Healed Lady Vol sickens Stanford
Posted: Monday, December 22, 2008 5:37 pm
By: By BETH RUCKER, Associated Press Writer
KNOXVILLE (AP) — Shekinna Stricklen was so sick with a stomach virus a few days ago that she couldn’t play or eat.
“I’m a 100 percent now,” she said after carrying the 11th-ranked Lady Vols through overtime in a 79-69 upset of No. 3 Stanford on Sunday night.
Stricklen, who sat out Tennessee’s win at Old Dominion on Thursday, scored eight of her season-high 25 points in the extra period of the 2008 national championship game rematch.
“She had a big game,” Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer said. “I guess she was kind of sick for the last game. She
made me sick in this game.”
Stanford’s Jeanette Pohlen knocked down a 3-pointer to tie the game at 68 with 54 seconds left.
“I definitely felt set and I felt like my feet were under me and I wasn’t off balance,” Pohlen said.
Tennessee’s Glory Johnson attempted a layup with 23 seconds left, but was charged with a foul.
Lady Vol Alicia Manning blocked a shot by Melanie Murphy with three seconds left, but Stricklen couldn’t get a shot off before time expired.
Stricklen entered the extra period hot, though, knocking down a long jumper and two 3s in succession to give the Lady Vols a 76-69 lead with 2:48 left.
Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said she thought her players grew from a loss at No. 5 Texas a week earlier.
“In the first half against Texas, we came back to tie the game then we had some players who hit the wall. A lot of that was because of youth,” she said. “We’re getting better at understanding how to compete.”
Angie Bjorklund added 16 points for Tennessee (9-2), and Stricklen and Vicki Baugh had seven rebounds each.
Jayne Appel lead the Cardinal (8-3) with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Pohlen added 16 points, and Kayla Pedersen added 15.
Stanford led early as Tennessee’s shooting was cold for the first two minutes, but the Lady Vols slowly built and held onto a lead with help from four first-half 3s, three from Bjorklund.
Tennessee had a scare when Johnson collided with Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Stricklen and hit the floor, grasping her leg. She struggled to get up even with the help of trainers, but a checkup revealed a right thigh contusion instead of a major injury.
“We might have just dodged a big bullet there,” Summitt said.
The game was similar to last year’s regular-season meeting between the teams, a 73-69 Stanford win that broke the Cardinal’s 11-game skid to Tennessee. The Lady Vols later avenged that loss — one of only two losses last season — with a 64-48 win in the national championship game for their eighth title.
The win prevented the young Tennessee team from dropping three games against ranked opponents before the end of the year. The Lady Vols haven’t done that since the 1996-97 season.
Stanford takes home two losses from a three-game road trip through the South this week, having also dropped a game at No. 8 Duke.
“We missed a lot of five-foot shots, and we missed a lot of free throws. You can’t make those mistakes,” VanDerveer said. “We paid for it.”