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Basketball - 14. November 2007.

USA - Parker leads Lady Vols to opening night win

KNOXVILLE (NCAA Women's) - Team USA star Candace Parker scored 23 points as No. 1 Tennessee began its title defence with a 76-56 win over UT-Chattanooga on Sunday night.

Vicki Baugh was the only other Volunteer in double figures with 11 points as Parker, beginning her junior year with the Vols, stole the show.

Tennessee, who defeated Rutgers in the NCAA Championship Game to claim its seventh national title in March, did the majority of it damage inside the paint, outscoring the Mocs 42-18.

Laura Hall paced Chattanooga with 15 points.

Second-ranked Connecticut also enjoyed victory as freshman Maya Moore scored 21 points and collected 10 rebounds on her debut in a 98-35 rout of Stony Brook.

Mel Thomas also had 21, including five three-pointers, while Tina Charles had 16 points.

Connecticut have not lost on opening night since 1995 and improved to 19-4 in season openers under famed Italian coach Geno Auriemma.

Not all the ranked teams were enjoying such easy an easy start to their schedules, however.

Third-ranked Rutgers and No. 8 Stanford faced off against each other and produced the first upset as Stanford emerged 60-58 winners.

Jayne Appel scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Kayla Pederson added 15 and 16 for the Cardinal.

Epiphanny Prince had 21 points and nine rebounds and Essence Carson chipped in 15 and 10 boards for Rutgers.

In Chapel Hill, No. 4 Maryland and sixth-ranked Oklahoma got staight down to business as they went head to head in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic.

Marissa Coleman had 20 points and 16 rebounds to lead Maryland to a 76-66 victory, the ease of which will cost Oklahoma and Team USA star Courtney Paris some places in the coaches' poll on Monday.

Laura Harper and Kristi Toliver added 16 points apiece for the Terrapins, who led by as many as 24 points less than six minutes into the second half. Harper also added 11 rebounds.

Trailing, 17-16, Maryland closed the first half with a 26-7 run to take a commanding 42-24 lead into the break.

Paris Ashley scored 17 points and Danielle Robinson added 14 for the Sooners, who shot just 3-of-18 from three-point range.

Paris extended her NCAA record of double-doubles to 62 consecutive games - barely with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Team USA international Sylvia Fowles scored 16 points to lead fifth-ranked Louisiana State to a 73-54 victory over TCU,

Seventh-ranked North Carolina used 20 points and 11 rebounds from Erlana Larkins to record a 75-60 win over No. 12 Arizona State while their arch-rivals Duke were 57-37 winners on the road, with Abby Warner scoring 16 points for the ninth-ranked Blue Devils.

Tasha Humphreys scored 21 points for No. 10 Georgia in an 84-56 win over Georga Mason.

Danielle Wilson's 17 points led No. 15 Baylor to an 89-61 win over Prairie View, Marscilla Packer scored 26 for 16th-ranked Ohio State in a 63-57 win over Marist, and Christina Wirth had 17 points and six rebounds to lead No. 17 Vanderbilt past Furman 68-51.

Eighteenth-ranked Michigan State used 16 points from Allyssa DeHaan to beat Evansville 73-53, and Shante Williams came off the bench to score 19 for No. 19 Florida State in a 75-48 rout of North Florida.

No. 21 Pittsburgh was the only Top 25 school to lose to unranked opposition on Sunday as Tyra Grant scored 19 points to Penn State in an 80-74 victory.

No. 24 Texas got 22 points from Brittainey Raven in a 92-55 blowout of Missouri State and Khadijah Whittington collected 23 points and 16 rebounds as 25th-ranked North Carolina State demolished North Carolina-Greensboro 74-29.

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NEW ZEALAND ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com-go to facebook and twitter @womensport for live interviews and photos 

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Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com 

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