Rutgers And Tennessee Head To Championship Game - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Rutgers And Tennessee Head To Championship Game

Cleveland, OH - (AP) Rutgers wasn't expected to be in Cleveland. Now the Scarlet Knights will play in the national title game, extending their stay at the Final Four by dominating LSU 59-35 on Monday night. Tennesee came back in the second half, bringing home a win over North Carolina 56-50 late Sunday night.

A combined 17-hundred wins and 69 seasons of
coaching experience will meet on women's basketball's biggest
stage.

Good friends and Hall of Famers Pat Summitt of Tennessee and C-
Vivian Stringer of Rutgers will be on opposing benches in tomorrow
night's national championship game in Cleveland.

Summitt is seeking her 947th win and seventh title in 33 seasons
at Tennessee. Stringer's trying to win her first title after 777
wins and four trips to the Final Four with three schools.
Summitt says she knows Stringer will have her team ready to
play.

Stringer's team features five freshmen, and she acknowledges
they weren't supposed to get this far.
Rutgers, a Number Four seed, will attempt to become the lowest
seed to win a women's basketball championship.

While Rutgers experienced a smooth flight to Tuesday's final, Tennessee encountered some turbulence. Candace Parker and the Lady Vols weathered UNC's challenge and rallied past the Tar Heels on Sunday

The Scarlet Knights earned their first trip to the national championship behind Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer with another unlikely scenario -- dominating the LSU Lady Tigers from the opening tip.

Matee Ajavon scored 16 points and Rutgers (27-8) hounded 6-foot-6 Sylvia Fowles to beat LSU 59-35 in the national semifinals Sunday night.

Rutgers' seniorless cast of relentless defenders frustrated Fowles and held her to five points and seven rebounds.

Swarming defense and a hot touch outside the line smothered LSU, which scored the fewest points ever in the Final Four -- Louisiana Tech had 44 vs. Tennessee in '87 title game.

The Lady Tigers (30-8) ended a surprising tournament run behind acting head coach Bob Starkey, who was thrust into the spotlight when coach Pokey Chatman abruptly resigned March 7 amid allegations of improper conduct with one or more former players

The Rutgers crowd chanted Stinger's initials "C-V-S" in the closing minutes. Stringer was hugged by her entire staff as she makes her way back to the title game 25 years after she took Cheyney there.

With five freshmen on the roster, the Scarlet Knights started the season 2-4 and is just the third No. 4 seed to reach the championship. They'll face the winner of the North Carolina-Tennessee game and try to become the lowest seed to win an NCAA title.

Powered by Frankly