2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
2014 USA 3x3 National Championship
Colorado Springs, Colo.
May 9-11
Diana Taurasi, who seems to thrive on Tennessee�s home court, scored 28 points and Lisa Leslie had a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds as the 2007 USA Basketball Women�s National Team earned an 83-72 victory over No. 1 University of Tennessee

Taurasi�s 26 Points, Leslie�s Double-Double Help USA National Team Trump Tennessee 83-72

Nov. 4, 2007 � Knoxville, Tenn.

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Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury), who seems to thrive on Tennessee's home court, scored 28 points and Lisa Leslie (Los Angeles Sparks) had a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds as the 2007 USA Basketball Women's National Team (3-0) earned an 83-72 victory over No. 1 University of Tennessee at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville on Sunday afternoon. Also scoring in double digits were Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx) with 12 points and Sue Bird (Seattle Storm) with 11.

'We expected this to be very competitive as was the case at Connecticut and Maryland,' said USA and Seattle Storm head coach Anne Donovan. 'There was lots of good pressure by them and it was a great game for us in terms of having to get our composure at the end of the game and finish a game off. They really challenged us down the stretch. You expect nothing less from Tennessee, they gave us a great ball game from start to finish.'

After defeating No. 4 Maryland by 17 points (90-73) and No. 2 University of Connecticut by 16 (90-74), the USA knew the game against the top-ranked Lady Vols was not going to be easy. Especially considering the opponents' top player is not only among the nation's elite college players, Candace Parker is one of the best players on the 2007-08 USA Basketball Women's National Team roster. The third-leading scorer and top rebounder on the 2006 USA World Championship squad, Parker was also the second-best point producer on the USA Basketball team that recently qualified the United States for the 2008 Olympics.

'I told Candace, I'd rather play with her than against her,' said Taurasi. 'She's just a heck of a player. In the second half, she really showed why hands down she's the best player in college. It doesn't matter what level you're playing in, whether its college or professional, she's one of the top players in the world and she shows it every night.'

Tennessee kept the first 10 minutes close by raining down four 3-pointers and at 9:32 owned an 18-15 edge. Receiving five points from Leslie, the USA posted nine straight to go ahead 24-18 at 7:28. The U.S. never again trailed and at half held a 9-point, 38-29, lead.

However, in the second half Parker, who scored just four points on 1-of-6 shooting from the field, came alive with 18 second-half points to help keep Tennessee within striking distance.

With the USA up 73-61, Parker scored a layup 5:29 to go and 23 seconds later was sent to the line where she collected her final point of the game, closing the gap to single digits at 73-64. UT's Shannon Bobbitt followed that with a pair of threes, giving new life to the Lady Vols and their crowd, who were looking at a margin of just three points, 73-70, with 3:48 to go.

Bobbitt's threes were Tennessee's final field goals of the game. The USA's defense regrouped as its offense went on a 10-1 run to close the door on Tennessee's upset hopes and the game ended with the closest margin yet on the USA's 2007 College Tour.

'With Lisa (Leslie) coming back, it makes a difference,' said Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt, head coach of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Team that captured gold and a player on the 1976 silver medalist U.S. Olympic squad. 'Sue (Bird) and Diana (Taurasi) did a great job, and obviously Seimone (Augustus). Kara (Lawson) contributed in a special way with her leadership. She handles her role well. She doesn't start for Sacramento (Monarchs), and she doesn't start for this team, but she's very valuable.'

Leslie, who has improved steadily in each of the USA's games, not only produced a double-double, she dished out five assists, had six blocked shots and six steals. Taurasi came close to a double-double after securing nine boards, all on the defensive end.

'I haven't been through a pregnancy,' said Augustus. 'But to see Lisa (Leslie) come back and be in that great of shape and form, to be able to come back and do what she's done, it's amazing. She did a wonderful job today of putting some pressure on Tennessee's defense.'

Parker's 22 points led the Lady Vols, while 2007 USA U19 World Championship Team gold medalist Angie Bjorklund, playing in her first collegiate game, added 13 points and shot 3-of-4 from afar.

Shooting an even 50 percent (31-62 FGs) from the floor, while limiting the collegians to 40.6 percent (26-64 FGs), the USA outrebounded UT 45-31 and passed off for 19 assists.

The USA continues its 2007 College Tour on Sunday when it takes on Baylor University in Waco, Texas, on No. 6 at 7:00 p.m. (all times local) On Nov. 8 the USA will meet Arizona State University in Tempe at 6:30 p.m., then returns to the Lone Star State for a Nov. 11 match-up against Texas A&M University in College Station at 6:00 p.m. Moving west to California for its final two games, Nov. 13 will see the USA pitted against the University of Southern California in Los Angeles at 7:00 p.m., and the USA concludes its tour on Nov. 15 at Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., at 7:00 p.m.

Donovan is being assisted by Connecticut Sun head coach Mike Thibault.