Originally created 02/22/99

LSU upsets Tennessee women



BATON ROUGE, La. -- Katrina Hibbert joked she only got a couple of inches off the floor for the key play Sunday. That was plenty to lift LSU to new heights.

Hibbert made a three-point play with 11.7 seconds left and No. 23 LSU upset No. 1 Tennessee 72-69, ending the Lady Vols' 31-game winning streak in the Southeastern Conference.

"I can't tell you what a win like this does to your confidence," Hibbert said. "We're really flying."

Hibbert, who scored 18 points, put LSU ahead 70-69 in the closing seconds. Marie Ferdinand, who had 16 points, added two foul shots for the final margin.

LSU (20-6, 10-4) held on to beat a No. 1 team for the first time in school history. The Lady Vols had not lost a conference game since Auburn beat them in the 1997 SEC tournament.

"There's a valuable lesson to be learned by our basketball team," Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt said. "The game is 40 minutes long. When you go on the road, you have to play great defense. You have to avoid quick-shooting the ball and you have to play as a team. We didn't do that and I hope we learn from it."

Tennessee (25-2, 13-1) trailed by 14 points in the first half before rallying behind Chamique Holdsclaw. After managing only two points in the first 20 minutes, the SEC scoring leader warmed up to finish with 17.

Holdsclaw scored nine points in the final 6:34. Her jumper with 26 seconds left gave the Lady Vols a 69-67 lead.

"Obviously, Chamique wasn't Chamique for us today," Summitt said.

Holdsclaw was not allowed to talk to reporters.

With the loss, Holdsclaw closed out her college career having won in every SEC arena except LSU's. The Tigers upset Tennessee 83-78 in Baton Rouge in 1997.

"I don't know how much pressure this team feels," Summitt said. "They just want to win a championship. It sure didn't look like it today, but this isn't March."

Tennessee is looking for its fourth consecutive NCAA championship.

LSU did not make a basket for the first 6:58 of the second half as Tennessee closed to 49-40. Down 60-48, the Lady Vols took their first lead of the game at 67-66 on Semeka Randall's three-point play with 1:09 left.

"You play the No. 1 team in the country, you don't expect them to fold up and go home in the second half," LSU coach Sue Gunter said. "But I told our kids that we had to fight back and match Tennessee's aggressiveness. I think that was the key, we were as aggressive as they were."

Latasha Dorsey scored 11 points for LSU and Kisha James had 10. The Tigers hit all six of their foul shots in the first half, but made only 6-of-11 in the second half.

Randall scored 18 points for Tennessee and Tamika Catchings had 16.

LSU led 44-33 at halftime despite being outrebounded 23-12 by the taller, more athletic Lady Vols.

"With about 10 minutes to go, I thought no way my legs could make it," Hibbert said. "We were all tired. You have to play so hard against Tennessee it really wears you down."