HOOPS CENTRAL: #11/12 Lady Vols vs Rutgers

Tennessee No. 11/12 (1-2) meets Rutgers (3-1) at Imperial Arena on Paradise Island, Bahamas in Game 1 of the Bad Boy Mowers Women’s Battle 4 Atlantis Saturday at 12:00 p.m. ET.

The Lady Vols enter the tournament after facing off against three teams that competed in the 2022 NCAA tournament, including No. 14/15 Ohio State on the road (L, 87-75), UMass at home (W, 74-65) and No. 12/11 Indiana home (L, 79-67).

Rutgers, meanwhile, are 3-1 after opening the 2022-23 season with four straight home games against local opponents and finding early success with just eight active players in their roster. RU’s last win came on Wednesday night against NC Central, 66-45

This will be the 24th meeting between the Lady Volunteers and the Scarlet Knights, but the first since 2014. UT’s Kelly Harpers meet RU for the first time as head coach.

Rutgers will become the third Big Ten foe the Lady Vols have faced this season and go into the matchup with an 80-17 record against the league after losing games one and three to Ohio State and Indiana have suffered.

Tennessee is in the middle of a two-week struggle to open the six-game campaign. UT has played three games in the first seven days of the season and will now play three games in three days in the B4A tournament, followed by a two-in-three-day run at home on November 25 (Colorado) and 27 ( eastern Kentucky).

broadcast information

  • FloHoops will be streaming the Tennessee vs. Rutgers competition, with Jill Painter Lopez (PxP), Isis Young (Analyst) and Dani Wexelman (Reporter) bidding for matches at the Women’s Battle 4 Atlantis.
  • The competition can also be heard on Lady Vol Network radio stations and via audio stream, with the voice of Lady Vol’s Brian Rice behind the mic in his first season. He will be joined by studio presenter Andy Brock.
  • A link to the live audio stream can be found on each game’s Hoops Central page or in the Lady Vol schedule on UTSports.com.
  • For a list of Lady Vol Network affiliates, please click on the Fans tab at the top of UTSports.com, select Vol Network and then click on the Vol Network Affiliates tab.
  • Game time on Lady Vol Radio Network is generally 30 minutes prior to game time.

storylines

  • Rutgers assistant coach Nikki McCray-Penson played her college basketball in Tennessee under the late, legendary Lady Vols head coach Pat Summitt.
  • McCray averaged 12.4 ppg. and 5.3 rpm. During her time in Knoxville, she was named KODAK All-America and SEC Player of the Year in 1994 and 1995, and won gold medals for the USA at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.
  • Head Coach of Lady Vols Kelly Harperswho played in Tennessee from 1995-1999 and won three NCAA titles as a point guard missed becoming McCray’s teammate at UT by just one season.
  • Prior to her arrival at Rutgers, McCray-Penson was the head coach at Mississippi State, where she coached the current standout from Tennessee Rickea Jackson during the 2020-21 campaign.
  • Lady Vol newcomer Justine Pissott is from Toms River, NJ, and was prepared at Red Bank Catholic High School, which is about 30 miles southeast of the Rutgers campus.
  • UT guard Jasmine Powellwho transferred from Minnesota earlier this season, meets another former Big Ten opponent.
  • Powell played against Rutgers in each of her three seasons for the Gophers and posted double-digit goals.
  • On January 6, 2022, Powell had 19 points, five assists, four rebounds, and a steal in 37 minutes against the Scarlet Knights. She hit four of nine shots from the field, including a 2-of-2 performance beyond the arc and a 9-of-11 performance at the free-throw line.
  • Powell also had 19 points along with five rebounds and four assists in 47 minutes in an overtime contest on February 2, 2020, earning a 10-of-10 from the charity strip.

What’s next?

  • The UT-RU winner meets the UCLA-South Dakota State winner Sunday noon. The losers of the first round matches meet on Sunday at 5 p.m.
  • The lower half of the bracket shows the first-round match-ups between No. 3/3 Texas and Marquette on Saturday at 5 p.m. and No. 7/5 Louisville vs. Gonzaga at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Sunday competitions are also held on FloHoops. Monday’s Winner Bracket games will air on linear television, including the championship game at 12 p.m. on ESPN and the third-place contest at 2:30 p.m. on ESPNU. Kevin Fitzgerald and Carolyn Peck are on call for these shows.

First time at B4A, third time in the Bahamas

  • This will be the Lady Vols’ first appearance in Battle 4 Atlantis, but it will be their third trip to the Bahamas.
  • They will visit their third other island after twice participating in the Junkanoo Jam Tournament on two other islands.
  • In 2013-14, the Tennessee Women won the Lucaya Division 2-0 at the Junkanoo Jam in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island.
  • UT defeated Virginia, 76-67, and SMU, 87-47, at Freeport.
  • In 2018-19, the Lady Vols traveled to Resorts World Bimini and won both games there to claim the Junkanoo Division crown at the Junkanoo Jam.
  • In Bimini, the Big Orange turned back Clemson (78-66) and UAB (73-69) in overtime.

international success

  • Tennessee is making its fourth trip of the season outside of the United States and sixth international trip in the last 10 years, maintaining a 13-0 mark on foreign soil during that stretch, including 7-0 in games counting towards season records.
  • This is the program’s 10th international excursion ever, and UT is on foreign soil 24/7.
  • This will be Lady Vols’ first trip outside of the country since she previously traveled to the Netherlands, Belgium and France in August 2019 Kelly Harpers‘s first season at Rocky Top. senior citizens Jordan Horston, Tamari Key and Jessie Rennie had just arrived in Tennessee.
  • The B4A marks UT’s first international trip of the season since the 2018 Junkanoo Jam in Bimini, Bahamas.
  • UT was at Freeport, Bahamas/2013 Junkanoo Jam (2-0); Cancun, Mexico/Challenge Cancun 2017 (3-0); Bimini, Bahamas/2019 Junkanoo Jam (2-0); and now Paradise Island, Bahamas/2022 Battle 4 Atlantis for NCAA counting competition.
  • Foreign tours and records include Brazil June 1987 (1-4), England January 1992 (2-1), Belgium/France/Switzerland August 1999 (5-0), Italy/Greece August 2003 (3-2), Italy 2015 (3-0) and Netherlands/Belgium/France 2019 (3-0).
  • These totals do not include travel to US territory tournaments in San Juan, Puerto Rico/San Juan Shootout in November-December 2002 (3-0); and two appearances at St. Thomas, USVI/Paradise Jam in Nov. 2005 (3-0) and Nov. 2010 (2-1).

Review of the Indiana game

  • Despite a double-double out Jasmine Powell and three 14-plus point scorers dropped the No. 11/4 Tennessee Lady Volunteers on Monday night at the Thompson-Boling Arena at No. 12/11 Indiana, 79-67.
  • Powell put on a strong night in her second game on The Summitt, finishing with 16 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. It’s only the second career double-double for the senior transfer from Minnesota. The guard was the Lady Vols’ top scorer in the first half, sinking 11 points on 3-of-6 on 3-pointers.
  • Tennessee’s leading scorer was Rickea Jackson, who scored 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting and 2-of-3 marksmanship from downtown. She also made all three free throw attempts in the game and was complemented by solid paintplay Tamari Key, who also scored in double digits with 14 points. Key was perfect from the ground, converting all four layup attempts in the game for Big Orange (1-2).
  • Indiana (3-0) won the game on a balanced attack with five different double-digit scorers led by Sara Scalia and Mackenzie Holmes, both finishing with 16. Holmes and Grace Berger both scored IU’s first doubles doubles of the season. since they both logged 10 boards. Berger finished her seventh career double-double with 13 points while Holmes is the team leader in the category with 12.

Tess for Three (times three)

  • Junior Tess Darby has three 3-pointers in three straight games, the longest streak in her Lady Vol career, and is averaging 9.0 points per competition participating in Battle 4 Atlantis.
  • Darby connects past the arc on 47.4 percent of her attempts.

Powell shows up

  • Senior Jasmine Powell scored 16 points and 10 rebounds, making it the second double-double of her career and her first as Lady Vol.
  • Powell ranks second on the team with 13.0 points per contest.

Outstanding transfers

  • transfers Rickea Jackson and Jasmine Powell have excelled in the opening competitions of the season.
  • Jackson has 50 points and 23 rebounds in three games while Powell has 39 points and 15 rebounds.
  • Jackson leads the Lady Vols with 16.7 ppg. and is second in rebound at 7.7 ppg, while Powell is just behind Jackson at 13.0 ppg. and is accelerating the roster at 5.0 assists per game.

A look at Rutgers

  • In its first season under head coach Coquese Washington, Rutgers has a roster of just eight players but has made a 4-0 start.
  • The program was 11-20 overall and 3-14 in the Big Ten in 2021-22, but it performed in the NCAA in 2021.
  • No starters and only three letterwinners returned from last season.
  • Kassondra Brown, Awa Sidibe, Erica Lafayette and Chyna Cornwell were double-digit scorers for the Scarlet Knights in 2022-23.
  • RU scored 20 of 21 fee shots against NJIT on November 13.

UT/RU Notices

  • This is the 23rd meeting between these schools, dating back to March 16, 1979.
  • The Lady Vols enter a 10 game series winning streak into the competition
  • The home court was vital in this rivalry, with Tennessee maintaining a perfect 7-0 lead in front of their fans while being just 4-3 on the road.
  • UT is 9-0 in neutral side games against RU.
  • The last time these squads met, on December 14, 2014, The No. 11/13 Lady Vols a Rutgers unit #17/19, 55-45, in Piscataway, NJ
  • In all of Pat Summitt’s games as head coach in Tennessee, none of her Lady Vol teams had made the kind of comeback they made on January 3, 2009 at Rutgers. Tennessee was 33-13 behind at halftime. The 13 points were the fewest ever scored by the Lady Vols in the first 20 minutes of a game. In addition, the mid-term deficit of 20 points was the largest in school history. Rutgers led by as much as 23 points before UT rallied for the 55-51 win.
  • UT is 80-17 against schools currently in the Big 10 after losing contests to Ohio State and Indiana this season.

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