May 25, 2024
Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball hosts Alabama, Sunday – Clarksville Online

Tennessee (9-6 | 1-0 SEC) vs. Alabama (12-2 | (1-0)
Sunday, January 1st, 2022 | 11:02pm CT/12:02pm ET
Knoxville, TN | Thompson-Boling Arena | TV: SEC Network

UT Lady VolsKnoxville, TN – Tennessee (9-6, 1-0 SEC) and RV/NR Alabama (12-2, 1-0 SEC) meet on Sunday at 11:02am CT, as the Lady Vols basketball team clashes with the Crimson Tide in their SEC home opener for the second straight season.

The UT women will be aiming for their 500th win at Thompson-Boling Arena in the 36-year history of the venue on the north bank of the Tennessee River.

Both teams enter the match-up with 1-0 league records. Tennessee won its second straight game and sits tied atop the SEC standings after it claimed a hard-earned road victory vs. NR/RV Florida (11-3, 0-1 SEC) in Gainesville on Thursday night, 77-67.

Alabama, meanwhile, withstood a furious comeback for a 56-53 home win over Georgia (11-4, 0-1 SEC) the same night. The triumph extended the Crimson Tide’s winning streak to 10 games following back-to-back losses to South Florida and Utah on Nov. 16 and 21.

After a brutal early-season gauntlet of facing five teams currently in the polls (including four in the top 10) left UT at 2-4 on November 21st, the Big Orange have won five of their past six games and seven of their last nine.

The UT Lady Vols have been playing their best basketball of the season over the past seven games, pushing No. 9 Virginia Tech and second-ranked Stanford to the limit before falling 59-56 and 77-70, respectively, and then picking up a road “W” vs. a Florida squad that has garnered national respect during non-conference play.

Game Promotions

New Year’s Day Deal: Fans can get two tickets, two shirts and two $10.00 concession vouchers starting at only $45.00 (plus tax/fees).

Weekend Family 4 Pack Deal: Get four tickets & four $10 concession vouchers starting at $72.00 (plus tax/fees).

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Broadcast Information

Sunday’s game will be televised by the SEC Network, with Sam Gore (PxP) and Tamika Catchings (Analyst) on the broadcast.

All of the games included in the ESPN package (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU) will be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 or Xbox One to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.

The contest also can be heard on Lady Vol Network stations and by audio stream, with Brian Rice on the call and Andy Brock serving as studio host. 

A link to the live audio stream can be found on the Hoops Central page or the schedule on

For a list of Lady Vol Network affiliates, please click on the Fans tab at the top of, select Vol Network and then click on the Vol Network Affiliates tab.

Air time for games on the Lady Vol Radio Network generally occurs 30 minutes prior to tip-off.

The Lady Vol Network broadcast also can be heard on satellite radio via SiriusXM channel 158 or 190 and via channel 961 on the SXM App.

Tennessee/Alabama Connections

Tennessee sophomores Sara Puckett and Karoline Striplin hail from Muscle Shoals and Hartford, Alabama, respectively.

They played in the same Alabama Southern Starz Nike EYBL program as the Crimson Tide’s Karly Weathers (Loretto, Tennessee).

UT assistant Samantha Williams was born in Luverne, Ala., before later moving to Louisville, Ky., while fellow assistant Joy McCorvey is from Brewton, Ala., and graduated from T.R. Miller High School.

Head coach Kellie Harper spent two years from 1999-2001 on Joe Ciampi’s staff at Auburn (admin. asst., then assistant coach), while Jon Harper graduated from Auburn and spent three seasons as a practice player, manager and intern for Ciampi from 1996-99.

Samantha Williams played for the Tigers during Jon Harper‘s time there.

UT Lady Vol strength and conditioning coach Bryan Tatum worked with the Auburn football program in the same capacity from 2014-21.

Alabama director of operations Brian Johnson is in his seventh season with the Tide and spent four seasons on Holly Warlick’s Lady Vol staff as a manager, graduating from UT in 2016.

Familiar Faces From Other Places

Tennessee’s Jillian Hollingshead and Alabama’s Sarah Ashlee Barker were teammates at Georgia last season before departing for new schools.

Lady Vol Rickea Jackson and Tide standout JaMya Mingo-Young were teammates at Mississippi State for two seasons from 2019-21.

Horston’s First Game Back Vs. Bama

Tennessee’s Jordan Horston saw her season end last year in Tuscaloosa, after suffering a fractured dislocation of her left elbow during a scramble for a loose ball in the fourth quarter.

The Lady Vols ending up dropping that contest, 74-64, on February 17th, 2022, and Horston became the third UT player to be lost for the year, significantly hampering the team’s chances for a deeper postseason run (they ended up making the NCAA Sweet 16).

Horston has bounced back stronger than ever and will face the Tide for the first time since that game.

Tennessee, meanwhile, was able to exorcise that loss by defeating Bama, 74-59, in the SEC Tournament in Nashville.

Noting The Offense

Tennessee is averaging 78.5 points per game this season to rank No. 27 nationally and No. 4 in the SEC after putting up 70.1 a year ago (72nd/8th), and it is producing 83.8 ppg. over the past six contests.

The Lady Vols have two standouts scoring in double figures and eight other active players averaging at least 3.9 ppg. and double-digit minutes per contest.

In a role that she has embraced and in which she is excelling, Rickea Jackson is coming off the bench and leading Tennessee in scoring (17.0 ppg.) and standing second in rebounding (5.7 rpg.).

Jackson ranks No. 4 in the SEC in scoring average and field goal percentage (55.8), and she has recorded a team-leading four 20+ scoring efforts. She also has tallied double figures in points in 11 of her 13 games.

In a starting role, Jordan Horston is UT’s second-leading scorer at 15.7 ppg., ranking ninth in the SEC, and is the team’s leader in rebounding (6.3 rpg.) and steals (23/1.6), while standing No. 2 in assists (40/2.9) and blocked shots (10/0.7). Horston has three games of 20+ points and three double-doubles while firing in 10 or more points in all 13 of the games she has completed this season.

The dynamic duo combines for 37 percent of Tennessee’s point production (29.4 ppg.) and 25 percent of its rebounds (10.8).

Jasmine Franklin, Karoline Striplin and Jillian Hollingshead have emerged as inside presences as Tennessee attempts to offset the loss of center Tamari Key. Franklin is putting up 8.2 ppg. and 7.4 rpg. over her last six contests, while Striplin is producing 5.5 ppg. and 3.5 rpg. and Hollingshead is contributing 5.2 ppg. and 4.0 rpg.

Sara Puckett and Tess Darby have upped their offense over the last six, as well, averaging 9.2 ppg. and 2.5 rpg., and 6.7 ppg. and 2.8 rpg., respectively.

Puckett (9-16, 56.3 pct.) and Tess Darby (10-21, 47.6 pct.) have been sharpshooters from beyond the three-point arc over the past six contests and freshman Justine Pissott has emerged as well, connecting on four of her last 10 threes for 40 percent while flashing a total shoot percentage of 48.1 by scoring in the mid-range and transition facets of the game.

The Lady Vols are No. 5 in the SEC in assist to turnover ratio at 1.01, averaging 15.5 assists and 15.3 turnovers.

A 59.4 percent shooting effort vs. Wright State was Tennessee’s best since hitting at a 61.7 clip vs. Liberty on 3/16/18 in the NCAA First Round.

UT recorded a school-record 84.6 shooting percentage for a quarter in the third frame vs. Wright State.

Defensively Speaking

After holding opponents to 60 points or fewer only once in the first six games of 2022-23, the Lady Vols have done so five times in their past nine contests, including four of the past seven outings.

Over the past six games, Tennessee is holding opponents to 35.6 percent shooting from the field and 59.5 points per contest after allowing 38.2 percent and 68.8 percent over the first nine contests.

Tennessee limited Florida to 25 percent shooting beyond the arc and only three 3-pointers on Thursday night, marking only the fourth time this season UT has held a foe to three or fewer treys. The Lady Vols had been giving up 7.1 per game for the season and allowing a percentage of 31.0.

The Lady Vols have held nine of their past 12 opponents under 40 percent shooting, with UCLA’s 43.5, Stanford’s 42.2 and Florida’s 40.7 serving as the only exceptions.

Through three contests, UT was barely out-rebounding opponents (39.3-38.0). They’ve now opened that margin up to +10.5 (43.4-32.9), out-boarding foes in 11 of 15 games, including nine of the past 10.
Tennessee is averaging 45.2 rebounds per game over the past six contests and has elevated its season average to a high of 43.4 entering the Alabama game and ranks No. 29 nationally and No. 5 in the SEC.
In rebound margin, UT is No. 20 nationally and No. 4 in the SEC at +10.5.
UT’s 55 rebounds vs. Wofford marked the third time it has been +50 this season.
Tennessee allowed only 15 rebounds to Wright State on December 11th, which is second in UT history only to the 13 grabbed by Puerto Rico-Mayaguez on 11/29/02 and tied with the 15 by Ole Miss on 2/24/11.
Despite facing a more rigorous schedule, Tennessee is averaging more steals (7.6 to 7.2) per game than it was last season.

Looking Back At The Florida Game

Senior forward Rickea Jackson fired in a season-high 28 points and pulled down a game-high nine rebounds to propel Tennessee to a 77-67 road win over Florida on Thursday night to open SEC play.

Jackson finished 10 of 13 from the field and eight of nine from the free-throw line, tallying 15 of her points in the second half on 5-of-5 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 accuracy at the charity stripe.

The Lady Vols (9-6, 1-0 SEC) also got 15 points from senior guard Jordan Horston, who made up for first-half foul trouble with 12 second-half points on 5-of-9 shooting over the final 20 minutes at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. She saw only five minutes of action during the opening 20 minutes after picking up her second foul with 8:17 remaining in the second quarter.

Florida (11-3, 0-1 SEC), which was receiving votes in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll, had four players in double figures, led by 21 points from Alberte Rimdal. KK Deans added 16, while Nina Rickards and Ra Shaya Kyle tossed in 11 each.

In winning for the fifth time in its past six games, Tennessee overcame an unsettled first half in which it committed an uncharacteristic 14 turnovers against an aggressive Gators defense. It did so by shooting 48 percent for the game, limiting UF to only three 3-pointers and outworking the home team on the glass, 45-27.

UT’s reserves also produced in a big way, outscoring Florida, 46-3, thanks in large part due to Jackson’s 28-point effort in 25 minutes off the bench.   

A Look At The Crimson Tide

Graduate guard Brittany Davis paces UA at 17.2 ppg. & 7.0 rpg.

She has eight teammates averaging between 8.8 and 4.6 ppg.

Alabama ranks No. 19 in the NCAA NET ratings.

UA is No. 6 in the NCAA in 3-pointers per game at 10.1 (141 total) and No. 8 in three-point field goal percentage at 39.0.

The Tide ranks No. 12 in scoring defense, allowing 52.7 ppg.

Bama’s Last Game

Alabama (12-2, 1-0 SEC) outlasted a late push from the Georgia Lady Bulldogs to take a 56-53 win in the Crimson Tide’s Southeastern Conference home opener on Thursday.

Brittany Davis and Hannah Barber combined for 29 of Alabama’s 56 points, with Davis recording her 13th double-figure game this season with 17 points and nine rebounds.

Barber went 4-of-7 from distance to tie a season-high 12 points in the game, adding three assists and a steal.

UT/UA Notes

Against the Crimson Tide, UT is 24-1 in games played in Knoxville, 19-4 in Tuscaloosa and 10-3 at neutral sites.

Kellie Harper is 5-3 vs. Alabama as a head coach, forging a 1-1 mark vs. the Tide while at NC State, a 0-1 record as Missouri State’s coach and a 4-1 advantage at Tennessee.
Harper (then Kellie Jolly) was 7-0 vs. Bama as a player at UT.
Alabama director of operations Brian Johnson is a 2016 UT graduate who served as a Lady Vol manager for four seasons.

Last Meeting Between UT, UA

No. 18/15 Tennessee advanced to the semifinals at the SEC Tournament, defeating 13th-seeded Alabama in Bridgestone Arena on March 4, 2022, 74-59.

Senior Rae Burrell led third-seeded Tennessee (23-7) in scoring with 21 points and a career-high-tying seven assists. Graduate Alexus Dye turned in a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds, and sophomore Tess Darby managed 12 points on 50-percent shooting.

Alabama (20-9) was led in scoring by Megan Abrams with 17 and Allie Craig Cruce with 12.

About UT Women’s Basketball

The Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team will be home again on Thursday night as Mississippi State travels to Knoxville.

Tip-off is slated for 5:32pm CT on SECN+.