Tennessee beats longtime foe Old Dominion 102-62

By BETH RUCKER

AP Sports Writer

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Already leading

Tennessee in scoring, Angie Bjorklund still heeded coach Pat Summitt’s

suggestion that the Lady Vols spend some extra time in the gym shooting

this week.

It certainly didn’t hurt. Bjorklund,

who entered the game averaging 14.9 points, scored all but three of her

19 points in the first half as No. 4 Tennessee beat Old Dominion 102-62

on Wednesday night.

“If you said what player you think

has worked the hardest to get where they are right now it’s Angie

Bjorklund,” Summitt said. “I think other players are recognizing what

she can do on the floor.”

Bjorklund, who scored a career-high

29 points a season ago at Old Dominion, hit an early 3, a fastbreak

layup and a fadeaway jumper as the Lady Vols (11-1) scored the first 11

points of the game. She hit one final 3-pointer for the first basket of

the second half, earning some rest time for much of the second half.

With 70.3 percent shooting, Tennessee led 57-31 at halftime. Old Dominion (2-8) hit just 33.3 percent of its first-half shots.

“I asked Pat for the fire

extinguisher at halftime,” Lady Monarchs coach Wendy Larry joked. “I

think Angie Bjorklund has distinguished herself as one of the best

there is. She certainly put on a clinic in the 20 minutes she played.”

As the Lady Vols’ veteran,

Bjorklund’s hard work has also lit a fire beneath many of her

teammates, Summitt said. All players put in some extra time in the gym

after shooting just 32.8 percent in a 67-52 loss at No. 2 Stanford on

Dec. 19.

Glory Johnson recorded her eighth

career double-double, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for

Tennessee. Alyssia Brewer scored 16 points, and Briana Bass and Kamiko

Williams both added 11.

“Just an extra 200 to 300 shots before or after practice really helps,” Bjorklund said. “It helps mentally too.”

Jasmine Parker led the Lady Monarchs

with 13, and Tia Lewis scored 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Shadasia Green added 12 points.

Tennessee got a scare when two-time

Southeastern Conference player of the week Shekinna Stricklen awkwardly

landed on the floor after grabbing a rebound and left the court

clutching her right knee. Initial tests showed her injury was not

serious and she will be day-to-day as the Lady Vols prepare to face No.

14 Oklahoma on Sunday.

It was the 43rd meeting between the

traditional women’s basketball powerhouses, but the Lady Vols have won

14 straight and hold a 34-9 lead over the Lady Monarchs dating back to

1977.

Old Dominion has had a tough

nonconference road, facing teams such as Stanford, Maryland, North

Carolina State, Syracuse and Louisville before making the trip to

Knoxville.

The Lady Monarchs open Colonial

Athletic Association play Sunday at Delaware and they hope that the

especially tough schedule helps them cruise to an 18th conference

championship in 19 seasons.

“I haven’t played in the CAA, I’ve

only watched it. From what I’ve seen it’s aggressive but not as

aggressive as the teams we’ve played,” Lewis said.

Summitt, in her 36th season and

Larry, in her 26th season, have developed a strong friendship over

their history of playing each other. Larry attended a celebration in

Knoxville in May honoring Summitt and her 1,000 career wins wearing an

orange blouse and carrying and orange purse.

“Took them back,” Larry said. “I left the tags on.”

Updated December 30, 2009