Tennessee Lady Volunteers head coach Holly Warlick shouts to her team during the game against the Rice Owls at Thompson Boling Arena. Tennessee won by a score of 101 to 48. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-US PRESSWIRE
By STEVE MEGARGEE
AP Sports Writer
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee credits its season-opening 80-71 loss at Chattanooga as the catalyst for its recent surge.
The 20th-ranked Lady Vols have followed that upset with three straight double-digit victories. Two of those wins came on the road against Georgia Tech and Miami, who both were ranked at the time.
Tennessee (3-1) returns home Sunday to face Alcorn State.
Sophomore forward Cierra Burdick considers the Chattanooga game "the best thing that could have happened to us" because it improved the team's focus.
Tennessee's winning streak has eased concerns that it would struggle in the post-Pat Summitt era.
Summitt, who announced last year she has early-onset dementia, stepped down in April after collecting eight national titles in 38 seasons. She remains on staff as head coach emeritus while assisting new coach Holly Warlick.