Tuesday, March 23, 1999


Women join men in Final Four

The Associated Press

        GREENSBORO, N.C. — If you needed further proof that this is Duke's year, it came Monday night.

        Duke's women's team pulled off an extraordinary upset against Tennessee, winning 69-63. With that unlikely victory, the Duke women joined the school's men's team in the NCAA Final Four.

        After three straight NCAA championships, Tennessee was dethroned.

        Duke had never qualified for a women's Final Four. Tennessee has been to 11 and won six national championships.

        Coach Pat Summitt, star Chamique Holdsclaw and fellow senior Kellie Jolly were in tears in the postgame interviews.

        “I think it's obvious we're in a lot of pain,” said Summitt, who saw her team's 21-game NCAA tournament winning streak snapped. “Our seniors are champions, three out of four is not bad.”

        Duke became the first program to place both its men's and women's basketball teams in the Final Four since Georgia did it in 1983.

        Duke couldn't even make it to the ACC tournament final in Charlotte a few weeks ago. But here the Blue Devils were, playing the game of their lives.

        Holdsclaw fouled out with 25.4 seconds left to end her stellar career, receiving a standing ovation. She was held to a season-low eight points.

        Georgia Schweitzer, meanwhile, matched her career-high with 22 points for third-seeded Duke.

        Duke, which lost to Tennessee by 14 points in December, will face Georgia in the national semifinals in San Jose, Calif.

        The women did it in front of male counterparts Trajan Langdon, Chris Carrawell and Shane Battier, who had driven an hour from the Duke campus to the Greensboro Coliseum to cheer the women on.

        “We don't want to take anything away from (the men), the spotlight is now on both of us,” said Duke coach Gail Goestenkors. “It's a little larger light than it was.”

        Semeka Randall led Tennessee (31-3) with 18 points.

        Tennessee fans outnumbered the Duke contingent by thousands, but the Lady Volun teers came out uninspired and soon found themselves down by 13 in the first half.

        “I thought Duke played loose, they played with great intensity and confidence, and I think we came out tight, shots didn't fall for us,” said Summitt. “If you look at the stat sheet they beat us in all the categories that in order to win a regional championship you have to win.”

        The Lady Volunteers made their first four shots of the second half, including the opening bucket of the period by Holdsclaw, to close to 38-34.

        But Duke withstood a 51/2- minute span without a basket as Tennessee got as close as 46-45 with 6:52 left.

        Nicole Erickson made a 12-footer and a running bank shot for a 55-50 lead.

        Tennessee never got closer than five down the stretch.

        “The pressure was really on them,” Duke coach Gail Goestenkors said. “It has been a long time since we've been the underdog. We were picked to win the ACC, so we kind of relished being the underdog. They had everything to lose and we had respect to gain.”

        DUKE (28-6) — Browne 2-7 2-2 6, Schweitzer 7-11 5-6 22, VanGorp 5-7 3-4 13, Howard 1-8 0-0 2, Erickson 5-12 6-9 17, Black 0-0 0-0 0, Rice 1-5 6-8 9, Parent 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-50 22-29 69.

        TENNESSEE (31-3) — Holdsclaw 2-18 4-8 8, Catchings 5-14 2-5 13, Snow 3-5 0-0 6, Jolly 5-9 1-4 11, Randall 8-17 1-1 18, Clement 1-4 0-0 3, Geter 1-1 0-0 2, Butts 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 26-69 8-18 63.

        Halftime—Duke 35, Tennessee 24. 3-Point goals—Duke 5-15 (Schweitzer 3-4, Rice 1-2, Erickson 1-6, Browne 0-1, Howard 0-2), Tennessee 3-10 (Randall 1-1, Clement 1-3, Catchings 1-4, Jolly 0-2). Fouled out—Holdsclaw, Snow, Jolly. Rebounds— Duke 42 (Browne 9), Tennessee 39 (Holdsclaw 11). Assists—Duke 14 (Howard 7), Tennessee 7 (Jolly 2). Total fouls—Duke 19, Tennessee 23. A—12,235.


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