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Tennesee gets off to a flying start Lady Vols win opener at home in a romp

Tennessee coach Pat Summitt hopes her deep bench equals a long run in the NCAA tournament.

All 13 Lady Volunteers played before halftime and all of them scored by the final buzzer Saturday during a 99-34 win over Stetson in the opening round of the Dayton region.

"Depth is a real factor for us," Summitt said. "To have the depth that we have to keep people fresh, move people in and out and not have to deal with fatigue is really special. This team is very special."

Top-seeded Tennessee (32-2) has its sights set on a return to the Final Four after two seasons of frustration in the tournament, and the 16th-seeded Hatters were little more than a warm-up act. The Lady Vols will face eighth-seeded Marquette on Monday.

The Lady Vols have scored an average 23.6 points more than their opponents this season and previously had their best offensive game of the year in a 90-65 win against Kentucky in the Southeastern Conference tournament championship. They hit a school-record 16 3-pointers and shot 70.4 percent in the second half in that game.

Still, Summitt had been unhappy with her team's defensive and rebounding efforts in the SEC tournament. After two weeks of grueling practices, the Lady Vols out-rebounded the Hatters 63-31 and limited them to 18.2 percent shooting.

The two-week layoff between tournaments didn't seem to slow Tennessee, either, as it shot 55.7 percent and hit eight 3s against the Hatters. Glory Johnson had 14 points and 10 rebounds, Shekinna Stricklen scored 15 points, Angie Bjorklund had 13 and Alyssia Brewer added 10.


Kate Oliver scored 16 points and Marist held on after blowing much of a 20-point lead to beat Iowa State, 74-64, in the first round of the Philadelphia region. Brandy Gang added 13 points for Marist.

Jasmine Thomas scored 18 points to lead Duke to a 90-45 win over Tennesse-Martin, also in the Philadelphia region. Duke won its 24th straight game in Cameron Indoor Stadium, the home court where the Blue Devils are opening the NCAA tournament for the second straight season.

Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 22 points and top-seeded Stanford received a welcome early test in its initial step toward a fourth straight trip to the Final Four, beating NCAA first-timer UC Davis, 86-59, in the opening round of Spokane region.

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