Stricklen leads No. 6 Tennessee women over Rutgers
|women's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
|Tennessee 67, Rutgers 61
|LSU 58, UCLA 41
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- Shekinna Stricklen scored 22 points and sixth-ranked Tennessee used a late run to beat No. 11 Rutgers 67-61 on Tuesday night.
The game featured two Hall of Fame coaches with Pat Summitt and C. Vivian Stringer of Rutgers. The long-time friends and have combined for nearly 1,950 victories during their illustrious careers. They stand first and third on the women's basketball all-time victory list.
Trailing 54-51 with 8:33 left, Tennessee (6-2) scored 13 straight points, holding Rutgers without a point for nearly 8 minutes. Vicki Baugh started the burst with a layup and Meighan Simmons hit consecutive 3-pointers to give the Lady Vols a 61-54 lead. Taber Spani hit another 3 with 1:52 left to seal the victory.
April Sykes scored a season-high 27 points to lead Rutgers (9-2), which was looking for its first win over Tennessee since 2004.
Stringer hasn't had much success against Summitt in her career, winning only twice in 17 meetings, including losing the last eight games. There have been some memorable games lately in this series, starting with the NCAA title game in 2007 which Tennessee won. The teams met the next year in Knoxville and the game ended in controversy with a last-second clock issue.
The last time the teams played at Rutgers, in 2009, the Scarlet Knights blew a 20-point halftime lead.
"It's been intense," Summitt said of the rivalry after her team's practice Saturday. "Both teams are going to be very focused."
Summitt received a warm standing ovation from the crowd before the game and shared a long embrace with Stringer. Rutgers players wore warmup shirts that said "We Back Pat" in honor of Summitt's battle with Alzeheimer's. The school also presented Tennessee with a collage of Stringer's favorite photos with Summitt and a commemorative jersey at the half.
The Lady Vols got off to a quick start behind Stricklen. The senior preseason All-America had 10 straight points for Tennessee during one stretch. Her jumper with 5:48 left in the half gave the Lady Vols a 33-20 lead. That would be their last points before the half as Rutgers turned up its defensive pressure, scoring the final eight points before the break, including four by Sykes.
Rutgers continued the run to start the second half scoring 11 of the first 14 points. Sykes' layup 2 minutes in gave Rutgers its first lead of the game at 37-36. Khadijah Rushdan's basket moments later capped the 19-3 burst.
Neither team could pull away. Rutgers built a 54-51 lead on consecutive scores by Rushdan and a layup by Sykes with 8:33 left. That would be the Scarlet Knights' final points until Sykes hit a 3-pointer with 35.9 seconds left that made it 64-57. Rutgers would get within four on Monique's Oliver's lay-in with 12.6 seconds left.
Rushdan finished with 16 points. Spani and Simmons each had 13 points for Tennessee.
The Lady Vols are in the midst of a four-game trip. They beat No. 20 DePaul on Sunday in the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden. After a brief stop back in Knoxville, Tennessee will head to California to play UCLA and No. 4 Stanford. The Lady Vols won't play at home again until facing Old Dominion on Dec. 28.
Tennessee was missing freshman point guard Ariel Massengale, who is sidelined with a dislocated finger on her left hand that she injured while diving for a loose ball at the end of practice on Thursday. She sat on the sideline in a sling and most likely won't play on the California trip.
LSU Women's Basketball Continues Pac-12 Dominance, Defeats UCLA, 58-41
BATON ROUGE, La. – Wade Trophy watch list candidate LaSondra Barrett poured in a season-high 18 points and the LSU women’s basketball team held UCLA to 31.5 percent shooting as the Lady Tigers rolled past the Bruins for a big non-conference win, 58-41, on Tuesday night in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
LSU (5-3) defeated a Pac-12 opponent for the seventh straight time dating back to 2004. The last time the Lady Tigers lost to a Pac-12 foe was at Oregon on Nov. 16, 2003. The streak includes now two victories over UCLA as LSU defeated the Bruins last season in Los Angeles.
UCLA (5-3), playing for the first time since Dec. 4 and taking on its former coach in Nikki Caldwell, saw a three-game winning streak come to an end and lost its third straight to LSU. The Bruins became the latest LSU opponent in the Maravich Center to suffer from offensive woes. The Lady Tigers have held all five of its home opponents to under 45 points.
“I’m proud of this group for maintaining their composure, and I’m proud of this group for relying on their defense and our board play to win this game,” said Caldwell. “We stress a lot on the defensive end. We really have been working on keeping people out of rhythm and making sure we’re doing what we need to do to disrupt them.”
Barrett turned in her best game of the season, finishing 7-of-13 of the floor and grabbing a game-high eight rebounds with five assists. With LSU leading by three in the final two minutes of the first half, Barrett ignited a 7-0 run to close the period, including five straight points in the final 46 seconds.
Jeanne Kenney had a lay-up and Kenney found Barrett for a lay-up of her own. Barrett put the finishing touches on the first half when she nailed a three-pointer from the top of the key with three seconds left that lifted the lead to double-digits. LSU led 30-20 into the locker room.
Junior guard Adrienne Webb added 13 points – her fourth double-digit game in the past five contests – and she knocked down three treys. Webb became the eighth player in school history to make at least 100 threes in a career. Her three tonight put her at 102, which ranks eighth in LSU annals. Sophomore guard Jeanne Kenney tied a career-high with five steals and added seven points.
UCLA was led in scoring by Markel Walker who finished with 11 points. Walker was playing in her first game of the season after sustaining an injury earlier in the year.
“With the addition of Markel Walker back on the team, I thought she had a good night against us if you take away her turnovers,” said Caldwell, who spent three seasons as the Bruins head coach. “UCLA is always going to be dear to me. The administration there gave me my first head coaching job, and there are some great people at UCLA. It’s helped mold me into the coach that I am today. We want nothing but the best for not only their current players, but their former players as well.”
The Bruins shot 42.1 percent in the first half, but LSU played inspired defense in the second half, holding UCLA to 25.7 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes. Once again, Barrett was the catalyst scoring seven points in the first nine minutes highlighted by a jumper on a called foul with 12:02 left in the game. She made the free throw and added another lay-up that pushed the lead to 43-30 with 10:58 remaining in the contest.
Webb then scored LSU’s next seven points with a three from the wing and a fast break lay-up. UCLA went six minutes without a field goal starting at the 10:40 mark before Rebekah Gardner broke the drought at the 4:14 mark. By then, LSU was in full control and Caldwell emptied her bench in the final four minutes.
For the second straight game, the Lady Tigers shot a consistent 49.0 percent from the floor and overcame turnover difficulties for the win. LSU dominated the boards, 37-28, and the Lady Tigers outscored the Bruins in the paint, 36-20.
The Lady Tigers will hit the road for a non-conference game at McNeese State at 6 p.m. CT Friday. It will be LSU’s first trip to Burton Coliseum since Feb. 18, 1991.