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Top-ranked Duke holds off Tennessee

Jan 23, 2007 - 3:36 AM KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Duke was on the verge of a historic rout but instead had to hold on to avert an embarrassing collapse.

Abby Waner scored 24 points and Lindsey Harding added 21 as the top-ranked Blue Devils posted a 74-70 victory over No. 4 Tennessee.

Duke (20-0), which matched the best start in school history, stormed out to a 19-0 lead behind 10 points from Waner and appeared poised to inflict a beating similar to the 75-53 defeat it dealt Tennessee on January 23, 2006.

The Lady Vols (17-2) finally got on the board with 14:02 to play, but the lead grew to 28-7 before a late rally got Tennessee within 38-27 at halftime.

After Harding opened the second half with a jumper, the Lady Vols responsed with a 21-8 spurt and finally pulled into a tie at 48-48 on star forward Candace Parker's three-point play with 10:48 left.

Harding answered with a three-point play and scored eight points in a 14-5 surge to put the Blue Devils ahead, 62-53, with just under 6 1/2 minutes to go.

Tennessee got within a basket on Alberte Auguste's 3-pointer with seven seconds left, but Harding sealed it with two free throws.

Parker had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Lady Vols, who had an 11-game winning streak snapped.