Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw shouts instructions to her team during the first half. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

No. 12 Notre Dame Falls To No. 1 Tennessee, 62-51

Dec. 31, 2005

Final Stats

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. (AP) – Alexis Hornbuckle had 15 points and eight rebounds to help top-ranked Tennessee hold off No. 12 Notre Dame 62-51 on Saturday.

Megan Duffy led Notre Dame with 19 points, including eight points in the last 4 minutes.

Tennessee (12-0) led 47-25 with 13:09 left, but Notre Dame went on a 16-4 run to cut the lead to 51-41 with 6:16 remaining. Duffy’s basket trimmed the deficit to 57-51 with 2 minutes left, but Tennessee made 5-of-8 free throws to end the game.

Nicky Anosike added nine points and freshman Candace Parker had eight points and 11 rebounds for the Lady Vols.

Notre Dame, playing before its third sellout in history, outscored Tennessee 37-33 in the second half and held the Lady Vols to 28 percent shooting after the break. Tennessee held Notre Dame to 31 percent overall and outrebounded the Irish 35-21.

The Lady Vols forced 15 first-half turnovers to take a 29-14 lead. The Irish (9-2) barely avoided their lowest-scoring half thanks to Courtney LaVere’s 3-pointer with 1:09 left before the break. Notre Dame’s all-time low of 12 was set in 1981.

LaVere had 10 points before fouling out.

The Lady Vols improved to 17-0 all-time against the Irish.

— ND —

POST GAME NOTES: Notre Dame drops just its second game of the season, with both losses coming at the hands of ranked opponents by 11 points each … the Irish also suffered just their fourth non-conference home loss in the past 61 outings, a stretch that dates back to the 1994-95 season; it’s also the first home non-conference loss for Notre Dame to an opponent outside the Big Ten since Jan. 7, 1994 — when top-ranked Tennessee downed the Irish, 105-70 in the Lady Vols’ last visit to South Bend … Notre Dame loses for just the third time in its last 14 home games against ranked opponents, extending back to the start of the 2003-04 season … the Irish held UT to 62 points, matching the Lady Vols’ lowest scoring output in the series (62-57 on Nov. 24, 1984 in Knoxville); that game also marked the only prior time Notre Dame had limited Tennessee to less than 70 points … the 11-point margin was the smallest in the series since Jan. 12, 1992, when Tennessee edged Notre Dame, 85-82 at the Joyce Center … the Lady Vols were the fifth No. 1 team to play the Irish in South Bend, with Notre Dame now 1-4 against these top-ranked squads, although Saturday’s 11-point margin was the closest loss of those four … the Irish welcomed their third sellout crowd (11,418) in school history, and first since Feb. 24, 2001 vs. Georgetown (Senior Day for Ruth Riley, Niele Ivey, Kelley Siemon, Meaghan Leahy and Imani Dunbar) … Notre Dame did not have three double-digit scorers for only the second time all season (both times resulted in losses) … the Irish were held to 14 first-half points, their lowest scoring total in the opening 20 minutes since March 9, 2003, when they were deadlocked at 13-13 with Villanova in the BIG EAST Championship quarterfinals at Piscataway, N.J. (VU won 50-39 en route to the league title) … Tennessee’s 50 rebounds were the most for an Irish opponent since Jan. 2, 2005, when Seton Hall also had 50 boards (ND won 54-33 at the Joyce Center) … senior All-America guard Megan Duffy led the Irish in scoring for the seventh time this year and took game-high scoring honors for the fifth time … Duffy now is eight points shy of becoming the 21st player in school history to amass 1,000 career points … senior forward Courtney LaVere notched her sixth double-figure scoring game of the year (highlighted by a career-best two three-pointers in three attempts) and now is 20 points away from joining the Notre Dame 1,000-Point Club … Duffy and LaVere have the opportunity to become only the fifth set of teammates to reach the 1,000 career point milestone in the same season and the first since Niele Ivey and Kelley Siemon did so in 2000-01; Duffy and LaVere also could have the shortest span between hitting the mark — the current record is eight games, the span between Mary Beth Schueth and Carrie Bates arriving at the scoring milepost in 1984-85 … junior forward Crystal Erwin is averaging 7.0 rebounds in her last five games, including a team-high seven caroms vs. Tennessee.