AUSTIN, Texas -- The No. 5 Tennessee Lady Vols used 15 points from senior forward Sidney Spencer and a double-double of 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds from sophomore forward Candace Parker en route to a 67-46 victory over No. 23 Texas in women's basketball action Sunday afternoon. The game was played in front of 7,522 at the Frank Erwin Center.
The Longhorns, now 7-3, saw their seven-game homecourt win streak snapped. All three of UT's losses have been to Top 25 ranked teams. UT was limited to 30.8 percent shooting from the floor, its' lowest of the year.
Tennessee moves to 9-1, as the Lady Vols dominated on the boards, out-rebounding the Longhorns by a 48-30 margin. The Lady Vols also connected on eight 3-pointers, shooting 50 percent from long range (8-16). Spencer, who entered the game ranked No. 1 nationally in 3-point percentage, was 2-for-3 from outside the arc. Tennessee is No. 2 nationally in 3-point shooting. The Longhorns were three for eight from long range.
Texas had one player in double-figure scoring, as freshman guard Brittainey Raven got her third start of the year -- and the first since November 13 -- and posted a career-high and game-high tying 15 points. Raven (Fort Worth, Texas) also added a game-high four steals in 28 minutes of action.
Senior forward Tiffany Jackson and freshman guard Niqky Hughes (Waxahachie, Texas) both had eight points, while Jackson (Dallas, Texas) added a team-best eight rebounds.
Up 27-18 at intermission, Tennessee pulled away in the final half by hitting 57 percent of their shots and out-rebounding the Longhorns 20-12 in the final 20 minutes.
Texas opened the second half on a strong note, as Raven scored four of UT's six opening points. A Raven 3-pointer from the wing pulled Texas to within seven, 31-24, with 16:57 to go. Tennessee quickly countered, however with a 14-5 run over the next 4:25 which was capped by a Spencer three-ball which pushed the lead to 16, 45-29, with 12:32 to go. Texas scored on its next possession on an Erneisha Bailey jumper, but Tennessee then ran off eight unanswered points behind five points from Spencer and a 3-pointer from point guard Shannon Bobbitt to lead by 22 (53-31) with 10 minutes remaining.
Down the stretch, Texas cut the lead to 15, 55-45, on two Erika Arriaran free throws at the 6:50 mark, but could get no closer.
Both Texas and Tennessee were cold from the floor in the opening half, as the Lady Vols hit 31.4 percent of their shots (11 of 35) while Texas made 22.2 percent of theirs, hitting on six of 27 attempts.
The Lady Vols got eight points and six rebounds from Spencer to lead at the break, 27-18. The 18 first-half points by the Longhorns tied for the third lowest first-half point production in team history.
The 46 total points for the Longhorns marked only the second time in 171 games that the UT offense has been held to 46 points (or less).
Texas finished the game making 16 of 52 field goals for its 30.8 percent shooting, while Tennessee shot 42.9 percent (27-63). Texas turned the ball over 20 times, while the Lady Vols had 21 turnovers. Texas was 11-for-18 in free throws while the Lady Vols were five-for-eight.
Both teams entered the game tied for sixth nationally in blocked shots (with 6.2 bpg averages). Tennessee finished with five blocks, three by Parker, while the Horns had three.
Texas returns to action on Thursday, Dec. 21 when it hosts Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in a 7 p.m. game at the Erwin Center.
Tickets to all Texas Basketball home games may be purchased online at TexasBoxOffice.com; by calling 800-982-BEVO or 512-471-3333; in person at any Texas Box Office outlet, including Austin-area H-E-B stores and the UT Athletics Ticket Office in Bellmont Hall (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. CT); and in person one hour prior to game.
· in addition to logging a career-high 15 points, freshman guard Brittainey Raven also was in double-figure scoring for the first time in her career
· the game was the 1,185th game coached by Jody Conradt, who stands No. 2 among all men's and women's college basketball coaches in victories (trailing Tennessee's Pat Summitt)... Conradt is 889-296 all-time
· this was the first time in 2006-07 that only one Longhorn player was in double-figure scoring
· in all three losses to date, the Longhorns have been out-rebounded and trailed at the half; all three losses have come against Top 25 foes as well - No. 23 New Mexico, No. 4 Duke and No. 5 Tennessee
· this was the first home loss of the year for the Longhorns, now 7-1 at the Frank Erwin Center
· this was the first win for Tennessee at the Erwin Center since Dec. 22, 2000
· the game was the 1,100th coached by Pat Summitt, who ranks No. 1 in all-time college basketball wins - men's or women's - with a 922-178 mark
· sophomore forward Candace Parker picked up her fourth double-double of the year
· senior forward Sidney Spencer reached double-figure scoring for the ninth time on the year and her eight rebounds were one shy of her career high
Tennessee Head Coach Pat Summitt
Her general statement: The game started off with two teams not shooting the ball well at all. Both teams got great looks, and Texas got a lot of points in the paint and off of second shots. We talked about it at halftime, and came out better defensively. Our perimeter defense helped with the pressure we put on the basketball. If you can't see it, you're not going to be able to make a play.
I thought what you saw from Shannon (point guard Shannon Bobbitt) is what Shannon needs to bring to us all the time. I think it just took her a few road games to realize that this (being on the road) is a tough environment and that you have to be able to match the intensity of the home team and not let the away environment take her out of her game. I thought she did a great job of running our basketball team.
On playing the tough schedule that Tennessee does, year in and year out, especially on the road: That's why we play the schedule we play -- to prepare. Sometimes I look at it before the year starts and almost get sick at my stomach and say, `Why did I do this?' -- but I know why I do it every year. By the time we get to postseason, this team will have played against a lot of different styles of play. They will have played obviously against some of the best players in the country and they will understand what it takes to win in postseason.
Texas Head Coach Jody Conradt
Her general statement: That was a really really tough and hard-fought intense basketball game. I thought the first half was about two teams going after each other. Neither team shot well, neither team had much going offensively. I thought it was dominated by the defense. I was really pretty pleased with our team because in the past when we have had difficulty with scoring we have gotten discouraged and had defensive breakdowns. I thought we worked through some of that in the first half. The second half, however, we were still having some problems operating offensively and Tennessee started to make a lot of shots. The game out away from us when we took some plays off and they got easy baskets and when we gave up offensive boards -- time after time.
In our last two games against top five teams, we've played two different kinds of teams. Duke is well-balanced, deep and more of a finesse team. Tennessee is the type of team which gets right up in your grill and doesn't let you breathe. We need to play them so that our young players can see different styles of play and what teams at the top of their games are doing.
I don't want to fail to talk about Tennessee. They are really, really good. Traditionally, they make it really hard to operate offensively. Now, in addition to that, what Pat (Summitt) has now is a team which is shooting very well. They didn't in the first half, but I know in the second half they knocked down their open looks and lots of shots when they were deep into the shot clock. They are very hard to guard. Pat's team can play on both ends of the floor with anyone in the country.
On what she saw from the Longhorns today: I saw improvement today. We did some good things defensively. Tennessee came into the game averaging 82 points. Today, we did not matchup well with Tennessee, but what impressed me were the people who just decided to make plays, like our two freshmen Brittainey (Raven) and Niqky (Hughes). Brittainey really stepped up. She had the two best practices at Texas the last two days, and her start today was a reward for that. I challenged the team hard after the Duke game, and Brittainey really has responded since then. She grew up this week. I am seeing her start to realize her potential. If she keeps working this way, and compete the way she did today, she is going to be really good for us.
I looked today and the thing that encouraged me the most were the people that just competed. There is no question, however, that our guards, particularly Carla (Cortijo) and Erika (Arriaran) must step up. Right now. What we do is so dependent on what's happening at the point position.
There are not enough good teams in the country who can take Tiffany (Jackson) completely out of her game like Tennessee did today. So, if that happens, others must step up. But again, we were throwing it in late to Tiffany and that did not help her. It's a coordinated effort. Tiffany can only work well when the guards position the ball correctly to her, and that was part of her frustration today.
But again, I liked the way our two freshmen played out there, and I like the way E-Bay (Erneisha Bailey) is competing, game in and game out.
Texas senior forward Tiffany Jackson: It was two different halves for me out there today. In the first half, I got some easy putbacks by going to the basket. I know that Tennessee made an adjustment at halftime in the way they were going to play me in the second half. And, it worked for them. It is really really frustrating when good teams take away your strengths. The only thing I know to do is to get back in the gym and get back at it. We all have to. They were 20 points better than us today, and we have lots of work to do to close that gap.