Pieces of 8 uncovered by Lady Vols

UT repeats at National Champions

As the clock counts down, Tennessee's Candace Parker holds out eight fingers to represent Tennessee's eighth national title. The Lady Vols defeated the Stanford Cardinal 64-48.

Photo by Saul Young

As the clock counts down, Tennessee's Candace Parker holds out eight fingers to represent Tennessee's eighth national title. The Lady Vols defeated the Stanford Cardinal 64-48.

Photo with no caption

Pre-national championship game pep rally for the Lady Vols

TAMPA, Fla. - Tennessee spread its wings and soared to the grandest heights Tuesday night.

"That's what's called the metamorphosis of a basketball team,'' UT assistant coach Dean Lockwood said. "The cocoon broke and the butterfly was in full bloom, colors flying.

Before a crowd of 21,655 at the St. Pete Times Forum and an ESPN national television audience, the Lady Vols emerged as the team they intended to be all along: Defending national champions.

The emphasis was on defending.

The Lady Vols parlayed a ferocious effort into a 64-48 victory over Stanford, winning the program's second consecutive national championship and the eighth overall.

The feeling was fresh for senior Alberta Auguste, who was holding the national championship trophy in her hands afterward in the locker room.

"It's like a new-born baby,'' she said.

Tennessee (36-2) brought the Stanford scoring show to a stunning halt, holding the Cardinal to a season-low point total that was 37 points below its tournament scoring average. The Lady Vols also had an aggressive hand in 25 turnovers, twice as many as Stanford's NCAA average. The turnovers resulted in 26 Tennessee points.

"They did the things that give us trouble,'' Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "They have the bodies and the experience to do that. A lot of teams don't."

With Auguste serving as the primary defender, Stanford star Candice Wiggins was held to 14 points, nearly half of her tournament average.

Center Nicky Anosike played at the front of UT's press and was the chief turnover gatherer with six steals.

"I was possessed out there,'' Anosike said. "I don't know what got inside me. I don't know what it was. But I'm glad it was inside me."

Tennessee's shooting percentage, which started out hot, dropped below 40 percent during the course of the game. Moreover, freshman Vicki Baugh went down with a left knee injury.

But the defense never wavered, lifting UT to the soaring finish.

Candace Parker led Tennessee with 17 points and nine rebounds. Shannon Bobbitt scored 13. Anosike had 12 and eight rebounds. All three made the all-tournament team with Parker being named the most outstanding player.

Jayne Appel scored a team-high 16 for Stanford (35-4).

Given its shooting struggles in the national semifinals against LSU, Tennessee couldn't have started much better. The Lady Vols' 60-plus percent accuracy across the first seven minutes amounted to a tropical heat wave.

The hot start wasn't Parker's doing either. Instead, Bobbitt nailed a pair of 3-pointers and Anosike got to work on her surprise scoring. Parker set a perfect screen for Bobbitt to score a driving layup. The basket gave Tennessee a 17-9 lead.

After a hot start, Stanford hit a wall, going nearly five minutes without a point. Wiggins, who swished the Cardinal's first basket, disappeared from the scoring column for nearly 15 minutes.

The Lady Vols were following their defensive game plan to the letter, which is exactly what they didn't do in a 73-69 overtime loss to the Cardinal on Dec. 22 in Stanford, Calif. They limited Wiggins' time and space by hounding her through screens and, in Lockwood's words, "mucking up" the Cardinal's set plays.

"If you give Candice Wiggins room, she'll eat you alive,'' Auguste said. "My job was to follow her, get in her face. I don't talk trash. I just get in people's heads by defending them and I think I got in her head in the first half.''

The Lady Vols' shooting eventually cooled off but not their defense. The Lady Vols helped force four consecutive turnovers right after their top defender, Alexis Hornbuckle, drew her second foul and departed for the first half's duration with 7:40 left.

Stanford stayed within striking distance after Wiggins, who also made the all-tournament team, got going again with three baskets. One was a 3-pointer that she swished after scooping up a loose ball. Jillian Harmon's desperation shot ended the half and cut UT's lead to 37-29.

Stanford struck first in the second half, scoring the first four points. Tennessee regained control with defense and rebounding. The Lady Vols had a hand in three more turnovers, and Anosike cleaned up a Hornbuckle driving miss with a rebound basket.

A conventional 3-point play by Parker off a driving layup gave UT a 46-35 lead.

Anosike picked up her third foul and departed with 16:46 left. She returned with 10 minutes left but Auguste picked up her fourth foul and sat down with 8:11 left. At that point, UT still led 53-42.

Auguste returned less than a minute later but it wasn't by design. She replaced Baugh, who crumbled to the floor after a driving layup and had to be helped off the court.

Jenny Moshak, the Lady Vols assistant athletic director for sports medicine, called the injury a sprain and said Baugh would be re-evaluated after the team returns to Knoxville today.

Although they couldn't hold on to the ball, the Cardinal tried to hold onto some hope.

"We kept reminding ourselves we were down 11 last time,'' said Appel, referring to the teams' first meeting.

That was December. This was April and Tennessee was blooming - champions again.

Celebration: The Lady Vols will arrive in Knoxville at 3 p.m. today. Fans are invited to a celebration at Thompson-Boling Arena starting at 5:30. Doors open at 5. Admission is free. Parking will be available in the G-3, G-4, G-5 and G-10 garage. Fans should enter the arena through the concourse.

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Comments » 188

BigOrangeDave writes:

We can always count on the Lady Vols!

DennisVols writes:

NCAA CHAMPIONS!!!!!!
GO VOLS!!!!!!

utkjoe29 writes:

vicki anosike was mvp... the least they couldve done was to look at the stat sheet to get her name right at least once!! none the less congrats lady vols!

auttat writes:

Congrats once again to the LV's. Truly remarkable.

volfan8 writes:

Unbelievable. Nikki, Shannon, Candace, Hornbuckle...amazing night tonight. finally all players kicked on all cylinders, and we got big #8!!!

Great effort, dominated the boards, and played physical. Good luck to all the seniors including Candace, youll always be remebered as greats of the Lady Vols.

#9 here we come....

tlc429#392720 writes:

Congrats to a great UT team. Not since the Meeks have I felt such pride. Prayers were answered that Baugh has only a sprain. I am so very proud to be a Tennessee Vol....again. Pat Summit is indeed the Summit of NCAA basketball. We were hungrier and faster and we never let up, even though we made our share of mistakes and to quote the commentator "tried our best to keep Stanford in it". Great teams always play as a team. They had Wiggins. We had the REAL Candace, Nikki, who played her heart out, Shannon, who popped some 3's at crucial times, Auguste and Baugh and last but not least, Lex, the true heartbeat of the team. I miss 'em already. What a great team and a great ending.

bmaples writes:

Un-friggin'-believable! What a game! What a defense! What pressure! What balance! What a team!

I am completely blown away. What an amazing victory! That's right -- IT'S ROCKY TOP AGAIN!!

tlc429#392720 writes:

*Crackin UP @utkjoe28* I caught that too man.

vol4good#206163 writes:

WOW!!--There are no words to describe the Pat Head Summitt mojo. She simply out does everyone. Thanks so much Ladies!! You have truely made this TN Fan proud!

jondadam#645313 writes:

Beautiful, absolutely beautiful! These girls were inspired tonight. All those who picked Stanford to win just added fuel to the fire and made them even more determined to win. Congrats, ladies!

faithfulvol writes:

Never once doubted them!!!!! They are so awesome and gonna be greatly missed!
Thanks Lady Vols for providing another great year for all of us fans!
I miss them already too!
My nieces 13 and 9 are crying!

govolsfan#214750 writes:

Lady Vols = the ONLY modern college dynasty! Go Vols!

knoxtenor writes:

There are very few things that are more fun than watching the Lady Vols pick apart an "unstoppable" offense!

Note to press: NEVER call the Lady Vols underdogs!

Congrats, girls! Makes me proud to be a Tenneseean, a Knoxvillian, and a twice over UT grad!

Tomorrow? We start in on the thumbs.

BigOrangeVol writes:

HOOYAH Lady Vols!!!

vintonvol writes:

Tennessee Basketball - where Men are Men and Women are CHAMPIONS!!

bmaples writes:

Did you catch the comment from Candace in the post-game? "Everyone said that we couldn't hold them under 50, so we set that as our goal."

And they did it!! A Stanford team that averaged 90 points a game, held to 48 points! Hot damn!

I don't know -- this may be the greatest set of seniors to ever play at Tennessee. Every one of them came to play tonight. Solid, solid team. Wow.

vol_in_lsu_land writes:

wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow

REMARKABLE!!!!!!!!!

To all the Lady Vols, past, present, and future...Thanks for years of pleasure and excitement given so selflessly to us humble fans.

08 Lady Vols. You have done your fanbase and university proud. Wear the banner with pride! And good luck to all the seniors. You ALL deserve this. There is no "I" in team.

And to the underclassmen. Good luck as you pursue number NINE!!!!

OrangePride writes:

CONGRATULATIONS LADY VOLS.......AGAIN!! And congratulations to Coach Summit! Her tournament record is beyond astounding. And something else I noticed about our Tennessee women......during the playing of our national anthem, every single one of them, led by their coach, stood with their hands on their heart. That's the way to show this country what a great school and state Tennessee is!!! God bless em' all!

vol_in_lsu_land writes:

I wonder what Geno is doing.

txsvol#372416 writes:

What we saw tonight was a great team victory! It's great to be a Tennessee Volunteer! Congratulations to all! SAVol

surlyguy writes:

Back to back! Nicky Anosike: HUGE! (for the second straight time in the nat'l champ game), Shannon Bobbitt: HUGE!, Alberta Auguste: HUGE!, Vicki Baugh: Big Time Contributor, coaching: big time, and, oh yeah, Candace Parker, well, she did pretty well, too. Great TEAM win. Congratulations to the Vols!

knoxtenor writes:

Sending his resumé to Pat, inquiring about being an assistant.

hallmo11 writes:

SO PROUD!!!!!
Does anyone know when they get back to Knoxville??

jgvol8 writes:

Someone needs to tell Mike Patrick that it is Nicky, not Vicki. What a game! Eight national titles is a remarkable accomplishment. Go Lady Vols. Our men will get one in a couple of years. Too bad our football team will not!

mad_poly_uct writes:

CONGRATS ON #8 TO TENN & ALL YOU FANS!!! They truly deserve it! Its been a fun season. Stay safe everyone, have a great summer, and I hope we can have at it again next season! Now I have to find ANOTHER LV shirt for my daughter...damn, damn, damn...

NCLADYVOLFAN writes:

TOP DOGS! A REAL TEAM!
EIGHT IS TRULY GREAT!

utahvolsfan56 writes:

It has been a great season and I have enjoyed agreeing and disagreeing with many of you. I'll be back in November. Mparker better be back I really enjoyed his posts. By the way if Nikki Caldwell gets the coaching position for UCLA it won't be long and the National Championship trophy will be coming to the west coast.

jgvol8 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

MillisaAnn writes:

Congratulations to Pat Summit and the Lady Vols on your 8th National Championship!!! Good Luck to Canadace, Nikki, Alberta, Shannon,Alexis on all that you do. I miss you all already!!!

Get Well Soon Vikki!!! :) :) :)

Go Lady Vols!!! :) :) :)

utchris writes:

I heard that Geno was giving tours of ESPN during the game.

Where are all the UCANT fans like pendav tonight?

volfan73120#211815 writes:

Lady Vols, I am beaming with pride at your accomplishment. You are truly the pride of Tennessee. Candace your statement on TV that "we had a lot of critics during the season, but tonight we shut them up." Now that is telling it like it is.

arkyvol writes:

please, please, please, don't let them put pat's picture on the cover of sports illustrated again. the lady vols paid for it with a ten year drought the last time.

way to go, lady vols!!!
Pat forever!!!

ODA751 writes:

Great job ladies. Best defensive effort all year. Back to back! I'm going to miss this group. They are all so special. Congrats again.

lewhs93#205993 writes:

Folks we need to thank the good Lord for sending us Pat.She can work miracles.Yesterday these columns were full of cry babies concerning how we were going to get beat.O ye of little faith.SELDOM do the LV lose twice to the same team in the same season .This was a clue many overlooked.LADIES YOU HAVE MADE ONE OLD VOL EXTREMELY HAPPY.

coach75 writes:

i wanted to comment on kara lawson picking stanford. not only did she pick stanford but she was also wearing a cardinal red blazer. what is up with that? has she decided to exile herself from the greatest sports dynasty of all time. to me she seemed kind of anti-lady vols at points this year. is there something we as fans don't know that is going on with her and her alma mater? anyways, to what is important. hey geno, can you count to eight, i don't think so. pat summitt, the greatest coach of all time in college basketball (men or women). i sure hope vicki baugh is ok.

SCVolsFan writes:

What a great season!
You did SHUT THEM UP.

Way to go Ladies. Srs. went out
in style.

lewhs93#205993 writes:

Something i forgot.Pat deserves one hell of a raise.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

bossvol, I was trained to stand at attention when in civilian dress during the presentation of colors or the playing of the National Anthem, not to put my hand over my heart. Either way is deemed proper respect by civilians. In my opinion, it is poor taste to bring your politics into this conversation. Go Vols!

jr8657 writes:

I think Candace was making a statement to Kara Lawson when she said some people don't have any championships and I have 2, and I think she was even turned and looked int the direction where Kara was when she said it...think they were motivated tonight!!? Awsome job Lady Vols!!!!! BACK-2-BACK!!!!...and no 8 is NOT ENOUGH!!!!

dyoung2020#325368 writes:

Congrats to the whole Vol Nation.

BossVol what does the Obama reference have to do with the game? Also are you implying that he is unamerican cause of his race or religion? Or that he has a different sounding name than you?

hawkvol07 writes:

Thank you Lady VOLS!!! Thank YOU for number #8. This was a special class, a special team! I LOVE THOSE LADY VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!

Pullingguard writes:

Never thought the LV could survive the final four, but they did, and with great defense and a spirited display of basketball after a bad game verses LSU.. Just have to give Pat a lot of credit for getting the team ready in capturing her 8th NCAA tournament championship... Great game Lady Vols.

volfan73120#211815 writes:

As I recall, Wiley-Gatewood started as a freshman, and quit after Christmas because she wasn't allowed to shoot as much as she wanted. How selfish. I don't know what she has done at Maryland, but Pat got Bobbit to replace her, and we all know how that turned out

LUVLADYVOLS writes:

I knew the lady vols had it in them. Our Seniors really stepped up tonight . I sure will miss seeing them play in K-town. Candace are you sure you do not want to stay another year.

PureOrange writes:

NATIONAL CHAMPIONS! Sounds so natural and so good.

Thanks to all our players, especially our seniors. They have been fantastic, and they got the championship they so richly deserve. And to Pat Summitt and her coaching staff, you are simply amazing. We are so thankful we have you.

It is always great to be a TENNESSEE VOL, but tonight it is even better.

Thank you, Lady Vols for making the effort to be the very best!

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

bossvol, maybe the Air Force trained you to put your hand over your heart during the National Anthem, but I doubt it. I also doubt that they taught you that anyone who didn't do it your way is a commie. And I seriously doubt that the Air Force taught you to bring you political views into a sports forum. No, I just think you are a liar.

BigOrangeVol writes:

Geno is nursing a brand new BIG ORANGE ulcer and hemorrhoid right now!

dvol writes:

Concerning Kara Lawson, I think she has a problem watching Tennessee get back to their winning ways. If memory serves me right she was a big part of Four years of a 10 year run without a Title. If you have been watching this isn't the first time she has ditched the Lady Vols.

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

Go look at this link http://www.govolsxtra.com/news/2008/a... and see how many people doubted the LV's.

Too me, it was just to well set up. UT is very athletic, plays excellent defense, and boards well when it wants to. You had everyone and there brother swooning over Stanford, just pissing off Candace, Alberta, Shannon, and Nicky. Alexis doesn't need motivation to play defense, never has. So.....you have an irritated, athletic bunch of BBall players ready to play some D???

Oh hell yeah.

dyoung2020#325368 writes:

1,2,3,4 I love marinevol.

I agree with your statements.

But on to the game, when is the last time UT goes into a season with so many unknowns as we will have next year? Are we gonna start the fab 5 freshmen?

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