DePaul 59

(23-7, 10-4 C-USA)

Tennessee 79

(28-3, 14-0 SEC)

    9:00 PM ET, March 22, 2004

    Donald L. Tucker Center, Tallahassee, Florida

    1 2 T
    DEP 24 3559
    TENN 50 2979

    Top Performers

    DePaul: A. Luke 13 Pts, 1 Reb

    Tennessee: S. Zolman 18 Pts, 2 Reb

    Lady Vols cruise into 23rd straight Sweet 16

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Tennessee coach Pat Summitt has her team right where she wants it -- in the round of 16 for the 23rd straight year.

    The top-seeded Lady Vols dismantled ninth-seeded DePaul 79-59 in the second round of the Midwest Regional on Monday night.

    "I think we're back on track," Summitt said.

    Summitt, who already has six national titles at Tennessee, said the first half was the team's best 20 minutes of the season.

    "It started with our defense and our rebounding," she said.

    Shanna Zolman scored all of her 18 points in the first half for the Lady Vols, who were up by as many as 27 before halftime.

    "Shanna had the hot hand," Summitt said. "She knocked down the shots."

    Tennessee, which held its biggest lead at 73-41, next plays Baylor in Norman, Okla., on Sunday as it seeks its first national championship since 1998.

    "It's a great momentum builder to take into the next game," Zolman said.

    The Lady Vols (28-3) took command with a 10-3 start and DePaul was hurt by scoring leader Khara Smith's early foul trouble.

    Smith, who scored 23 points in an overtime loss to Tennessee three months ago, played just more than six minutes in the first half and was scoreless against Tennessee's taller inside players.

    "It's very difficult when she picks up two quick fouls," DePaul coach Doug Bruno said. "At that place and point, we needed to stop a better-shooting team and start using some clock."

    Bruno was disappointed with his team's showing.

    "I don't think we competed from the get-go," he said. "If you've played them before, you know this is what Tennessee does to people."

    Zolman started 7-for-10, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, while her taller teammates controlled the boards by nearly a 3-to-1 margin in the first half.

    "It was one of those nights when it seemed like throwing into an ocean," Zolman said.

    Zolman didn't score in the second half, but it hardly mattered. Five other Lady Vols scored in double figures.

    LaToya Davis and Shyra Ely each had 12, reserve Brittany Jackson scored 11, and Tasha Butts and Sidney Spencer had 10 apiece. Davis also had 10 rebounds and seven assists.

    Ashley Robinson's season-high 12 rebounds in the first half matched DePaul's total. She finished with a career-high 14 rebounds.

    The Blue Demons (23-7) had just three players score in the first half. Ashley Luke led with 13 points.

    Smith scored 13 in the second half, despite drawing her fourth foul with 14 minutes left. Charlene Smith also finished with 13 points for DePaul.

    Tennessee shot 52.5 percent during its dominating first half, while limiting DePaul to 25 percent.

    Summitt now has 82 NCAA tournament wins among her 849 career victories, second only to Dean Smith and Adolph Rupp among college basketball coaches.

    She remains perfect in first- and second-round games with a 34-0 record since the field was expanded to 64 teams. The Lady Vols played the early rounds outside of Knoxville, Tenn., for the first time.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 59 79
    FG Made-Attempted 19-63 (.302) 33-69 (.478)
    3P Made-Attempted 8-23 (.348) 10-18 (.556)
    FT Made-Attempted 13-16 (.813) 6-9 (.667)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 15 (0/0) 14 (0/0)

    Game Leaders

    PointsA. Luke 13S. Zolman 18
    ReboundsC. Smith 6A. Robinson 13


    » Mar 22, 2004 @TENN 79, DEP 59Recap | Box Score