Hoops Preview: Lady Vols at Missouri

Hoops Preview: Lady Vols at Missouri

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Having hosted its own “We Back Pat” game on Thursday evening in Knoxville, RV/RV Tennessee (15-6, 7-0 SEC) will travel to Columbia to face off at 2:02 p.m. CT (3:02 p.m. ET) on Sunday vs. Missouri (14-5, 3-3 SEC) in the Tigers’ home event during the SEC’s 12th celebration of “We Back Pat” Week.

UT and MU will meet for the 17th time in a series that dates back to 1978, with the Lady Vols holding a 13-3 advantage and winning the past five meetings between the programs.

Through seven games, UT remains tied atop the SEC standings along with South Carolina and LSU, while Missouri is tied for seventh with Mississippi State. Kellie Harper‘s squad enters on an eight-game winning streak and has been victorious in 13 of its past 15 contests, with its only two losses coming vs. (then) No. 9/9 Virginia Tech (59-56) on Dec. 4 and at No. 2/2 Stanford on Dec. 18 (77-70).

A UT win vs. MU would push the Big Orange to 8-0 in league play and stand alone as the best league start since the Lady Vols opened at 13-0 in 2014-15 en route to a 15-1 league record and regular-season title. The current 7-0 start matches last year’s opening run.

On Thursday in Knoxville, Tennessee remained perfect in SEC play by defeating Florida by 18, 74-58, with the dynamic duo of Rickea Jackson (16 pts, 7 rebs.) and Jordan Horston (14 pts., 10 rebs.) leading the charge. UT outscored UF 18-4 in points off turnovers, 44-26 in the paint, 42-5 in bench points and 20-11 in second-chance points to improve to 11-2 at home this season, including 4-0 in league games.

Following an 11-1 start this season in non-conference action, Missouri has lost three in a row and four of its last seven games, with the losses all coming against ranked teams (#21/23 Illinois, RV/22 Arkansas, #3/4 LSU, #1/1 South Carolina). The Tigers had the night off on Thursday after falling last Sunday to No. 1 South Carolina, 81-50, in front of 15,444 fans at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C.

We Back Pat Week

  • The 12th annual “We Back Pat” Week, a week-long initiative focused on bringing awareness and recognition to the Pat Summitt Foundation, a fund of East Tennessee Foundation, and its fight against Alzheimer’s disease is set for Jan. 19-26.
  • SEC member institutions will support The Pat Summitt Foundation during their home basketball games. During the women’s games slated for the week, various efforts will be made to increase awareness of The Pat Summitt Foundation.
  • The Lady Vols are slated to wear their “We Back Pat” edition uniforms for the Florida game at home and the Missouri contest on the road.

Broadcast Information

  • Sunday’s game will be streamed on SECN+, with Max Thoma (PxP) and Jordan Roundtree (Analyst) on the call.
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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 frequently on satellite radio via SiriusXM and the SXM App. but will not be available this game.

Looking Back At The Florida Game

  • Tennessee used a 26-16 third-quarter burst to pull away and claim a 74-56 victory over Florida in Thompson-Boling Arena on Thursday night to remain undefeated in SEC play.
  • The Lady Vols won their eighth straight game and opened 7-0 in SEC play for the second year in a row. Those league starts are the best by UT since opening 13-0 in 2014-15.
  • Seniors Rickea Jackson and Jordan Horston led UT (15-6, 7-0 SEC), with Jackson turning in a game-high 16 points and Horston logging a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.
  • UF (12-7, 1-5 SEC) was led by Ra Shaya Kyle and Kirsten Deans with 13 points each. Alberte Rimdal, who had 21 points the last time these squads met, was limited to 10 this time around.

Heating Up After Half

  • The Lady Vols poured in 26 points in the third quarter against Florida to turn a six-point halftime lead into a 16-point advantage by the start of the fourth.
  • Over the last 11 contests, Tennessee has outscored its opponents in the third in all but one game and is averaging 24.7 third-quarter points.
  • Against SEC foes, the Big Orange is averaging 23.0 ppg. in the third stanza.

Closing In On 1K

  • In 15 minutes of action, Jasmine Franklin racked up six boards vs. Florida, pulling her career total to 997 rebounds.

Double-Double For Jordy

  • Jordan Horston recorded 14 points and 10 rebounds against Florida to log her fifth double-double of the season and 18th of her career.

Flipping The Script On Turnovers

  • In Gainesville on Dec. 29, Tennessee committed 23 turnovers and surrendered 27 Florida points off turnovers in a 77-67 Lady Vol victory.
  • On Thursday night in Knoxville, the Lady Vols handled Florida’s aggression much better, committing only six miscues and giving up only four points off turnovers.
  • That total of four points tied for the second fewest allowed this season.
  • The six turnovers also tied for the second fewest.

Taking Advantage Of Second Chances

  • Tennessee tallied 20 second-chance points vs. the Gators, marking the fourth time in seven SEC games the Lady Vols have hit that mark.
  • They had scored 20 or more points off the boards only twice in non-conference play.

Getting Tougher Defensively 

  • After holding Florida to 56 points and 32.8 percent shooting, the Lady Vols have now held their last three foes to those numbers and below. 
  • UT previously limited Texas A&M to 50 and 30.2, while holding Georgia to 55 and 30.2.

Defense Setting The Tone Early 

  • Six times this season Tennessee has held an opponent to a single-digit point total in the first quarter, including three times in SEC play.
  • UT did so vs. Vanderbilt (9), Texas A&M (7) and Georgia (8) in three straight games from Jan. 8-15
  • In the Georgia game, the Big Orange didn’t allow the Lady Bulldogs to score a field goal until the 2:59 mark.
  • The other single digit quarters by opponents came from Colorado (9), Chattanooga (8) and Wofford (4).
  • The opening-frame tally by Wofford on Dec. 27 tied the four third-quarter points by Rutgers on Nov. 19 for the lowest by any opponent this season.
  • The four by Wofford also ties for the fewest UT has ever allowed in an opening frame (Georgia, 2/28/16) and ties for the fifth-fewest surrendered in any quarter by a foe.

A Look At The Tigers

  • Missouri is led in scoring by seniors Lauren Hansen (14.1 ppg.) and Hayley Frank (13.9 ppg.), while junior Sara-Rose Smith is the top rebounder (7.3 rpg.).
  • The Tigers started the year 7-0 and were 12-2 entering SEC play, with the only non-conf. losses coming to Virginia Tech (73-57) and Illinois (76-66).
  • MU began league action at 3-0 but has lost its last three to Arkansas, LSU and South Carolina.
  • As usual, the Tigers are a constant threat from deep, with Hansen (44), Frank (42), Haley Troup (26) and Ashton Judd (14) leading on three-pointers.

Missouri’s Last Game

  • Missouri (14-5, 3-3 SEC) trailed only 19-17 after one quarter, but No. 1 South Carolina (18-0, 6-0) used a 28-11 second-frame edge to pull away en route to an 81-50 victory on Jan. 15 at Colonial Life Arena.
  • Senior guard Lauren Hansen paced the Tigers as the only double-figure scorer, tallying 14 points.
  • USC dominated MU on the glass, 52-22, generating 29 second-chance points via 23 offensive rebounds.

Tennessee/Mizzou Notes

  • The Lady Vols hold a 13-3 all-time record vs. Missouri, standing 6-1 in games played in Knoxville, 5-2 in Columbia and 2-0 at neutral sites.
  • UT owns an 10-3 mark against Mizzou since the Tigers joined the SEC. Robin Pingeton has been the head coach in Columbia that entire time, and this is Kellie Harper‘s fourth season leading the Lady Vols.
  • Harper has a 4-0 mark vs. MU as UT’s head coach.
  • Harper is 6-4 vs. Missouri all-time, with the first two wins coming while leading Missouri State (2-4 vs. MU) from 2013-19.
  • Harper is 3-2 in home games, 1-2 away and 2-0 at neutral sites vs. the Tigers.

Last Meeting Between UT, MU

  • Bouncing back into the win column, the No. 13/10 Tennessee women’s basketball team raced to a 58-33 lead after the first three quarters and coasted to victory over Missouri, 76-62, on Feb. 10, 2022, at Thompson-Boling Arena.
  • The Lady Vols (20-4/9-2 SEC) grabbed their 20th win of the season, the 44th time in 48 years that the program has reached that total. Missouri fell to 16-8, 5-6 in league play, as Kellie Harper‘s squad moved to 4-0 over the Tigers under her leadership.
  • UT spread the scoring around on offense with four players finishing in double figures. Junior Jordan Horston led the Big Orange attack with 21 points, followed by sophomore Tess Darby with 12 points and graduate Alexus Dye and senior Rae Burrell adding 11 each.
  • Horston was all over the floor, notching her 11th double-double of the season by adding 13 rebounds along with five assists.

Last Visit To Columbia

  • Rennia Davis scored all 26 of her points in the second half, including 20 in the fourth-quarter, leading No. 20/21 Tennessee to a 78-73 win over Missouri at Mizzou Arena on Feb. 24, 2021.
  • Rae Burrell added 23 points and eight rebounds, while Jordan Walker was the top rebounder for UT (14-6, 8-4 SEC) with 10 boards.
  • Haley Troup and Aijha Blackwell led MU with 16 each.

Upcoming Games

  • The Lady Vols return home to host No. 5 UConn on Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN, followed by a Jan. 30 game at No. 3/4 LSU on ESPN2 (6 p.m. CT/7 p.m. ET).

ESPN College Gameday At UT Next Thursday

  • ESPN’s College GameDay Covered by State Farm travels to Knoxville on Thurs., Jan. 26, for its first of three women’s college basketball shows this season. The one-hour program will air at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, preceding the storied rivalry of No. 5 UConn and Tennessee that tips at 8 ET.
  • Elle Duncan will host the show from inside Thompson-Boling Arena, alongside women’s college basketball commentators Andraya Carter, Rebecca Lobo, Carolyn Peck and Holly Rowe. Lobo and Rowe will join play-by-play voice Ryan Ruocco on the call for the game. Carter played for the Lady Vols from 2012-16, Lobo starred at UConn from 1991-95 and Peck was an assistant coach under Summitt from 1993-95.
  • This will mark the third consecutive time Tennessee has been involved in the four occasions where ESPN’s College GameDay has been on site for a women’s basketball game and the second time the show has visited The Summitt for a Lady Vol contest. Both of those occurrences are the most of any school.
  • On Feb. 20, 2022, College GameDay visited Columbia, S.C., as South Carolina hosted the Big Orange. The previous visit to a campus for women’s hoops came on Jan. 15, 2011, when Rocky Top was the site for GameDay as Tennessee hosted Vanderbilt on a day in which the Vols and Lady Vols played at noon and 8 p.m., respectively. It marked the first men’s and women’s doubleheader show for the network. The year before, ESPN was on hand for the Notre Dame at UConn game in Storrs, Conn., for the inaugural women’s GameDay on Jan. 16, 2010.

-UT Athletics

Lady Vols at Missouri / Credit: UT Athletics