NEW YORK (AP) — Holly Warlick and the Tennessee Lady Vols have been searching for a signature non-conference win against a top five teams for the past few years.
They got one Sunday in front of some of the best players in school history. The 11th-ranked Lady Vols (10-0) remained unbeaten after a 82-75 victory over No. 2 Texas. The win came in front of a crowd that included members of the Lady Vols’ 1987, 1997 and 2007 national championship teams, who were honored at a halftime ceremony.
“We talk to our kids a lot about tradition and ‘Lady Vols For Life,’” Warlick said. “We take that really, really seriously. A lot of programs are the same, but I think what separates Tennessee is our alumni and the love they have for this program. The former Lady Vols take a lot of things personal. They’re competitive. But they’ve been nothing but positive with this group. I was excited they could be here to watch a big win for us.”
While Tennessee is trying to re-establish itself among women’s college basketball’s elite teams, the current standard-bearer UConn just keeps rolling along. The No. 1 Huskies routed DePaul in their only game this week, cracking the 100-point barrier for the first time this season.
The victory was the 999th of coach Geno Auriemma’s career, leaving him one short of becoming the third women’s basketball coach to reach the 1,000-win mark. He could get that on Dec. 19 against Oklahoma. That same night North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell could get her 1,000th victory against Grambling State.
Other happenings around college basketball:
STRONG STARTS: Villanova is off to its best start since the 1979-80 season, winning its first nine games. The Wildcats held off Temple down the stretch on Sunday, winning 69-65 to equal the squad’s mark from 38 years ago.
100 AND COUNTING: Rutgers crossed the 100-point mark for the first time since the 2014 season and third time under Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer on Sunday in a 101-35 win over Fairleigh Dickinson. It was the Scarlet Knights’ fifth straight win and largest margin of victory since a 75-point victory over Duquesne on Jan. 9, 1988.
POLL WATCH: It was a rough week for No. 20 Kentucky, which lost to both Florida Gulf Coast and Miami. The Wildcats are in danger of falling out of the poll this week.
BONUS BASKETBALL: For the second time in three games Drake lost a game in overtime. The Bulldogs fell to Creighton on Dec. 3 in four overtimes. Drake then lost on Saturday to Nebraska, 89-84, in two OTs. Sandwiched between those games was a 77-point win over Iowa Wesleyan.
SUSPENDED: St. Norbert College said its women’s basketball team won’t play the next 10 games because of an alcohol-related incident involving some players.
School leaders say the college began an investigation after learning about the incident approximately three weeks ago. The decision to suspend the players involved was made by the school and its judicial board and not by the league office. Officials say the school was unable to field a team because too many players were involved.
The Green Knights will also be ineligible for the Midwest Conference tournament and the regular-season championship. The team’s first game back will be at Cornell on Jan. 27.
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