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Tennessee's Summitt Gets 900th Victory

The Lady Vols overcome a 14-point deficit to win, 80-68, giving their coach another milestone.

January 20, 2006|From the Associated Press

NASHVILLE — Pat Summitt preferred to focus on beating Vanderbilt. For her Tennessee players, helping the NCAA's winningest coach get her 900th victory was a lasting memory.

"No one in the whole world except the 10 of us that are left can say they've played for a coach who's won 900 games," sophomore Nicky Anosike said. "I'm just happy to be a part of it."

Shanna Zolman led five Lady Vols in double figures with 16 points, and top-ranked Tennessee rallied from its biggest deficit this season in beating No. 19 Vanderbilt, 80-68, Thursday night, giving Summitt her 900th win in her first shot at the milestone.

Vanderbilt Coach Melanie Balcomb could only compliment Summitt, who ran her record to 900-172 in 32 seasons at Tennessee.

"It's people like her why you grow up wanting to be a coach and get to this level," Balcomb said.

Tennessee (18-0, 4-0 Southeastern Conference) had not gone through a first half without leading at least once until this game, and the Lady Vols trailed by 14 late in the half.

But the crowd of 13,127 serenaded Summitt by chanting "9-0-0" in the final minute as the Lady Vols won for the 10th straight time in the series.

Vanderbilt (13-5, 2-2) looked ready to get its first victory against the Lady Vols since Feb. 2, 2002. As well as the Commodores shot, they couldn't stop Tennessee from turning their turnovers into 25 points.

The Lady Vols outshot the Volunteers 54% (31 of 56) to 46% (27 of 58).

Caroline Williams led Vanderbilt with 21 points, including five of eight from three-point range.

The Lady Vols, who trailed, 33-19, in the first half, didn't take their first lead until 45-44 with 14:53 left on two fastbreak layups by Alexis Hornbuckle coming off a Candace Parker block, then an Anosike steal.

Vanderbilt last led, 50-49, on a three-pointer by Cherish Stringfield. Then Tennessee scored 19 of the next 21 points in taking its biggest lead at 68-52.

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