for this game

Vols take down reeling Huskies

Jan 22, 2012 - 1:12 AM Knoxville, TN (Sports Network) - Tennessee is a dangerous team to play even if you're the reigning NCAA champion.

Especially if you're the reigning champion, it seems.

Jarnell Stokes scored 16 points in his first career start, Cameron Tatum had 15 and Tennessee knocked off No. 13 Connecticut 60-57 on Saturday, improving to 7-2 in its last nine games against the sport's defending champion.

The Volunteers (9-10) have 11 all-time wins against teams coming off title runs in the previous season, including two against Connecticut.

The latest came during a game to honor longtime Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt, who is battling early onset dementia.

"The crowd was awesome. It was like an old-school crowd when I first got here as a freshman," said Tatum. "I definitely commend them for that, and I hope we delivered.

"The crowd is definitely a booster for us. When we hit a shot or get a defensive stop, the crowd just gives us more momentum."

The Huskies (14-5) are suddenly reeling, losing four of their last six games including two straight.

They were led by 23 points from Jeremy Lamb and 18 from Shabazz Napier, who made the final possessions interesting with a pullup three-pointer in the last seconds.

"It was a physical game, very well-officiated in my opinion," said UConn head coach Jim Calhoun. "I had no problem with the officiating whatsoever. It was very good. They allowed the game to be physical and they were more physical than us and, thus, they won the game."

The Volunteers led by as many as 10 points on a Trae Golden free throw that made it 53-43 with 3:15 remaining, and they eventually sealed their win at the free throw line.

Connecticut trimmed its deficit to five points with little more than a minute remaining on a layup by Lamb and a free throw by Napier. Two Stokes free throws pushed it back to seven points before Lamb's three-pointer cut it the Tennessee lead to four.

After another Volunteers free throw, Napier knocked down a three-pointer to get the Huskies within 56-54. Later, he followed a Tennessee free throw with a quick three to make it 59-57 with six seconds remaining.

But Tatum went 1-of-2 at the other end and Napier's halfcourt shot at the buzzer hit harmlessly off the backboard to give Tennessee the win.

The Volunteers, who trailed 27-25 at halftime in this one, also beat UConn a year after its previous title, knocking the Huskies off in the second round of the 2000 NCAA Tournament.

Game Notes

Tennessee leads the all-time series 2-1...UConn will return to Big East play next Sunday versus Notre Dame while Tennessee plays at SEC foe Vanderbilt on Tuesday.