by Virginia.
"I'm just wondering how many more of these I got in me," Summitt said.
2022-23 Southeastern Conference Standings
2022-23 Southern Conference Standings
|East Tennessee State||9-5||1||25-10|