Lady Vols stop LSU, 55-43

Tennessee's Kelley Cain (52), Shekinna Stricklen, (40) and Kamiko Williams (4) pressure LSU's Katherine Graham (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday.

Photo by Mark Saltz

Tennessee's Kelley Cain (52), Shekinna Stricklen, (40) and Kamiko Williams (4) pressure LSU's Katherine Graham (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Sunday.

BATON ROUGE, La. — Defense covered for what was ailing Tennessee Sunday and also did a good job of covering LSU.

In short, the defense never rested. Or so it seemed.

The Lady Vols did breathe a sigh of relief, but not before working long and hard for a 55-43 SEC women’s basketball victory over the Lady Tigers before a crowd of 4,971 at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Alyssia Brewer’s 14 points led three double-figure scorers for UT. Brewer, Alicia Manning and Shekinna Stricklen shared the team high for rebounds with seven apiece.

Allison Hightower scored a game-high 17 for LSU but took 22 shots.

“Nothing’s easy,’’ UT coach Pat Summitt said.

The assessment summed up a host of hardships for No. 3 Tennessee (17-2, 5-1 SEC), which moved into a first-place tie with Ole Miss in the conference standings. The Lady Vols matched the 23 turnovers they committed in Thursday’s 53-50 loss to Georgia. Foul trouble played a part in their difficulties as well. Kelley Cain and Glory Johnson both were afflicted early and spent key parts of both halves as spectators.

To make matters worse, UT went on a scoring starvation diet late in the first half, going without a point for a stretch of 6 minutes, 21 seconds that covered both halves. The Lady Vols went without a basket even longer. That drought, which overlapped the same time frame, lasted 7:28.

Through it all, Tennessee’s zone defense didn’t buckle. In fact, the Lady Vols increased their aggressiveness down the stretch, holding No. 18 LSU (14-4, 3-3) scoreless for nearly seven minutes.

Manning added to her presence during the shutout with a pair of steals.

“I thought Alicia Manning’s intensity, defense and toughness on the boards ­ she really made a difference when she was on the court,’’ Summitt said.

Between Hightower’s jumper with 9:35 left and LaSondra Barrett’s two free throws at the 2:47 mark, the Lady Vols broke free from a 37-all tie and opened a 13-point lead.

“I thought our coverage out of the zone was really good,’’ Summitt said. “We extended it. We were aggressive. We got after it.

“… That was as well as I think we played out of the zone all year, those last nine minutes.”

LSU coach Van Chancellor echoed other coaches this season in marveling at a Summitt team playing exclusively in a zone. He also reiterated how Tennessee’s size enhances the alignment. He advanced the storyline, however, by lamenting his team’s 18 turnovers.

“We wanted to try to score it well enough but you can’t turn it over that much against a zone and be successful,’’ Chancellor said. “One of the reasons we turned it over was because they were really active in it. Most zones are passive, but they were really active today.’’

Tennessee solved its scoring woes with gritty determination and uncommon flair. Brewer rebounded her own miss for a basket and a conventional 3-point play, wiping out the remnants of an LSU 3-point lead with 9:46 left.

A Bjorklund jumper gave Tennessee the lead for good at 39-37 with 9:13 left.

The top highlight, though, was born from desperation a few minutes later. The basketball was poked loose from Bjorklund, who hit the deck to retrieve it. She saved the possession by shoveling the ball to Brewer.

“I was just glad Lyssi was there,’’ Bjorklund said. “I wasn’t strong with ball at that point.”

Brewer was. She took the pass and rumbled toward the basket as if were the goal line, converting a nifty bank shot for a 46-37 lead with 5:24 left.

“It definitely helped us out a lot,’’ Brewer said. “I think when we do things like that, our energy just skyrockets.”

Summitt described the play as a “whirlwind something.”

It all worked out because the defense was something special.

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Comments » 50

dvhill100 writes:

Congratulations. Good job getting back on the winning track. Keep it up and I'll see you all in the Finals against UConn.

Fall_Creek_Vols writes:

Game Ball: Alicia Manning. This game was ugly from start to finish...made uglier by a Tennessee defense that simply smothered LSU. The fact that we couldn't do much offensively is what made it close...at least in the first half.

At a time in the second half when we made our run, Manning's play at both ends of the floor was the X-factor. She seems to play with a measure of confidence in her game that makes a difference.

Sydney Smallbone played well, but could use some of that confidence...and is it my imagination or are the zebras gunning for Cain and Brewer? Sure looked like it in the first half.

Keep after 'em Coach. There is still much to be done. Go Lady Vols!

SummittsCourt writes:

Good job by the lady vols in bouncing back after the tough loss. Manning and Brewer stepped up big.

10cvolnga writes:

Looks like D fence made a turn around. Hope we don't see a repeat of what I witnessed in Athens Thursday night. Work together girls. Don't put yourself in a position where the trey is a must playing catch-up. CPS has the plan...listen to her and execute! Looking forward to your girls going deep in the SEC and NCAA tourneys!!!

HtownVol writes:

Hopefully this team can make a run in the tourney. Uconn wont be beat, but I think we can beat any other team.

I hope we can find another Candice Parker to build around.

mdvol writes:

Nice day for the Mannings. Alicia and Peyton.

USNVOL writes:

Nice win Lady Vols.

volpreacher writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Hopefully this team can make a run in the tourney. Uconn wont be beat, but I think we can beat any other team.

I hope we can find another Candice Parker to build around.

Oh that's the spirit from a (fan). Yes UConn can be beat. I think UT or Stanford both can. Stanford played terrible against them earlier this year. But I don't think UConn wins it again this year. I NEVER count out Pat Summitt.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to dvhill100:

Congratulations. Good job getting back on the winning track. Keep it up and I'll see you all in the Finals against UConn.

There is a lot of work to be done before these girls can ever think final four.Proably won't happen this year.Keep playing this way and the SEC and SEC tourney will be a far reach.Telent is there,but it seems the determination is not.Ball handeling skills are poor and too inconsistent with their shooting.When they are hot,they are hot.When they are not,they struggle terribly.

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

MANNING PLAYED GREAT, ALL PLAYED PRETTY GOOD DEFENSE .

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to Fall_Creek_Vols:

Game Ball: Alicia Manning. This game was ugly from start to finish...made uglier by a Tennessee defense that simply smothered LSU. The fact that we couldn't do much offensively is what made it close...at least in the first half.

At a time in the second half when we made our run, Manning's play at both ends of the floor was the X-factor. She seems to play with a measure of confidence in her game that makes a difference.

Sydney Smallbone played well, but could use some of that confidence...and is it my imagination or are the zebras gunning for Cain and Brewer? Sure looked like it in the first half.

Keep after 'em Coach. There is still much to be done. Go Lady Vols!

I seldom say anything about the zebras,but the last two road games were terrible.Breathe deeply and it is a foul on Tennessee.Gang tackle Tennessee and no whistle.There needs to be something done about home cooking,even at Tennessee.Are the Tennessee girls really walking as much as has been called the past two games?Pat must have whizzed in some one's cherrios.

LdyVolFaninKS writes:

Terrible play, both sides of the ball, start to finish. Tired of watching tired player's play lazy ball. Very disappointing.

ladivolfan writes:

Nice win, but lots of work still needs to be done before we can compete with Stanford at their best. As far as UConn goes, any team can beat any other team. As a coach I would be more concerned about my team on a long winning streak than one with a loss. These teams tend to take winning for granted and some unsuspecting team will surprise them.

PINK_CHAMPAGNE writes:

The defense was good for the lady vols, and the refs would not let the game get into any kind of flow. The officiating was terrible! And it seems the lady vols are getting the short end of the calls. The defense was to good for LSU to be given this one by the refs. The offense still needs work. Manning played a good game! This team can be dangerous if the offense ever gets flowing! Hopefully this win will point them in the right direction and build their confidence again!

PINK_CHAMPAGNE writes:

Brewer played a good game as well. That is what she will need to do when Cain is out. Come in and make a difference. Good job Brewer!

cobbwebb writes:

now thats what im talkin bout!!!
GO LADY VOLS!!!!!

xvolx writes:

Strickland is not the answer at pt. guard. I'd like to see Summitt thrown out of a game by standing up to these officials. The officiating is obviously biased. Cain gets hosed again. Good thing LSU can't shoot threes. Hightower only player they have.

kazoo writes:

Nice win but a terrible game--hard to watch the teams were so awful offensively in the first half. I'll give Summitt one thing: I've seen a lot of bad offensive performances by her teams, but she usually makes the other team's offense play even worse than ours (which is pretty hard to imagine sometimes), but that's the way she and the Lady Vols roll!

LdyVolFaninKS writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just tired of the lack of passion and want-to game in and game out with this group of ladies. The talent is there, but I just don't see much of a spark in them. I saw a spark against Oklahoma and maybe a little one against South Carolina, but now I am convinced that these Ladies don't even want to be on the floor most of the time (with the exception of Glory). Not exactly sure where Strick went, but she is NOT the same player she was. Cain isn't given a chance to spark because the ref's just love to call her number. I'm starting to think Angie is a lost cause as she doesn't seem to have her head in the game about half the time and even admitted it out loud!! Brewer only plays hard when she wants to, and has she EVER committed a foul? Really tired of watching her throw her arms in the air EVERY TIME her number is called. Manning can't score to save her life. Williams, Bass and Smallbone never play long enough to develop a spark (usually because they do something stupid) and I can't figure out Spani. I thought these Lady Vols would be a lot further along at this point in the season than what they are. I'm afraid they lack that killer instinct. They get a nice lead and they take their foot off the gas. Hate to say it, but I would like to see a little more UCONN in our Lady Vols. They have the killer instinct, even when they are up by 40, they are still giving 100% to see how much they can win by. I know March is still a little ways out, but at this point I don't even see us in the Sweet 16. I have tried hard to stay optimistic, but haven't seen much to be excited about this month.

ladyvolfaithful62 writes:

Way to go Manning! Loved the steals! Angie B, good to see those sweet looking treys.

huntined#565710 writes:

Still have to remember that most of this game we had 4 soph and 1 jr on the floor. They all have played a lot of bb but they are a young team..All we need next year is a 3 point shooting guard and I think we have them on the way.. They will be fine and will go a lot deeper in the ncaa then we did last year.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

I seldom say anything about the zebras,but the last two road games were terrible.Breathe deeply and it is a foul on Tennessee.Gang tackle Tennessee and no whistle.There needs to be something done about home cooking,even at Tennessee.Are the Tennessee girls really walking as much as has been called the past two games?Pat must have whizzed in some one's cherrios.

Ditto. I don't agree with whining about the refs, either; I just take it as given that they are or will be terrible. But it is hard to deny that the LVs don't seem to get many breaks in officiating, to say the least. It seems at times that if there is any contact on a play, the foul goes against the LVs. If there is contact that works against the LVs, it's just "play on". I thought Pat and the girls were remarkably restrained through the injustice. The refs seemed determined to make up the foul discrepancy at the start of the second half, but as soon as LSU hit the bonus, the calls stopped unless the fouls were just too blatant to ignore.

All praise to the LVs for keeping their composure and playing through it. As one of the announcers said, after a game like the UGA game, last year's team would have gone on to have another two or three just like it. This year they righted the ship after just one stinker, even though this one was hardly a thing of beauty, either.

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

Good win Lady Vols but fortunately LSU did not play very well at all. Again, too many TO's. Strick still has JPitis. Ref's terrible again. We all can tell that Pat is working on a solution for this team and she won't stop until she finds it! Glory is still the best overall player on this team and an amazing athelethe! Props to Manning off the bench and "Brutual" Brewer did a really good job. We are young and still learning but the future looks bright!
LV.....TCB.....KOKO......GBO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to LdyVolFaninKS:

Just tired of the lack of passion and want-to game in and game out with this group of ladies. The talent is there, but I just don't see much of a spark in them. I saw a spark against Oklahoma and maybe a little one against South Carolina, but now I am convinced that these Ladies don't even want to be on the floor most of the time (with the exception of Glory). Not exactly sure where Strick went, but she is NOT the same player she was. Cain isn't given a chance to spark because the ref's just love to call her number. I'm starting to think Angie is a lost cause as she doesn't seem to have her head in the game about half the time and even admitted it out loud!! Brewer only plays hard when she wants to, and has she EVER committed a foul? Really tired of watching her throw her arms in the air EVERY TIME her number is called. Manning can't score to save her life. Williams, Bass and Smallbone never play long enough to develop a spark (usually because they do something stupid) and I can't figure out Spani. I thought these Lady Vols would be a lot further along at this point in the season than what they are. I'm afraid they lack that killer instinct. They get a nice lead and they take their foot off the gas. Hate to say it, but I would like to see a little more UCONN in our Lady Vols. They have the killer instinct, even when they are up by 40, they are still giving 100% to see how much they can win by. I know March is still a little ways out, but at this point I don't even see us in the Sweet 16. I have tried hard to stay optimistic, but haven't seen much to be excited about this month.

Gotta go with long_vol on this one! If it isn't outright depression, it is a bad case of the "outta sorts". At least half the fouls called on Cain and Brewer AREN'T fouls, while they get chopped with impunity. I'm just pleased that neither of them has taken a swing at a ref! It's hard to be aggressive when almost any contact is called a foul or when any pivot move is called a walk. Angie hit some big shots tonight, made several good plays on loose balls, and had half the turnovers she had against UGA. The LVs are miles ahead of where they were at this time last season and if you can't see that, refer to my second sentence above. No, they don't play "pretty" all the time, but I saw NOTHING I would call "lazy" out of the whole squad. Don't EVEN make yourself more miserable by comparing the LVs to UConn. They are just in a class by themselves right now. That doesn't mean that I am giving them a pass all the way through to the championship, but as long as they are playing the way they are, they will be REALLY hard to beat. And as long as the LVs can keep their composure when playing 5-on-8, THEY will be hard to beat, too.

tonyvick#213307 writes:

in response to LdyVolFaninKS:

Just tired of the lack of passion and want-to game in and game out with this group of ladies. The talent is there, but I just don't see much of a spark in them. I saw a spark against Oklahoma and maybe a little one against South Carolina, but now I am convinced that these Ladies don't even want to be on the floor most of the time (with the exception of Glory). Not exactly sure where Strick went, but she is NOT the same player she was. Cain isn't given a chance to spark because the ref's just love to call her number. I'm starting to think Angie is a lost cause as she doesn't seem to have her head in the game about half the time and even admitted it out loud!! Brewer only plays hard when she wants to, and has she EVER committed a foul? Really tired of watching her throw her arms in the air EVERY TIME her number is called. Manning can't score to save her life. Williams, Bass and Smallbone never play long enough to develop a spark (usually because they do something stupid) and I can't figure out Spani. I thought these Lady Vols would be a lot further along at this point in the season than what they are. I'm afraid they lack that killer instinct. They get a nice lead and they take their foot off the gas. Hate to say it, but I would like to see a little more UCONN in our Lady Vols. They have the killer instinct, even when they are up by 40, they are still giving 100% to see how much they can win by. I know March is still a little ways out, but at this point I don't even see us in the Sweet 16. I have tried hard to stay optimistic, but haven't seen much to be excited about this month.

Did you notice they won? As long as they score more points than their opponent it's good.

ps11824 writes:

I wish we could all have an out of body experience and just enjoy a freaking win without throwing the team into post season or comparing them to ucon. Good grief! You complain when they win. You complain when they lose. Just be happy for a minute, please. Good grief, LadyVolFaninKS, a win is a WIN! Today...

After all, Peyton is playing da Saints and da Drew in da Super Bowl!!!!!!!!

BigOrangeVol writes:

I love and support our teams in every sport and it breaks my heart when they don't win every game but...here's a little something for Pat to chew on...

Categories that the Lady Vols aren't even in the NCAA Top 40:

3-point percentage
Free Throw percentage
Rebounds per game
Offensive rebounds per game
Defensive rebounds per game
Steals per game
Assists per game

#30 in Points per game
#20 in Assist/Turnover Ratio
#18 in Blocks per game
#13 in Field Goal percentage

With the athleticism, height, length and talent of this team those numbers are incorrigible. Of our 10-man rotation there are eight girls with these H.S. credentials... 6 McDonalds All-Americans, a WBCA All-American, an AAU All-American and one Adidas Top 10 All Star. I don't know how it would be possible to get less out of this team than what they are putting on the floor. WHAT IS THE EXPLANATION????

tonyvick#213307 writes:

Here's your explanation: 17(wins) and 2 (losses) against highly ranked teams. And can I explain to you they are #1 in the always tough SEC.

tedb#664810 writes:

in response to LdyVolFaninKS:

Just tired of the lack of passion and want-to game in and game out with this group of ladies. The talent is there, but I just don't see much of a spark in them. I saw a spark against Oklahoma and maybe a little one against South Carolina, but now I am convinced that these Ladies don't even want to be on the floor most of the time (with the exception of Glory). Not exactly sure where Strick went, but she is NOT the same player she was. Cain isn't given a chance to spark because the ref's just love to call her number. I'm starting to think Angie is a lost cause as she doesn't seem to have her head in the game about half the time and even admitted it out loud!! Brewer only plays hard when she wants to, and has she EVER committed a foul? Really tired of watching her throw her arms in the air EVERY TIME her number is called. Manning can't score to save her life. Williams, Bass and Smallbone never play long enough to develop a spark (usually because they do something stupid) and I can't figure out Spani. I thought these Lady Vols would be a lot further along at this point in the season than what they are. I'm afraid they lack that killer instinct. They get a nice lead and they take their foot off the gas. Hate to say it, but I would like to see a little more UCONN in our Lady Vols. They have the killer instinct, even when they are up by 40, they are still giving 100% to see how much they can win by. I know March is still a little ways out, but at this point I don't even see us in the Sweet 16. I have tried hard to stay optimistic, but haven't seen much to be excited about this month.

If you have tried hard to be optimistic, I would hate to see you when your pessemistic.

BigRMan writes:

Anytime a Pat Summitt team can stick it to Van Chancellor I absolutely love it. As a fan of the now defuct Houston Comets, I was furious when Van sided with Sheryl Swoopes in her selfish power play over Cynthia Cooper. Cooper was the reigning 3 time Finals MVP, but from that point on Swoopes ran the team, not Chancellor. He is the most overrated women's hoops coach in history. In '08, when he was inducted in to the Hall of Fame, should have given his credit to Coop, which he did not, of course. Also Augustus' jersey was retired yesterday. Great win to put a sour taste in her mouth for that. Seimone was quick to revel in the fact that the Lady Tigers spoiled the festivities when the court at Thompson Bolling was named for Pat Summitt. Loved the Win over LSU!

tedb#664810 writes:

With over 40 years of watching basketball, I don't know that I have seen worse officiating than the last three games. Refs need to address this constant flopping. Good defense is being penalized. If the ladies game is going to advance, then the refs have got to call fouls that are actual fouls not incidental contact. Someone needs to step in from a higher position and dictate some accountability to managing the game.

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

in response to tedb#664810:

With over 40 years of watching basketball, I don't know that I have seen worse officiating than the last three games. Refs need to address this constant flopping. Good defense is being penalized. If the ladies game is going to advance, then the refs have got to call fouls that are actual fouls not incidental contact. Someone needs to step in from a higher position and dictate some accountability to managing the game.

REFS AND BOTH TEAMS TERRIBLE .

kazoo writes:

Is it too much to ask Summitt to put a cohesive, somewhat exciting offensive team on the floor, given that she has a bench full of high-school AAs? Good grief: I know her defense first, last and always, 1970s-style of basketball wins games--but c'mon, it's 2010. Who really wants to see bad, 50-point games?

ps11824 writes:

kazoo, don't watch. just check the score and be grateful for a w

johnlg00 writes:

in response to BigOrangeVol:

I love and support our teams in every sport and it breaks my heart when they don't win every game but...here's a little something for Pat to chew on...

Categories that the Lady Vols aren't even in the NCAA Top 40:

3-point percentage
Free Throw percentage
Rebounds per game
Offensive rebounds per game
Defensive rebounds per game
Steals per game
Assists per game

#30 in Points per game
#20 in Assist/Turnover Ratio
#18 in Blocks per game
#13 in Field Goal percentage

With the athleticism, height, length and talent of this team those numbers are incorrigible. Of our 10-man rotation there are eight girls with these H.S. credentials... 6 McDonalds All-Americans, a WBCA All-American, an AAU All-American and one Adidas Top 10 All Star. I don't know how it would be possible to get less out of this team than what they are putting on the floor. WHAT IS THE EXPLANATION????

Once again, congratulations on your research, but I would be interested in seeing where the LVs stand in some DEFENSIVE categories. There is no news in saying that the LVs' offense generally sucks. For the most part, it has been that way for years. The secret to their won-lost percentage over the years has been in stats such as opponents' FG%, total rebounding margin, and more subtle stats such as how many MORE turnovers and how many FEWER assists they get against the LVs compared to their averages. I confess that it is a bit of an anomaly that Pat seems to recruit for offensive stats but then coaches defensive basketball. Still, on the whole, her record speaks for itself.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to tedb#664810:

With over 40 years of watching basketball, I don't know that I have seen worse officiating than the last three games. Refs need to address this constant flopping. Good defense is being penalized. If the ladies game is going to advance, then the refs have got to call fouls that are actual fouls not incidental contact. Someone needs to step in from a higher position and dictate some accountability to managing the game.

The "flopping" mostly penalizes good offense, especially in the post and on drives to the basket, but your general point is well-taken.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to kazoo:

Is it too much to ask Summitt to put a cohesive, somewhat exciting offensive team on the floor, given that she has a bench full of high-school AAs? Good grief: I know her defense first, last and always, 1970s-style of basketball wins games--but c'mon, it's 2010. Who really wants to see bad, 50-point games?

I do, as long as they win! Maybe it's just me, but I would rather see us win 50-45 than lose 95-90.

richvol writes:

LadyVolFaninKS and BigOrangeVol make good points in many areas. The offensive game at UT has suffered for years and it reflects a lack of offensive teaching skill. We need an offensive coach to compliment Pat's skills as a defensive coach. We are stale and not getting better. Think about this...Angie Borklund is our biggest offensive threat. That's sad. She can shoot but is not someone you can rely on night after night and her ball handling skills are highly suspect.

Pat really should complain to the SEC office and the officiating supervisor about the inequity in calls. Particularly against our posts. It is just pathetic and clearly biased.

Why is Komiko not playing point? Did she shoot Pat's dog? Stricklen is not a point and is being wasted by not playing her at the three where she could really hurt teams with her athleticism and rebounding.

YankeeVol writes:

in response to huntined#565710:

Still have to remember that most of this game we had 4 soph and 1 jr on the floor. They all have played a lot of bb but they are a young team..All we need next year is a 3 point shooting guard and I think we have them on the way.. They will be fine and will go a lot deeper in the ncaa then we did last year.

That excuse is too old at this point - that was their "freebee" last year.

How did Sydney do as a starter? I didn't get to see the game.

YankeeVol writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm not so sure about the "Geno Fun Factor". Up here, PBS carries the UCONN games, so I end up seeing a fair amount of them. It seems like Geno has a "Summitt-Marciniak" moment almost every game, which I hate. I know, I know, pressure's on, every game's a big game, cut-throat competition or else, blah, blah, blah. But I despise the stereotypical image of the abusive coach, which I certainly see in him during these games. I have thick skin, and I have taught my kids to have thick skin, but if anyone treated my child like that, they would deal with me in a most unpleasant way....

utfan00 writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Pat asked Strick if she wanted to play PG. Of course, her answer was yes. She probably hated to tell her no. I don't think she should play the position. Have you notice she will dribble the ball behind her back all the time and there is defender in front waiting to steal it? I don't think she is comfortable playing PG.

ps11824 writes:

johnlg00#206211 writes:
I do, as long as they win! Maybe it's just me, but I would rather see us win 50-45 than lose 95-90.

Yes sir! You said it, johnlg. Most posters were so bent out of shape about the previous loss. A very close loss. A one-possession loss. I too, blamed the unwarranted, untimely technical. albeit the Lady Vols played poorly, they could easily have won ugly, which I would have preferred. I did not see either of these games. I rely on these comments and other news articles for my coverage and info. Folks who are bemoaning an ugly game might remember the days of the corn-fed chicks who won ugly, but often.

There has and will always be faster, quicker, more athletic teams than Tennessee, (with the exception of the great '98 champs) when we met our match vs NC tarheels. If you recall, we prevailed with smothering defense. WE HAVE WON OUR SHARE of championships, and we will win more. We stymied Van-the-man's offensive plans, for the most part. That is no easy task.

Will we ever be able to enjoy our team for being in the upper echelon of the WCB world more than any other program in history, OR will we always be griping and groaning and berating our up-and-coming generation of Lady Vols?

I take consolation in thinking we will get all these kinks worked out, and be done with these plaguing off-night demons by crunch time. We will win when it counts most, and I WILL BE satisfied if our defense wins the big games, just as did in '07 and '08. Lock it down, grind it out, take home the W.

Shucks, it's just like the economy. If we never look at the news or check our portfolio, we might wake up one day a wealthy individual, or not, but life goes on for the most part whether WE win or lose.

My neighbor doesn't even know what a lady vol is. My associate was overheard last night asking someone, "Does Peyton still play for Tennessee?" That's really the way sports should be viewed. I was able to enjoy the NFL championship games from a distance. I would have been sad if the Colts had lost, but I had nothing invested in the Vikings/Saints contest. It was fun. I want Brett to 'walk quietly into that good night,' be a Saints fan and hang up the cleats.

Watch and enjoy if you choose to. Don't try to control it, unless you are employed to do so. Don't take responsibility for it unless you enjoy the pain of losing. It's a game, just like poker, you don't always draw the best cards. What you invest is your own choice. Be big enough to win or lose with dignity.

utfan00 writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If you get a chance, listen to the Summitt Audio Post-LSU. Pat talks about the conservation she had with Stricklen about playing PG position.

RLL59 writes:

A few years ago, Nicki Anosicke used to find herself unguarded when she received the ball around the free throw line. Other teams had no respect for her shot. She practiced that shot until she could hit it consistently. That same thing is now happening with Glory Johnson. With practice, she can hit that shot, and prevent the defense from double teaming around the basket. Kudos to her for the progress she has made this year in improving her game.

Kamiko Williams shows that she can take the ball into the paint and get off a short jump shot or pass off to an open teammate. Other than Strickland, she appears to be the only Lady Vol to be able to do that and hit a high percentage of her shots. That play disrupts the defense, and opens up other scoring opportunities. Hope we see more of it....and her.

ps11824 writes:

Real nice couple of posts there. This is easy-to-read stuff that we need for our bruised "fanatic egos." RLL, keen observation. long_vol, IMHO, many WCB officials want to slow the game down in order to make their job easy. Others want to 'protect the little ladies from the big bullyette corn-fed chick gals. Some simply have a vendetta. I truly believe there's some good old boys in the officiating biz who want the women's game to lag behind, as far as entertainment genre. I despise that mindset.

Think about this scenario: the '98 Lady Vols go up against well, 'you-know-who', What an exciting game that would be, unless you factor in a horrible team of officials with their own agenda. It's the honest truth, some of these stripes could put a damper on hitting the $60M lotto.

LdyVolFaninKS writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Still trying to keep the faith, but this team is making it very hard!! Their play has been so bad this month! In my book, "A win is a win," is a terrible statement. A win don't mean shat to me if you played like shat.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to LdyVolFaninKS:

Still trying to keep the faith, but this team is making it very hard!! Their play has been so bad this month! In my book, "A win is a win," is a terrible statement. A win don't mean shat to me if you played like shat.

Each to his/her own, I guess! For me, "shat" by any other name is still a win(;-P)! Seriously, I am one who admires the philosophy that Bob Knight and John Wooden call "coaching against the game". It is in most respects the ultimate perfectionist's philosophy. It holds that while perfection can never be achieved, it should ALWAYS be pursued, even in victory. However, for everyday purposes, progress toward perfection can often look like failure, so for everybody's peace of mind, victory is a sufficient indicator of progress for me. But then, I have never sought perfection, only improvement(;-D)!

ps11824 writes:

lohnlg00 posted Monday Jan. 25: Seriously, I am one who admires the philosophy that Bob Knight and John Wooden call "coaching against the game". It is in most respects the ultimate perfectionist's philosophy. It holds that while perfection can never be achieved, it should ALWAYS be pursued, even in victory. However, for everyday purposes, progress toward perfection can often look like failure, so for everybody's peace of mind, victory is a sufficient indicator of progress for me. ]]

So I guess that means Pat Summitt, the Lady Vols and all the loyal optimistic fanbase are on the right track, no?

johnlg00 writes:

in response to ps11824:

lohnlg00 posted Monday Jan. 25: Seriously, I am one who admires the philosophy that Bob Knight and John Wooden call "coaching against the game". It is in most respects the ultimate perfectionist's philosophy. It holds that while perfection can never be achieved, it should ALWAYS be pursued, even in victory. However, for everyday purposes, progress toward perfection can often look like failure, so for everybody's peace of mind, victory is a sufficient indicator of progress for me. ]]

So I guess that means Pat Summitt, the Lady Vols and all the loyal optimistic fanbase are on the right track, no?

Well, it means that I am down with Pat and the LVs and always have been, though I wonder about some things with the team and her approach. Some are a bit more critical than that, but most of them are coming from a wish that some things could be better while appreciating what we already have with this program. Any passionate fan base is going to have a variety of opinion in it, but most of it comes out of love, except for the few interlopers, of course.

ps11824 writes:

Thanks to Pat and the Tennessee program, all teams in the country have risen to the occasion. The calibre of women's college basketball has matched that of what used to stand far and above all the rest. No one in the coaching field appreciates that more than Pat Summitt. We all know it's the truth. One of our fellow-posters stated once that "overscheduling is PS's greatest personal weakness." That she was willing to take on all comers may be her greatest strength, and the motivating factor for all other programs in D1 WCB.

Fact remains Coach Summitt IS the winningest coach in D1 college basketball, despite the handful of losses we have endured the last couple of seasons. It's not unlike jumping on an opponent hard and heavy, building a big lead then pulling your starters so as to give the reserves some class time.

A loss is a loss, a W is a W when there's a long season/post season on the horizon. It may not be pretty, it isn't exciting, but defense and rebounding wins championships. At this point in 98reax' game, much excitement is not necessary. More wins than losses will suffice. I've been blessed to enjoy all 8 championships. I don't know that I've enjoyed any of them as much as 1997 when none other than the team and the faithful FEW believed it possible. If it happens again, it's simply another pile of icing on the cake.

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