Ten years and four days after their last home win in the series, before a throng of cussing senior citizens and beneath a gargantuan disco ball that no one in Athens seems to regard askance, the Lady Dawgs knocked off the Lady Vols, 53-50. UGA head coach Andy Landers handed Pat Summitt her 1,000th career win in Knoxville last February, and for the first time in a decade he's wielding a team capable of swinging back.
It was a low-scoring horrorshow, not so much a defensive slugfest as an unrepentant display of poor shooting (UT 21-50, UGA 16-44) and turnovers (UT 23, UGA 16) that didn't look like a proper game until the final four minutes or so. Unfortunately for the girls in orange, that was right about the time stalwart Kelley Cain drew a technical for her fifth foul after a brief but heated argument with a referee over her fourth:
Cain reiterated Summitt’s contention that it was "he-said, she-said stuff."
"I take full responsibility for this loss,’’ a tearful Cain said. "I apologized to my teammates. I apologized to my coaching staff. It’s not going to happen again."
In the end, it came down to a chance on a three-point buzzer-beater, hardly new territory for the Lady Vols, but Shekinna Stricklen missed with too few seconds remaining for the ensuing offensive rebound to make a difference.
Tennessee and Georgia entered this game ranked 3rd and 8th in the nation, and though both probably deserve to drop a few slots on sloppy play alone, there's no doubt who'll be assigned the higher slot. The Lady Dawgs now control the appallingly loaded SEC East (four teams from the division are ranked in the Top 25), and for the first time since the LSU insurgency of 2003, after six years of trading off titles with Vanderbilt, the Lady Vols have something else to be worried about.