Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Tennessee Back on the Rocky Top [J. Mark English]

Once there was a girl on rocky top, half bear the other half cat. Wild as a mink, and sweet as soda pop, I still dream about that.

Rocky top, youll always be, home sweet home to me. Good ole rocky top, rocky top tennessee, rocky top tennessee.

Well Pat Summit and the Lady Vols are in a familiar place...on top of the world of the female college basketball world. This blog has neglected to cover much of what has been going on in the lady's tournament, but that should not diminish the excite that the tournament provided.

Marist, a local school from the New York area put in a serious bid to be a Cinderella team this year. The other great local team was Rutgers University. The Lady Scarlet Knights were yet another great success story coming out of New Jersey. As the Athletic department of Rutgers prepares to shut down six of its sport programs, perhaps it should see the success they are having with their football and lady's basketball team.

As for a recap of the game tonight, here is Nancy Lieberman of ESPN:

Tennessee clinched its seventh national title (and first since 1998) by doing what the Lady Vols have always emphasized -- rebounding. By halftime, the Lady Vols had as many offensive rebounds (12) as Rutgers' total boards. By the final whistle, Tennessee outrebounded Rutgers 42-34. The Scarlet Knights just couldn't keep the Lady Vols off the offensive glass -- they had 24 offensive boards!! -- and that led to 22 second-chance points for Tennessee.

We said all along that Tennessee's outside shooters needed to hit their open looks, and junior Shannon Bobbitt delivered. Tennessee led 29-18 at halftime, and every time Rutgers started to trim away at the lead in the second, Bobbitt nailed a huge 3-pointer. The junior-college transfer finished 4-of-9 from downtown (including three in the second half) for 13 points. She just had a huge game. Bobbitt did a tremendous job running Tennessee's offense and nailed the back-breaking shots.

Candace Parker (17 points, seven rebounds) played very solid for the second game in Cleveland. She was willing to become the decoy and give up the ball. Parker only officially got credited with three assists, but she unselfishly kept the ball moving and passed the ball at the correct time.

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