Notes from Tennessee’s 75-63 Elite Eight loss to North Carolina
The Tennessee Lady Vols headed back to Knoxville Tuesday night instead of to their sixth consecutive Final Four.
The North Carolina Lady Tar Heels, led by 5-foot-6 point guard Ivory Latta, led from the outset in the Cleveland Regional Final and held off a late Tennessee surge to claim the 75-63 win, and earning their first trip to the Final Four since 1994 when they won the National Championship.
Latta finished with 20 points, nine assists and four steals while playing the entire 40 minutes. The Carolina dynamo made six straight free throws in the game’s final minute, improving UNC to 2-12 all-time against the Lady Vols.
The Lady Tar Heels opened an early lead and controlled the contest throughout, eventually pushing their advantage to 16 during the second half.
Tennessee did manage a late rally that trimmed the Carolina lead to five in the final five minutes. But Latta was at her best during crunch time to help her team hold on for the win.
“You don’t win a basketball game in the first half but you certainly can lose one,” Summitt said after the game. “We just dug too deep of a hole. We were trying to get back into the game but they just answered everything we did.”
Carolina, now 33-1 overall, moves on to play ACC rival Maryland in the Final Four.
The loss to North Carolina…
-Ends UT’s season at 31-5
-Pat Summitt concludes her 32nd year at the helm of the UT program with a 913-177 career record.
-Drops UT to 16-5 in Elite Eight games, 92-19 in NCAA games over the last 25 years.
-The Lady Vol seniors Tye’sha Fluker and Shanna Zolman finish their collegiate careers with a 125-19 record, two SEC regular season championships, two SEC tournament championships, and three trips to the NCAA Final Four.
-The officials set a new record for most jump balls called in a game