Parker leads Tennessee to second straight national championship - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Parker leads Tennessee to second straight national championship

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - One by one, Candace Parker hugged her teammates on the sideline as the last seconds ticked away. It was all part of her final farewell to Tennessee.

All that was left was to hoist a championship trophy, which came moments after the Lady Vols' 64-48 victory over Stanford on Tuesday night.

Parker scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds to help Tennessee capture its eighth championship. The Lady Vols also became the first repeat champs since Connecticut won three straight from 2002-04.

The Associated Press player of the year will leave the Lady Vols (36-2) with a year of eligibility remaining, but has accomplished one of her goals by winning multiple championships.

Parker also became only the fourth player to win back-to-back Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four honors. She joined Connecticut's Diana Taurasi (2003-04), Tennessee's Chamique Holdsclaw (1997-98), and Southern Cal's Cheryl Miller (1983-84).

Stanford's loss ended Candice Wiggins' remarkable run through the NCAA tournament. She scored 14 points and finished with 153 over the six games - the fourth best total in tournament history. Sheryl Swoopes holds the record with 177, when she led Texas Tech to the championship in 1993. Wiggins is the first player to have two 40-point games in the tournament.

Wiggins' stellar career ended by taking the Cardinal (35-4) further than they'd been since 1992, when the program won it all. Stanford hadn't reached the Final Four since 1997 or advanced to the championship game since the '92 team.

She entered the game averaging 27.4 points in the tournament and opened the game with a 3-pointer, but couldn't find an open look after that. The All-American finished 6-for-16 from the field. She left to a standing ovation with just over a minute left in her college career.


(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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