Second-ranked Tennessee suffered its worst loss in more than 15 years, falling to No. 7 Georgia, 78-51, yesterday as the crowd at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., chanted, "Overrated! Overrated!" at the six-time national champion.
"I thought we quit," Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt said. "In my 26 years, not many of my teams have been noncompetitive."
Georgia's Deana Nolan equaled her career high with 25 points, and the Lady Bulldogs (17-2, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) turned up the pressure at the defensive end before a raucous crowd of 10,523, the third sellout in school history.
Tennessee (13-3, 3-1) shot only 32 percent and committed a season-high 28 turnovers in its worst SEC defeat.
Georgia had lost five in a row to the Lady Vols by a margin of almost 30 points per game.
But the Lady Bulldogs pulled away from a 31-30 halftime lead with a strong second half, shooting 65 percent (17 of 26).
The Lady Vols turned over the ball on their first four possessions of the second half and Georgia capitalized. Gwen Jackson finally scored Tennessee's first basket of the half with 14 minutes 51 seconds remaining, but the Lady Bulldogs had pushed their lead to 43-33.
Tennessee got within 46-37 on a layup by Michelle Snow, but Camille Murphy banked in a three-pointer and the Lady Bulldogs were never threatened again.
It was the worst defeat for the Lady Vols since Dec. 11, 1984, when they lost, 91-60, to Texas.
VIRGINIA 80, N.C. STATE 73: Renee Robinson scored 19 points, including four free throws down the stretch, and Svetlana Volnaya added 18 to help the visiting Cavaliers beat the No. 6 Wolfpack.
Telisha Quarles scored a career-high 21 points to lead Virginia (13-4, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), which extended its winning streak to nine.
Summer Erb had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Kaayla Chones scored 18 points for N.C State (14-2, 5-2), which lost its second in a row.
"I just knew we were going to win this game when we walked on the floor, and it's not disrespect to their team. But I just felt it when we walked in," Robinson said.
With their lead down to four, the Cavaliers pushed it to 77-68 on Volnaya's three-pointer and two free throws by Robinson with 1:29 left.
U-CONN. 65, RUTGERS 50: In Hartford, Conn., Svetlana Abrosimova scored 20 points and Swin Cash had 10 rebounds as the No. 1 Huskies (15-0, 5-0 Big East) erased a nine-point deficit to win their seventh game over a ranked team. Rutgers is 11-4, 4-1.
NORFOLK ST. 71, HOWARD 68: The Spartans moved into a first-place tie with the Bison atop the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference with an overtime win in Norfolk. Howard fell to 7-8, 5-1, while Norfolk State improved to 10-5, 5-1.
MICHIGAN 86, ILLINOIS 69: In Champaign, Ill., Alayne Ingram scored 19 points and Raina Goodlow added 17 as the Wolverines (12-4, 4-1 Big Ten) upset the No. 13 Illini (14-6, 4-2).
MISS. ST. 86, S. CAROLINA 73: Freshman LaToya Thomas scored 23 points as the No. 22 Bulldogs (13-2, 2-2 SEC) extended their school-record home winning streak to 15 games. Shaunzinski Gortman led South Carolina (10-6, 0-3) with 22 points.