Sixth-ranked Louisiana Tech ended No. 2 Tennessee's 41-game home winning streak yesterday as Tamicha Jackson scored 21 points and Betty Lennox had 20 in a 69-64 victory in the Women's Tip-Off Classic.
For the Lady Vols, it was their first home-court loss since a 1996 defeat against Stanford. For the Lady Techsters, whose record against the Lady Vols is 17-15, including a loss in the 1998 NCAA title game, it was their first victory over Tennessee since the 1996-97 season.
"I told them with four minutes left, it is not a coaches' game anymore," Tech Coach Leon Barmore said. "You have to keep your composure, take care of the ball and make free throws.
"Our composure at the end was the biggest thing," he said.
The Lady Techsters hung on after Tennessee rallied from 18 points down in the second half to tie it at 58 with 5 minutes 13 seconds to play on a putback by Michelle Snow. But Jackson and Lennox kept their team in it and ended up hitting three crucial free throws and two field goals down the stretch to preserve the victory.
"They have a strong 1-2 punch in the back court," Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt said.
N.C. STATE 68, RUTGERS 55: Tynesha Lewis scored 17 points, leading the 20th-ranked Wolfpack past the fourth-ranked Scarlet Knights, also in the Women's Tip-Off Classic.
Freshmen Terah James added 15 points and Kaayla Chones had 10 for the Wolfpack, which took the lead in the second minute of the game and never trailed.
The Scarlet Knights, paced by Shawnetta Stewart with 16 points, shot 35 percent to N.C. State's 50 percent.