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Parker toughs it out, Tennessee advances to Final Four

Apr 2, 2008 - 3:24 AM OKLAHOMA CITY (Ticker) -- Candace Parker fought through a separated left shoulder and scored 26 points to lead top-seeded Tennessee back to the Final Four with a 53-45 victory over second-seeded Texas A&M in the Oklahoma City Regional final on Tuesday.

Parker suffered the injury with just under four minutes to go in the first half and went to the locker room for treatment. The junior returned later in the half before leaving again just before the break with the Volunteers in front, 29-27.

Tennessee (34-2) fell behind by five late in the second half but Parker sparked the comeback, scoring six points during an 8-0 run that gave the Volunteers a 45-42 lead with 2:12 remaining.

The defending champion Volunteers maintained their three-point margin with under one minute to play when Alexis Hornbuckle and Shannon Bobbitt each made a pair of free throws to seal the win.

Hornbuckle finished with 14 points for Tennessee, which will play Louisiana State in the national semifinals. The Volunteers split two meetings with their Southeastern Conference-rival during the regular season.

Takia Starks scored 12 points to pace the Aggies (29-8), who shot just 22 percent (6-of-27) in the second half.