Tennessee (5-1) vs. Lipscomb (3-2)
Monday, December 28th, 2020 | 6:02pm CT
Knoxville, TN | Thompson-Boling Arena | TV: SEC Network
Knoxville, TN – Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball (5-1) closes out the pre-conference portion of the 2020-21 schedule with a Monday night, December 27th, 2020 home contest vs. in-state opponent Lipscomb University (3-2).
The Lady Vols and Lady Bisons will meet at 6:02pm CT in Thompson-Boling Arena.
The contest features a battle between two players who had the privilege of playing for Pat Summitt at the University of Tennessee. Kellie (Jolly) Harper, of course, was a point guard who played at UT from 1995-99 and guided the Lady Vols to NCAA titles in 1996, 1997, and 1998.
Second-year Lipscomb head coach Lauren (Avant) Sumski, meanwhile, spent one year as a Lady Vol (2010-11) guard before finishing her playing career at Rhodes College in her hometown of Memphis.
Another former Lady Vol guard, Ariel Massengale (2011-15), is one of Sumski’s assistant coaches and serves as recruiting coordinator.
Both teams are coming off the holiday break, with UT (won vs. UNCG) and LU (lost vs. MTSU) last playing on December 20th.
Tennessee is 4-0 at home this season. Combined with a 2-0 record at T-BA at the end of the 2019-20 campaign, the Lady Vols are looking to claim their seventh straight contest on The Summitt and record their longest home win streak of the Harper era.
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The contest also can be heard on Lady Vol Network radio stations and by an audio stream, with Mickey Dearstone behind the microphone. Now calling the action for his 22nd season, Dearstone is joined by studio host Bobby Rader.
A link to the live audio stream can be found on each game’s Hoops Central page or 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 Vol Network Affiliates in the black bar at the top of the page.
Air time for games on the Lady Vol Radio Network generally occurs 30 minutes prior to tip-off.
Tickets Available at ALLVOLS.COM
Single-game tickets are on sale, starting at just $5.00. Go to AllVols.com to purchase.
Home Sweet Home
This is the 34th season that the Tennessee women’s and men’s basketball teams have called Thompson-Boling Arena their home, and the Lady Vols own an incredible 469-48 mark (.907) in the venue.
The Lady Vols have built a combined 622-72 (.896) home record in contests played at Thompson-Boling Arena, Stokely Athletics Center, and Alumni Gym.
Kellie Harper is 17-3 overall and 6-2 in SEC play in games played on The Summitt.
Tennessee vs. In-State Programs
The Tennessee women now are 250-61-1 all-time vs. four-year college teams from the Volunteer State.
The Lady Vols are 1-0 in 2020-21, with a win over East Tennessee State and games on the schedule vs. Lipscomb and Vanderbilt (twice) still to be played.
UT was 4-0 vs. teams from the state of Tennessee in 2019-20, beating East Tennessee State, Tennessee State, and Vanderbilt (home and away).
Quick Glance At The UT Lady Vols
UT is led in scoring by junior guard/forward Rae Burrell, who is putting up 17.7 ppg. and shooting 46.8 percent from the field, 46.4 percent on threes, and 82.6 percent from the free-throw line. She averaged 10.5 ppg. and shot 41, 33, and 60 percent, respectively, a year ago in those categories.
A year ago after six games, Burrell had not yet started and was averaging 9.3 ppg.
Senior Rennia Davis, who is on all of the preseason awards watch lists (Wade, Wooden, Naismith, Cheryl Miller) and a projected All-SEC First Team pick by the coaches and players, is second in scoring (11.2 ppg.) and is first on the team in boards at 7.7 rpg.
Sophomore Jordan Horston, an SEC All-Freshman performer a year ago is third on the team in scoring at 8.5 ppg. and is first in assists average (3.8) and tops in steals average (2.2). She has started the past two games after coming off the bench the first four.
The trio of Burrell, Davis, and Horston has been described as Tennessee’s “three-headed monster” because of the abilities those three possess.
Freshman guard/forward Marta Suárez, joining Burrell and Davis as UT’s only starters in every game this season, is second on the Lady Vols in rebound average (7.0) and is fourth in scoring at 7.0 ppg. as well.
Suárez has been a reliable rebounder, grabbing at least six caroms in every game.
Tennessee has 12 active players averaging better than 12 minutes of duty per game and 11 posting at least 3.0 points per contest.
Eight different players have scored in double figures thus far, led by Burrell doing so in five of six games.
UT is enjoying its most offensive productivity in the second quarter with 120 points (20.0) and is at its best defensively in the fourth frame, allowing 65 points (10.8).
Nine different Lady Vols have hit at least one three-pointer this season. The last season Tennessee had nine different players hit a trey was in 2011-12.
Tamari Key continues to own a gaudy field goal percentage, shooting 76.5 percent in five games, and is a disrupting force on the defensive end, averaging 2.0 blocks per contest and altering or discouraging many others.
Recapping UT Lady Vols’ Last Game
The Lady Vols picked up their fourth home win of the season on December 20th, toppling UNCG in Thompson-Boling Arena, 66-40.
Tennessee (5-1) was led by senior Kasiyahna Kushkituah, who finished with a season-high 13 points and four rebounds. Scoring and minutes were evenly spread amongst the Lady Vols with all 11 active players contributing at least two points to the victory and seven contributing five or more points.
Every UT player saw at least 13 minutes of playing time, with the reserves netting valuable experience with the SEC schedule approaching.
UNCG (1-7) was led by Tori Powell who logged 16 points and four rebounds. Lily Izundu and Excellanxt Greer each pitched in six points
Tennessee has embarked on a week that includes three games, including two ranked teams, in seven days.
After welcoming Lipscomb, the Lady Vols will open SEC action at No. 9/9 Texas A&M on Thursday (6:00pm CT/7:00pm ET, ESPNU) and host No. 13/12 Kentucky on Sunday (12:00pm CT, ESPN2).
Lipscomb, meanwhile, returns home to play host to Campbellsville-Harrodsburg at 4:00pm CT on Tuesday before beginning Atlantic Sun Conference action with back-to-back games at Liberty on Saturday and Sunday. That makes four games this week for the Lady Bisons.
About the Lipscomb Bisons
Lipscomb is led by head coach Lauren Sumski, who signed to play for Pat Summitt at Tennessee. Sumski, whose maiden name was Avant, played the 2010-11 season for the Big Orange before transferring to Rhodes College in her hometown of Memphis.
Like UT’s Kellie Harper is assisted by her husband, Jon, Sumski is aided by her spouse, Chris.
Sumski is 45-46 in her fourth year overall and is 10-25 during her second season of a rebuilding process at Lipscomb.
The Lady Bisons are led by Taylor Clark and Sydney Sheldon, who average 13.8 and 10.4 points per game, respectively.
Third-leading scorer Jalyn Holcomb (8.5 ppg.) was the ASUN Freshman of the Year in 2019-20.
Tennessee-Lipscomb Series History
Tennessee is 2-0 all-time in games vs. Lipscomb University, including 1-0 at home and 1-0 on the road.
This will mark the first time Kellie Harper has faced Lipscomb as a head coach. She never faced the Lady Bisons as a player either.
In addition to former Lady Vol Lauren (Avant) Sumski serving as head coach of the Lady Bisons, there are three others with UT connections on the Lipscomb roster and staff.
Lipscomb assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Ariel Massengale played at Tennessee from 2011 to 2015 and is in her second season at the Nashville school. Massengale was a graduate assistant at Ole Miss for two seasons before joining Sumski’s staff.
LU sophomore guard Casey Collier is one of four daughters of LVFL Shelley (Sexton) Collier, the point guard on UT’s first national championship team in 1987. Shelley Sexton played in 112 games for Pat Summitt and averaged 8.5 ppg. from 1983-87. Casey’s older sister, Katie, played at MTSU.
The Lady Vols are 12-0 all-time vs. current members of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
UT’s most recent meetings with a current member of the ASUN came in 2018 and 2019, as the Lady Vols defeated Stetson, 65-55, and 73-46, respectively.
Recapping Lipscomb’s Last Game
The Lipscomb women’s basketball team closed out a busy stretch of action with an 84-64 loss at Middle Tennessee. The game was the Lady Bisons’ third in four days and fourth of the week.
Sydney Shelton paced Lipscomb with 15 points, the most she has scored in the Purple and Gold. Jalyn Holcomb added 14 points and seven rebounds, while Taylor Clark notched 12 points and five rebounds.
The Lady Bisons made just six of their 32 three-point attempts. Three of the six were from Shelton.
Lipscomb went 14 of 18 from the free-throw line, led by Holcomb and Clark’s 4-for-4 marks.
Lipscomb lost the rebounding battle by just one, 45-44. Kailey Rosenbaum grabbed six, while Jane Deason pulled down five.
Last Time Tennessee Faced Lipscomb
Tennessee’s 26-0 early first-half run kick-started an 85-51 romp over Lipscomb at Allen Arena in Nashville on December 7th, 2014.
Three Lady Vols finished in double figures on the afternoon, led by 16 points each from seniors Cierra Burdick and Isabelle Harrison. True freshman Alexa Middleton chipped in 12 points.
Burdick, who posted her second consecutive double-double with a team-high 10 rebounds, did her damage on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and 8-of-9 accuracy from the stripe. As a team, UT was 20-of-25 from the free-throw line — good for an even 80 percent — on its way to its first road victory of the season.