Jan. 10, 2008
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee coach Pat Summitt told the Lady Vols she wanted them to play more aggressively. Nicky Anosike was listening.
Anosike scored a career-high 20 points and second-ranked Tennessee physically dominated No. 22 Auburn in an 85-52 win Thursday night.
"I thought she just set the tone really at both ends of the floor," Summitt said. "It was really good to see her be much more aggressive offensively without any hesitation."
Anosike and Candace Parker dominated the paint and the boards, both achieving double-doubles as Parker scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Anosike pulled in 12 for the Lady Vols (13-1).
The Southeastern Conference's second-leading scorer, DeWanna Bonner, finished with 19 points for Auburn (12-4), but even the 6-foot-4 forward was no match for the Lady Vols' size in the SEC opener for both teams.
The Lady Vols finished with 34 points in the paint, 33 points off turnovers and 22 second-chance points. They also came away with 12 blocks and 15 steals - five from Anosike.
"I guess I just came out and wanted to work hard and play hard. And I did," Anosike said.
The Tigers have lost three straight games, and their 52 points were the fewest of the season.
"I tell you that was a long 40-minute game," Auburn coach Nell Fortner said. "Tennessee's overall size ... it's just hard to get around that, it's hard to pass through that."
Tennessee didn't score in the first 2 minutes, and Auburn jumped out to a 6-0 lead.
But Bonner fouled Anosike as she was taking a shot, and the 6-foot-4 center made both free throws. That kicked off a 19-0 run that ended on a jumper by Angie Bjorklund to put the Lady Vols up 19-6 with 11:18 before halftime.
The Lady Vols opened the second half on a 10-0 run and slowly built their lead to 37 points - their largest of the season - with 5:51 left in the game off a 3-pointer by Bjorklund that put Tennessee up 79-42.
The Tigers didn't score in the second half until 15:34 left in the game, and shot only 24.2 percent in the half.
"To come in with a freshman point guard who's only started three games ... it's tough," Fortner said. "I think she's going to be a really good little point guard, but we have some adjusting to do."