NORFOLK, Va. — NORFOLK, Va. — Tennessee’s Angie Bjorklund was the shooter who kept giving Thursday night.
Apparently the only person left wanting more was teammate Alyssia Brewer. Or so she said.
“I was hoping she’d get 40,’’ Brewer said.
Not that Brewer felt short-changed by Bjorklund’s 29 points, which matched the sophomore’s career high. If anything, Brewer ought to have felt relieved. She definitely was impressed.
“It’s amazing,’’ Brewer said, “straight forward.”
Consecutive jumpers by Bjorklund wiped out a one-point deficit and were the difference in Tennessee’s 81-76 victory over Old Dominion before a noisy crowd of 6,318 at the Constant Center.
With the victory, No. 11 Tennessee (8-2) ended Old Dominion’s 29-game home winning streak, which was tied with Hartford’s for the longest active streak in the nation. The last visiting team to win here was Tennessee on Dec. 22, 2006.
Two other Lady Vols scored in double figures. Brewer had 15 points and Glory Johnson scored 11. Johnson joined Chamique Holdsclaw as the only other UT freshman to open her career by scoring in double figures for her first 10 games.
Center Tiffany Green led Old Dominion (5-3) with 17 points. Jasmine Parker scored 14. Jessica Canady and Jen Nuzzo each had 11.
Bjorklund’s 3-pointer from the left wing provided the lead for good at 73-71 with one minute, 54 seconds left. Her follow-up was a jumper with 1:03 left, which pushed the lead to four.
Those baskets topped off a 10-for-19 shooting performance by the sophomore guard, which included 6-for-10 accuracy on 3-pointers. She capped Tennessee’s scoring with two free throws with five seconds left.
“As a shooter, you always think: if I’m open, shoot,’’ Bjorklund said. “My teammates did a great job of getting me open. Whether it’s a close game or not, if I’m open I’m going to shoot.”
This game certainly qualified as close. There were nine ties and 12 lead changes.
“This was the game to win,’’ said Green, after the Lady Monarchs suffered their 13th consecutive loss against UT.
The game was hard fought as well. Brewer and center Kelley Cain both went down and had to be helped off the court. Cain apparently hyperextended her right knee but returned down the stretch after Vicki Baugh fouled out.
Brewer said that she was fine after colliding with an Old Dominion player.
“We played hard, we took some hard falls,’’ Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt said. “I think we escaped any major injuries it appeared.”
The Lady Vols played without guards Shekinna Stricklen (stomach virus) and Cait McMahan (sore knee).
“It was like a war out there,’’ Brewer said. “You have to body up. You have to get tough.”
The Lady Vols won because of Bjorklund and their 56-38 rebounding advantage. Brewer’s five rebounds all came on the offensive end and led to nine of her points.
“I need to give that freshman credit,’’ Summitt said.
She reiterated her praise when Brewer arrived in the postgame interview room.
“I bragged on you,’’ Summitt told Brewer. “I want you to know that.”
UT’s 21 for 30 shooting at the free throw line also helped. The Lady Vols were six for six in the final 30 seconds.
Conversely, the Lady Vols won despite erratic field goal shooting and 10 first-half turnovers.
Other than Bjorklund, the Lady Vols shot 17 for 51 from the floor (33.3 percent). Johnson’s 3-for-14 shooting reflected more struggles from close range.
“I definitely had a rough time,’’ Johnson said.
With two point guards already sitting out the game, UT shortened its bench even more after halftime and committed just three more turnovers.
It also helped UT’s cause immensely when Jazzmin Walters missed a potential game-typing layup with 1:24 left.
Bjorklund didn’t miss when it mattered the most, sending UT home with a win in advance of Sunday’s game against Stanford.
“When you have a shooter like that,’’ Summitt said, “it takes a lot of pressure off our offense.”