Candace Parker scored 17 points to lead the Tennessee Lady Vols to a 64-48 victory over Stanford for UT's eighth national championship in women's basketball.
Parker, the national player of the year, also snared nine rebounds as the Lady Vols defended their national title. The win gave UT coach Pat Summitt her eighth national championship.
“My experience here at Tennessee has been great. I look back at my growth, not only as a player but also just as a person,” Parker told reporters after the game. “And I feel like it’s been the best four years of my life.”
Parker was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and she became the fourth player ever to win the award in back-to-back seasons. The others were Connecticut’s Diana Taurasi, Tennessee’s Chamique Holdsclaw and USC’s Cheryl Miller. Parker will leave UT with one season of eligibility left, but she spent one year in Knoxville as a redshirt and will graduate this spring.
The key for the Lady Vols was a dominating defensive performance. UT shut down a Stanford team that had scored 180 points over its last two games and held the Cardinal below 50. Stanford star Candice Wiggins, who had two 40-plus point games in this tournament, was held to 14 points.
Shannon Bobbitt had 13-point effort and Nicky Anosike scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Lady Vols (36-2).