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HomeSports#7 Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball hosts East Tennessee State, Monday

#7 Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball hosts East Tennessee State, Monday

#7 Tennessee (9-1) vs. East Tennessee State (1-10)
Monday, December 20th, 2021 | 5:32pm CT
Knoxville, TN | Thompson-Boling Arena

UT Lady VolsKnoxville, TN – In-state foes No. 7/9 Tennessee (9-1) and East Tennessee State (1-10) will face one another on Monday, meeting for the seventh consecutive season and for the 28th time in the series.

The Lady Vols and Buccaneers are set to tip-off at 5:32pm CT Monday in Thompson-Boling Arena in a contest that will mark the final competition before the holiday break for the Big Orange.

The battle marks the third of five consecutive home games during the month of December for UT and the first of two straight match-ups against schools within the Volunteer State.

Tennessee enters Monday night’s test after losing a top-10 clash with No. 3/3 Stanford on Saturday evening, 74-63, in Knoxville before a season-best crowd of 10,017. The setback to the Cardinal ended Kellie Harper‘s finest start in 18 years as a head coach. It also halted UT’s best season-opening run since 2017-18 as well as a 10-game home winning streak that dated back to January 24th, 2021.

ETSU, meanwhile, comes to Knoxville bearing the weight of an eight-game losing skid and 1-10 overall record under first-year head coach Simon Harris. The Buccaneers’ most recent contest saw them drop a 61-48 decision at Jacksonville State on Thursday night.

Broadcast Information

Bob Kesling (play-by-play), Madison Blevins Hock (analyst) and Kasey Funderburg (reporter) will be on the call for the SECN+ broadcast.

All of the games included in the ESPN package (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU) will be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, 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 radio stations and by audio stream, with Mickey Dearstone behind the microphone. Now calling the action for his 23rd 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.

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


Game Promotions

Spark the Summitt!: Get $5.00 tickets for all price zones (excluding courtside), available in advance or on game day. Plus, $1.00 tickets are available for kids 12 & under. 

Free parking and free shuttle service from the Ag Campus (Lot CF near Brehm & Food Science Bldgs.).

For additional details and information, please call 865-974-1734 or visit the Fans tab on UTSports.com and click on the Fan Experience link.

UT Lady Vols vs. In-State Opponents

The Tennessee women are 253-61-1 all-time vs. four-year college teams from the Volunteer State, and Kellie Harper is 8-0 in those match-ups in her third season on Rocky Top.

The Lady Vols are 1-0 this season (W vs. Tenn. Tech) and were 3-0 in 2020-21, with wins over ETSU, Lipscomb, and Middle Tennessee, with two games on the schedule vs. Vanderbilt (home and away) canceled.

UT has won eight in a row over schools from within the state border and 24 of the last 25, with the lone setback during that run being a 76-69 loss to Vanderbilt in Knoxville on February 28th, 2019. 

About the Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball

The Lady Vols are one of the nation’s biggest stories of 2021-22, opening up at 9-1 against one of the NCAA’s toughest schedules despite losing returning starters Rae Burrell and Marta Suárez to injuries and opening the season with Jordan Horston on the sideline for a game.

Tennessee is among the nation’s best at rebounding and defending, but its offense is emerging with different members of the team stepping up each game.

Eight different players have scored in double figures this season, including seven who have done so in multiple games.

The Lady Vols have had at least one player record a double-double in every game through the contest with Stanford, led by Tamari Key with six (including a triple-double) and Jordan Horston with five.

UT has shown itself to be a tough, gritty team, coming from behind in the fourth quarter four times this season to win games (Southern Illinois, South Florida, Texas, Virginia Tech). UT also came from 20-down in the second quarter vs. No. 3/3 Stanford, cutting the deficit to three in the second half with a 17-0 run spanning the second and third periods before eventually falling to the Cardinal.

Tennessee is led by 6-2 junior guard Jordan Horston, who paces the team in scoring (16.0 ppg.) and assists (4.0 apg.), while ranking second in rebounding (9.8 rpg.) in a breakout season.

Horston is second on the team with five double-doubles and has topped UT in scoring six times.

Alexus Dye, a 6-0 forward, is second among active UT players in scoring at 9.7 ppg. She is third in rebounding at 8.2 rpg.

Tamari Key, a 6-6 junior center, is putting up 8.8 ppg. and 9.7 rpg. to go along with 3.8 bpg. She had a triple-double of 10 points, 18 rebounds and 10 blocks in UT’s 74-70 OT victory over No. 12/21 Texas and her block average currently ranks No. 1 all-time among Lady Vols in a season and No. 2 in the nation. Key leads Tennessee with six double-doubles thus far, including four in the past five games. 

Freshman guard/forward Sara Puckett, graduate guard Jordan Walker, graduate forward/center Keyen Green and sophomore guard/forward Tess Darby average 8.2, 7.3, 6.4 and 4.3 ppg., respectively, with Walker and Darby starting alongside Key, Horston and Dye.

Freshman point guard Brooklynn Miles is UT’s eighth active player averaging double-figure minutes at 22.8, and she was effective as a ball-handler and defender before becoming a scorer in game nine. She hit for a season-high 11 points vs. Georgia State on December 12th, hitting three of five field-goal attempts.


UT-ETSU Series Notes

Tennessee leads the all-time series with the Buccaneers, 24-2-1.

UT’s records include games played in 1924 (ETSU, 22-16 in Knoxville), 1925 (25-all in Johnson City), and 1926 (UT, 50-16 in Knoxville), when the orange-clad players were called Volettes.

Since losing 62-56 in Johnson City on February 12th, 1971, the Lady Vols have won 22 in a row in the series

Tennessee holds a 15-1 home record vs. ETSU, with the lone Buc victory coming in the first meeting at Knoxville in 1924.

The Lady Vols have a 7-1-1 record when playing at ETSU, winning their past seven games there. UT is 2-0 at neutral sites.

Kellie Harper‘s debut as head coach at Tennessee came on Nov. 5, 2019, with #RV/RV Tennessee escaping with a 72-68 victory in Johnson City. 

Freshman Tamari Key came off the bench in that game to card 11 points, 12 rebounds, five blocks, and three assists in her college debut.

The Lady Vols have reached the 100-point plateau three times vs. ETSU, doing so in 2010 (102) and twice in 1977 (100, 102).

The Lady Vols are 67-20-1 all-time vs. schools from the Southern Conference. After facing ETSU, the Lady Vols will play host to another SoCon school, Chattanooga, on December 27th. 

ETSU assistant Jackie Alexander was an assistant for UT’s Samantha Williams when Williams was head coach at EKU from 2019-21.


About The East Tennessee State Buccaneers

The Buccaneers come into Monday night’s game with a 1-10 record, dropping all seven of their road contests and scoring only 54.8 per contest.

Carly Hooks and Damiah Griffin are ETSU’s active leading scorers this season at 9.6 and 8.3 ppg. Jaila Roberts was putting up 11.9 ppg. but is no longer on the roster.

The Bucs are aggressive defensively, averaging 9.4 steals per game.

About ETSU Head Coach Simon Harris

Simon Harris is in his first season at the helm at ETSU, becoming the ninth coach of the program.

Harris was an assistant in 2020-21 at Ohio State.

He also spent two years at NC State and seven at Dayton (3 – men’s team/4 – women’s team).

Last Time ETSU Played

Three of the four quarters saw a scoring differential of less than three, but the Bucs couldn’t hang on to the Gamecocks, falling 61-48 to Jacksonville State in Pete Mathews Coliseum on Thursday night.

Both teams scored 29 points in the final two quarters and the Gamecocks only held a three-point advantage including the first quarter, but Jacksonville State outscored the Bucs 17 to 7 in the middle ten minutes to take a lead and effectively ride it to the end.

The Blue and Gold saw a career game from Amaya Adams, who posted 19 points on eight of 14 shooting from the floor, two of three from deep, and added two boards, two assists, and three steals. The Bucs also got a double-digit performance from Abby Carrington, who added 11, nine of which came from beyond the arc.

Leading the conference in steals per game, the Bucs added another nine to their 2021-22 campaign, forcing 14 Jacksonville State turnovers, a team that ranked in the top 25 in turnover margin. 

Last Time UT And ETSU Met

The Tennessee Lady Vols held off a scrappy East Tennessee State team on December 1st, 2020, taking a 67-50 victory in Thompson-Boling Arena the last time these teams met.

Tennessee (2-0) was led in scoring by Rae Burrell, who finished with 20 points on seven-of-11 shooting. Rennia Davis and Jordan Horston were also in double figures with 15 and 12, respectively. 

Jakhyia Davis was the high scorer for the Bucs (1-1), finishing with 11 points and six rebounds.

Next Up For UT Lady Vols Basketball

Once More Before The Break

Tennessee is in a stretch where it plays five in a row at home during the month of December.

The Tennessee women’s basketball team will next play on December 27th at 5:30pm CT, as the players return from break with an in-state tilt with Chattanooga. The contest will be streamed on SECN+.

Alabama open will open SEC play vs. UT in Knoxville on December 30th at 5:30pm CT and close out the five-game run.

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