What if Lady Vols meet UConn?

Although her team lost to Tennessee by 24 points Monday night -- mere weeks after beating UConn -- Villanova guard Katie Davis hedged when asked to compare the Huskies and Lady Vols.

''They're both very skilled teams, very athletic, very quick,'' she said. ''Basically, they know what they're doing. When we matched up against them, they were just more athletic and more skilled.''

Of course, Tennessee must beat Duke Sunday night in the Final Four semifinals and UConn still must win two games to set up a Lady Vol-Huskies matchup.

Villanova Coach Harry Perretta also declined to favor UT over UConn but admitted that the Lady Vols put on a dazzling show in Monday's 73-49 drubbing of his team.

''I was very impressed,'' he said. ''They remind me a little bit of Connecticut last year (when the Huskies went 39-0) in the second half. We couldn't generate a shot against them. They were passing the ball extremely quickly. Their experience showed up the second half, also. I was extremely impressed with them.''

Asked about the 23-3 blitz UT used to open the second half, Perretta said his team was ''overwhelmed'' by the Lady Vols' athleticism.

''When someone's guarding you that's bigger, faster and stronger than you, you miss people that are open because you're having so much trouble just holding on to the ball,'' he added.

Although he insisted that Tennessee and the Huskies are ''very similar,'' Perretta hinted that the Lady Vols' Monday night performance would be good enough to beat UConn.

''They (Lady Vols) are passing the ball extremely well,'' he said. ''Another thing I like is that they only turned the ball over five times. If they do that, then they're going to be very difficult to beat.''

That's especially true if senior Gwen Jackson plays as well as she did in the Mideast Regional. Jackson put up 24 points and 14 rebounds against Penn State, then came back with 20 points and 3 rebounds vs. Villanova.

''She's extremely mobile for her position,'' Perretta said. ''She can step outside and shoot 3s, she can post you up. She can handle (the ball). Her versatility is what impresses me most.''


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