Thompson leads No. 15 Stanford women past No. 14 Tennessee
STANFORD, Calif. (AP) Erica McCall played for Tennessee coach Holly Warlick during the summer and left an impression. She did it again Wednesday night.
''She's a special kid,'' Warlick said. ''She goes all out. She plays with a desire. She's hungry.''
Lili Thompson scored 19 points, including seven during a crucial stretch, McCall had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and No. 15 Stanford held off a fierce rally to beat No. 14 Tennessee 69-55 Wednesday night.
Kaylee Johnson added 10 points for the Cardinal (7-2), who have beaten the Lady Vols five straight times at home.
''Any time you beat Tennessee, it's a great night,'' Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. ''We had to battle. It's a huge win.''
Diamond DeShields and Jaime Nared, who made her season debut after recovering from a broken hand, each scored 12 for the Lady Vols (7-3), who have lost three of their last five. Bashaara Graves had 10.
The Cardinal limited the Lady Vols to the second-lowest point total in the series
''Offensively we couldn't shoot the ball,'' Warlick said. ''We got away from our game plan and that was disruptive. Nine points in a quarter is . . . it's just ridiculous.''
The Lady Vols, who trailed by as many as 21, began to whittle away at the lead, climbing to within 54-47 on a 3-pointer and a layup off an ensuing steal from Jaime Nared with 5:37 remaining to play in the contest.
Stanford used an 11-4 run - including a layup, a jumper and a 3 by Thompson - over the next four minutes to seal it.
It was the first time in the 33-game series between the schools that neither team was ranked in the top 10.
Stanford missed its first three shots and committed three turnovers to start the fourth quarter, giving the Lady Vols an opening.
''We laid it all out there and played like we should have all four quarters,'' Warlick said. ''To say we need a sense of urgency is an understatement.''
Graves scored the first seven points of the final period before Nared hit consecutive 3-pointers.
''The whole time Kaylee Johnson kept reminding us that Tennessee can come back,'' McCall said. ''We lost to Texas but we learned a lot. It was great coming home and getting the win. We're tasting candy now.''
Alanna Smith hit a layup with 2:05 left in the third quarter to give the Cardinal their largest lead at 46-35.
DeShields scored eight of Tennessee's 11 points in the first quarter on 4-of-9 shooting. The Lady Vols shot 29 percent for the period.
The Lady Vols missed their last six shots of the second quarter, allowing Stanford to take a 35-20 advantage into the intermission.
Tennessee's Diamond DeShields played a pair of NCAA regional games at Stanford in her freshman year at North Carolina, scoring 19 points in a Sweet Sixteen victory over South Carolina and 13 in the Tar Heels Elite Eight loss to Stanford. ... Tennessee's Jordan Reynolds and Stanford's Kailee Johnson were teammates at Central Catholic in Portland, Ore., winning the 2013 Class A state championship.
The Stanford football team attended the game and was introduced to the crowd at halftime. The Pac-12 championship trophy was also on display. Cardinal players heckled DeShields for an early first-quarter airball and when DeShields sank another shot, she turned to them and gave them a `bring it on' wave. ''I was excited the football team was here,'' VanDerveer said. ''They bring great energy to the gym.''
Tennessee travels to Corvallis to take on No. 7 Oregon State on Saturday.
Stanford hosts Cornell on Saturday.