Dec. 30, 2006
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Candace Parker had 22 points and 10 rebounds and Shannon Bobbitt had a season-high 17 points to lead No. 4 Tennessee to a 78-54 victory over Notre Dame on Saturday.
Sidney Spencer added 17 points for the Lady Vols, playing the final non-conference game before their Southeastern Conference opener at home against Alabama on Wednesday.
Notre Dame (9-4), led by Charel Allen with 16 points, fell to 0-18 in the series with Tennessee.
Bobbitt was 5-of-7 from 3-point range. The Lady Vols had 12 blocks, including five by Parker.
Tennessee (12-1) led the entire first half but never by more than eight points. Alexis Hornbuckle hit a 15-footer in transition with 4:11 left to give the Lady Vols a 27-19 lead, but Notre Dame finished the half with an 8-2 run, closing to within 29-27.
The Lady Vols shot just 34.5 percent from the field in the first half and Notre Dame shot 46.2 percent. Tennessee had 11 points off turnovers in the first half.
The Lady Vols opened the second half with an 11-2 run, taking a 40-29 lead on Spencer's two free throws with 16:25 left.
Bobbitt, who hit four 3-pointers in the first 10 minutes of the second half, scored eight straight points in a span of 26 seconds to extend the lead to 26 points. She hit a 3-pointer with 10:38 left, made two foul shots after being intentionally fouled by Tulyah Gaines on a drive, and hit another 3-pointer with 10:12 to play for a 64-38 lead with 10:12 left.
That came during a 22-2 run by the Lady Vols, who rolled to the victory in the last 10 minutes. The Fighting Irish finished with 29 turnovers and the Lady Vols with 15.
POST GAME NOTES: The Irish are 1-1 against ranked opponents this season (d. #10/9 Purdue, 67-58 on Dec. 6), although they also downed current #25/21 Bowling Green, 85-81 in overtime on Nov. 13 (before the Falcons moved into the Top 25 of both polls) ... Notre Dame held Tennessee to both its second-closest halftime margin of the season and its second-lowest field goal percentage of the year; the Lady Vols trailed 40-25 at the break at No. 2 North Carolina on Dec. 3 and wound up shooting a season-low .362 in that game ... the Irish have dropped their last two games in Knoxville by the exact same 24-point margin (83-59 in 2003) ... Notre Dame isn't alone among talented teams who lost to UT by 20+ points this year -- #20/21 UCLA (83-60), Middle Tennessee (88-64), #21/19 George Washington (85-62) and #23/24 Texas (67-46) also fell to the Lady Vols ... Notre Dame lost for only the second time this season when outrebounding its opponent (6-2 record) and second time when its bench outscores the opposition (now 9-2) ... the Irish lost for the first time all season when outshooting their opponent (now 6-1) ... Notre Dame has limited four of its last five opponents to less than 40 percent shooting, including top-10 opponents Purdue (.390) and Tennessee (.381) ... the Irish posted season lows with six free throws made on nine attempts ... Notre Dame finishes with at least nine regular-season non-conference wins for the third consecutive year.