Originally created 01/18/00

Lady Bulldogs stick it to No. 2 Tennessee



ATHENS, Ga. -- Andy Landers sat at a table and acted like it was no big deal. You play defense, you win.

Through 25 years of coaching, that has been his simple philosophy, but rarely has it been carried out as well as No. 7 Georgia did against No. 2 Tennessee on Monday.

The Lady Bulldogs, playing their most complete game in years, stunned the listless Lady Vols 78-51 before a capacity crowd of 10,523 at Stegeman Coliseum and a national television audience.

Georgia (17-2, 3-1 SEC) held a still powerful but recently struggling Tennessee team to its second-lowest point total ever, a 32.3 percent shooting day and a 29-turnover nightmare that had coach Pat Summitt furious by the end of the afternoon.

"We just didn't compete," she said. "I have a real hard time sitting there watching non-competitive people go up and down the floor in orange."

Even worse for Tennessee (13-3, 3-1), Summitt spent more time Monday watching her players chase Georgia's Deana Nolan up and down the floor than anything else.

The Lady Bulldogs' most athletic player, already their leading scorer in three previous SEC games, put on a clinic on both ends of the court by carrying most of the load for Georgia offensively and blanketing Tennessee's Semeka Randall on the opposite end.

Nolan finished with 25 points on 9-of-14 shooting, adding eight rebounds, five assists, two blocked shots and two steals. She held the explosive Randall to five points on 1-of-6 shooting and just two rebounds in 32 minutes. Nolan's effort was such that it was stunning to look at the postgame statistics and see seven turnovers listed after her name. It didn't appear that anyone remembered those miscues.

"She's a great player. She's been a great player the last couple of times that we've played her," said Tennessee All-American Tamika Catchings, who led the Lady Vols with 13 points. "She came out and really sparked this Georgia team tonight. She came out right off the bat, and she kept coming at us, kept coming at us. She was awesome on the boards. We just didn't have anybody that could step up and stop her."

"We did a beautiful job defensively," Landers said. "When you do that and you go down and you get ahead one, there's no pressure because you're constantly going back and stopping them. So there was never any pressure on our offense. ... The kids did a great job."

As the clock wound down with under seven minutes remaining, Georgia's lead had topped 20, Lady Vol center Michelle Snow was done for the day after spraining her right ankle and the game was essentially over.

"About the six-minute mark, they really seemed very unsure, very dejected and really non-competitive at that point," Summitt said of her team. "They kind of had the glazed look in their eyes."

Certainly, Tennessee looked nothing like the team that has tormented the Lady Bulldogs in recent years.

That didn't stop Georgia from celebrating after its victory, playing to the crowd and hugging in front of its bench, but even after such an important win, there was room for perspective.

"I don't think we made a statement," said McDonald, who had 11 points and seven rebounds in the second half. "I think we just said we can play hard for 40 minutes and we can compete with anybody in the nation on any given day."