Tennessee, UCLA win

I got the call at about 2:15 p.m. today from Daniel, telling me about UCLA’s 67-64 win over Kansas. He knew I’d be happy that Seattle’s own Christina Nzekwe grabbed the ball after a missed Jayhawk free throw attempt and was fouled. Then made both free throws. Kansas tried to hit two shots, and Nzekwe grabbed the rebound on the second one as time ticked down to ensure Bruin possession and seal the win.

I am so proud of her! Her picture is featured right now on the UCLA women’s basketball web page, making Seattle proud. Not to mention the rest of the team. I can’t believe how they continue to roll and roll and roll. Beating Kansas might finally earn them some respect, we’ll see. Wonder what it would take to get them ranked.

And after some butt-clenching moments, a gutsy, learning-on-the-run Vols team just beat Stanford, exactly 365 days after they lost to them. Shekinna Stricklen scored a career-high 25 points – eight of which were in overtime. The girl was hot, and she was feelin it from the get-go. In the first half when she scored a long-bomb shot, she turned around and started yelling, ending in a chest bump with Lyssi Brewer. I love to see that kind of enthusiasm. Angie Bjorklund also came to play today, burying some deep shots.

In the overtime period, when Tennessee started to pull away, it was another deep Stricklen shot that made me scream so loud I probably scared the neighbors. But just moments later, Stricklen and Glory Johnson collided, sending Johnson to the floor in severe pain. The emotional roller coaster I’ve been on for the last two days started to go back down again, but fortunately it was reported after the game that she only has a deep thigh bruise.

Stanford Coach Tara VanDerVeer told the Associated Press about Stricklen, who had a stomach virus during last Thursday’s game against Old Dominion: “She had a big game. I guess she was kind of sick for the last game. She made me sick in this game.”

Oh how I love that quote.

Eight more wins, and Coach Pat Summitt can notch 1000 victories. I’ve said it before, but Pat Summitt is the greatest coach of all time. (And I enjoyed hearing her mic’ed up today).

Tennessee’s next game is at Gonzaga, and I pray that I will get to go to that game, as I’d planned.