Tennessee could not have picked a better time to prove it could win without Candace Parker.
While the nation's best player twice nursed a dislocated left shoulder in Tuesday's regional championship, two other heroes emerged for the Lady Volunteers.
As a team they locked down on defense, but it was seniors Nicky Anosike and Alexis Hornbuckle that stepped up in the nick of time.
At halftime, Anosike basically told the Lady Vols, "We're not going home. And the only way we can do this is with defense. And we have to stay positive."
Parker returned from rehabbing her shoulder and getting a sleeve put on it about 10 minutes into the second half.
Perhaps more importantly than her eight points after that point was her assist to Hornbuckle. The Lady Vols athletic shooting guard dropped a bomb on Texas A&M that gave them a five-point lead with 50 seconds to play.
Anosike grabbed a game-high eight rebounds, and Hornbuckle led the team with four steals, four assists and 14 points -- second only to Parker's 26.