Lady Vols Breeze By USC

It took about eight minutes of action for the Lady Vols to knock off the rust from 10 days of inaction but once they did, they made short work of Southern Cal.

Coming off a 10-day break for mid-term exams, Tennessee (7-1) was slow to get started Saturday afternoon at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles, and trailed 11-6 at the 12:40 mark. However, the Lady Vols responded with a 16-1 run and never looked back, as they raced to an impressive 71-39 victory.

Shyra Ely and Kara Lawson paced the 32-point triumph with 16 each while UT's leading scorer, Gwen Jackson, only tallied two points. The Lady Vols forced 32 turnovers in the game and scored nearly half of their points (33) off of USC turnovers.

Southern Cal (4-4) hit just 16-of-56 shots (28 percent) in the contest and trailed 28-14 at the half. Tennessee connected on 31-of-64 from the field (48 percent) and led by as many as 37 points.

After holding the Lady Trojans to three points and only one field goal over the last 12:40 of the first half — good for a 22-3 run — Tennessee opened the second stanza with a 14-4 run to outscore USC 36-7 over a 16:41 span of play.

One of the few negatives on the day for Tennessee was the 28 turnovers it committed, but the Lady Vols were able to offset their miscues with quick transition into defense and limited USC to only 13 points on turnover opportunities.

Tennessee also held a decisive 42-28 advantage on the boards. The Lady Vols were most impressive on defense, as they held an opponent to under 40 points for the second consecutive game. Tennessee held Louisiana Tech to only 34 points before the break en route to a 60-34 decision, administering the worst home loss in La Tech's storied basketball history.

Against USC, Ashley Robinson scored eight points for Tennessee, while Shanna Zolman and Courtney McDaniel each had seven. Loree Moore added six points and was very active on defense. She was also effective directing the half-court offense and igniting the transition game.

Tennessee, which took an 8-7 lead in the series against USC, will return home on Monday in order to meet with UCLA coaching legend John Wooden on Sunday. Wooden, known as the Wizard of Westwood, won 11 national titles while directing the Bruins basketball program.

UT will take on Stanford Wednesday (Dec. 18) at Thompson-Boling Arena.

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