Jan. 5, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Senior guard Charel Allen scored a team-high 17 points, and freshman forward Devereaux Peters added 10 points and a season-high eight rebounds, but 14th-ranked Notre Dame saw its 10-game winning streak snapped with an 87-63 loss to No. 3 Tennessee on Saturday at a sold-out Joyce Center.
Angie Bjorklund matched a career-high with seven 3-pointers for 21 points and Candace Parker added 20 points to lead UT.
The Lady Vols (12-1) took control from the start, forcing the Irish (12-2) out of their normally pressing defense by making their first four 3-pointers, three of them by Bjorklund. Tennessee used a 22-2 run midway through the first half to open a 30-10 lead and were in control throughout. Nicky Anosike added 13 points and nine rebounds for the Lady Vols and Alexis Hornbuckle had 10 points.
Bjorklund had two 3-pointers during the run 22-3 and Shannon Bobbitt capped the run with a 3 to give Tennessee a 30-10 lead with 9:22 left in the first half. The Irish battled back with a 10-2 run, including three buckets from Peters, and trailed just 32-20 after Barlow's baseline floater with 4:54 left in the half. However, Notre Dame shot just 27 percent in the period and UT closed the half on a 9-2 run of its own to take a 41-22 lead at intermission.
The Lady Vols were 33-of-66 shooting from the field, the best performance by an opponent against the Irish this season. Behind 7-of-9 shooting by Bjorklund, Tennessee was 11-of-20 from 3-point range, matching a season-high for 3s.
Notre Dame, which depends on its defense to ignite its offense, forced a season-low 14 turnovers.
(The Associated Press contributed to this recap)
POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame falls to 0-19 all-time against Tennessee, the only opponent the Irish have played a minimum of six times and never defeated ... both of Notre Dame's losses this season have come to the third-ranked team in the country (also 75-59 at Maryland on Nov. 16) ... Notre Dame allowed a season-high 87 points, three more than Bowling Green scored in an 86-84 Irish overtime win on Dec. 5 ... for only the second time all season, Notre Dame failed to place three players in double figures, after also doing so at Purdue on Dec. 8 ... Notre Dame's bench continues to be one of its strengths, as the Irish reserves outscored their Tennessee counterparts, 27-17; Notre Dame has held a bench scoring edge in all 14 games this season, with the Irish second unit averaging 33 points per game and outscoring the opposition's bench by more than 19 points per game ... freshman forward Devereaux Peters scored in double figures for the eighth time in nine games and tied her season high with eight rebounds, a mark she'd hit three times before (most recently on Dec. 29 vs. Saint Francis-Pa.) ... freshman forward Becca Bruszewski tied her season high with seven rebounds, having also grabbed seven boards at Maryland on Nov. 16 ... senior guard Charel Allen moved into 14th place on the Notre Dame all-time scoring list with 1,246 points, passing Mary Beth Schueth, who scored 1,233 points from 1981-85; next up for Allen is former teammate Megan Duffy, who collected 1,290 points from 2002-06 ... Notre Dame wore its alternate white-and-green home uniforms for the first time this season and fourth time since their inception last year; the Irish are 2-2 when wearing the alternate uniforms, with all four games coming against ranked opponents (wins vs. No. 10/9 Purdue and No. 17/16 Louisville, loss vs. No. 21/22 Rutgers last year) ... Saturday's game was sold out, marking the fourth Joyce Center capacity crowd of 11,418 fans for a women's basketball game in school history and first since Dec. 31, 2005 (62-51 loss to Tennessee) ... in addition, the Irish attracted their second crowd of 10,000-plus fans this season, the second time in the past eight seasons Notre Dame has had multiple five-digit home attendances in one year (two sellouts in 2000-01); for the season, Notre Dame is averaging 7,160 fans per game.