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NCAA Women’s Tournament Notebook

No stopping Parker

Marist’s surprising run through the NCAA tournament couldn’t get past Candace Parker and Tennessee.

Red Foxes coach Brian Giorgis had hoped to contain Parker and make the other Lady Vols beat them. The strategy was similar to the one Marist employed against Ohio State star Jessica Davenport in a first-round upset of the Buckeyes.

On Sunday, Parker was 7-for-7 in the first half, scoring 14 points in 14 minutes and Tennessee jumped out to a 42-21 halftime lead. Even though Parker finished with 16 points, Marist was never able to get back into it and lost 65-46.

“It’s funny, because so many people kept asking me, ‘How do you stop Candace Parker?’ It’s a great question, which I think every coach gets,” Giorgis said. “My woes were what could we do against their defense?”

The answer was not much.

“They took us out of what we like to do,” Giorgis said. “We don’t have the biggest or strongest team in the world, but we have a lot of heart and we don’t quit.”

Despite the loss, the Red Foxes were pleased with what they had accomplished.

“For Tennessee, it’s an expectation,” Giorgis said. “But for us, it’s the greatest moment in our athletic lives. I think we represented the mid-majors very well.”

SEC dominance

With Tennessee, Mississippi and LSU advancing to the regional finals, the Southeastern Conference is leaving its mark in the NCAA tournament. It’s the third time in the past six years three SEC schools have reached the regional finals.

The last came in 2004 when Tennessee, Georgia, and LSU were among the final eight teams.

The conference had a chance at gaining a fourth team, but Georgia lost to Purdue.

Ole Miss and Tennessee meet in the Dayton regional championship.

The Lady Vols have won 10 straight NCAA tournament games against SEC opponents, last losing to Ole Miss in 1985.

Tennessee beat Ole Miss earlier in the season 81-69 on Feb. 15, but Armintie Price was plagued by foul trouble and only played 25 minutes. She scored nine of her 13 points in the second half.

Candace Parker led Tennessee with 25 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Price is right

Armintie Price became the second player in NCAA history to score 2,000 points, grab 1,000 rebounds, dish out 400 assists and have 400 steals in her career. Price joined Cheryl Miller, who accomplished the feat while playing for Southern California.

“It’s my last year and I’m trying to do all I can,” said Price, who scored a school tournament-record 31 points. “We just had to keep our heads up.”

Price will try to beat Tennessee for the first time in her career.

The Associated Press

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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