Hoops Preview: Lady Vols vs. Wright State

Tennessee (5-5) will try to surpass the .500 winning percentage mark for the first time this season on Sunday, as Wright State (1-7; 0-2 Horizon League) comes to Knoxville for a 2:02 p.m. ET matinee at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The contest marks the Lady Vols’ fifth of a six-game home stand and a stretch of nine out of 11 on The Summitt between Nov. 25 and Jan. 5.  Coach Kellie Harper‘s squad enters having won three of its last four contests, taking down Chattanooga by a 69-39 count Tuesday evening on the UT campus.

Tennessee played that game without two starters and a key reserve, as senior forward Rickea Jackson remained out due to coach’s decision, graduate forward Jasmine Franklin was inactive for her second game while in concussion protocol and senior center Tamari Key missed the first game ever in her career for what was later announced as the discovery of blood clots in her lungs after additional testing on Tuesday. She has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2022-23 campaign.

Wright State arrives on Rocky Top as part of a two-game road swing. The Raiders were in Huntington, W.Va., on Friday night, where they suffered a 72-47 defeat at the hands of the Marshall Thundering Herd. WSU enters Sunday’s tilt with an 0-5 record in road games this season.

This will mark the first-ever meeting between these schools in women’s basketball.

Game Promotions

  • December Deal 4-Game Pack: Get two tickets to Lady Vol Hoops vs Chattanooga, Wright State, UCF and Wofford, plus two $10 concessions vouchers to each game. 
  • Weekend Family 4 Pack: Get four tickets & four $10 concessions vouchers starting at $72 (plus tax/fees).
  • Tickets are available at AllVols.com.

Broadcast Information

  • The game will be streamed on SECN+, with Michael Wottreng (PxP), Kamera Harris (Analyst) and Sarah Detwiler (Reporter) on the 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 Voice of the Lady Vols Brian Rice on the call and Andy Brock serving as studio host. 
  • 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 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 channels 103 or 191, and via channel 962 on the SXM App.

Lady Vol Trending Topics

  • Over the past four games, Tennessee has a +19.8 scoring margin over foes, defeating them by an average score of 74.8 to 55.0.
  • During that stretch, the Lady Vols have out-shot foes 45.7 to 33.6 percent and out-rebounded them by a 46.0 to 30.5 count, which is +15.5 for the Big Orange.
  • Jordan Horston has been sensational during that four-game window of the season, averaging 19.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals while shooting 55.4 percent from the field, 54.5 percent on three-pointers and 90 percent (9-10) from the charity stripe.
  • Jillian Hollingshead has played her best basketball of the season during that four-game stint, as well, producing 9.7 points and 5.7 rebounds while shooting an impressive 68.4 percent from the field (13-19).
  • The Lady Vols have trimmed their opponents’ points per game average to a season-low 65.8 after holding foes to 51, 71, 59 and 39 over the past four outings after UT had allowed 77.0 ppg. to opponents over the first three games of the season.
  • Tennessee has held foes to single digits in six separate quarters over the past five games, including vs. four different opponents.
  • The Lady Vols had a run of three straight quarters where they held opponents below 10 in the final quarter vs. No. 9 Virginia Tech (8) and the first two frames vs. Chattanooga (8, 7).
  • UT limited Tech to eight fourth-quarter points, 25 second-half points and 36 over the final three quarters, marking the lowest totals by a foe all season in those time frames until lowering the second-half number to 24 and the final three stanzas to 31 vs. Chattanooga.
  • Over the past four games, Tennessee has limited its foes to shooting 36 percent or lower.
  • The Lady Vols have held six of their past seven opponents under 40 percent shooting, with UCLA’s 43.5 effort serving as the exception.
  • Tennessee has forced an average of 17.4 turnovers per contest this season.
  • Through three contests, UT was barely out-rebounding opponents (39.3-38.0). They’ve now opened that margin up to +8.2 (41.8-33.6) after out-boarding Chattanoooga even without three of UT’s top four rebounders (Franklin, Jackson, Key), 38-27, on Tuesday.
  • Tennessee has improved to No. 43 nationally in rebound margin with that number.
  • Jordan Horston and Rickea Jackson have both scored in double figures the past seven games they’ve played, with Jackson hitting for 10+ in every game but the first and Horston having done so in each game she played except for the UMass contest in which she was knocked out by an injury in the second quarter.
  • Jordan Horston and Rickea Jackson have combined for six 20+ scoring games. Horston filled the nets with 20+ vs. Ohio State in the opener (20) and vs. Colorado (23) and Virginia Tech (26). Jackson has carded three 20+ scoring games, including 26 vs. Rutgers, 24 vs. UMass and 20 vs. Colorado.
  • Tennessee has had six different leading rebounders over the first 10 contests, including Jordan HorstonRickea JacksonJasmine PowellMarta SuárezJasmine Franklin and Jillian Hollingshead.
  • After averaging 20.8 turnovers over the first four games of the season, UT cut that number to 15.2 over the last six contests, including a season-low 12 vs. Eastern Kentucky and 13 vs. Chattanooga.

What’s Next?

  • The Lady Vols wrap up their six-game home stand on Weds., Dec. 14, as they welcome UCF to The Summitt for a 6:30 p.m. ET contest (SECN+).
  • Fans can take advantage of the Weekday Family 4 Pack Deal, with four tickets & four $10 concessions vouchers starting at $48 (plus tax/fees). 
  • Following the UCF game, Tennessee will head west to play at Stanford on Sun., Dec. 18 (3 p.m. ET/ABC), before a final pre-conference home match-up with Wofford on Tues., Dec. 27 (SECN+).

Home, Sweet Home

  • This is the 36th season that the Tennessee women’s and men’s basketball teams have called Thompson-Boling Arena home, and the Lady Vols own a remarkable 496-54 record (.902) in the mammoth venue.
  • The Lady Vols have built a combined 649-78 (.893) home mark in contests played at Thompson-Boling Arena, Stokely Athletics Center and Alumni Gym.
  • Kellie Harper is 44-9 overall, 25-5 vs. non-conference foes and 19-4 in SEC play in games played on The Summitt through the Chattanooga game.
  • Tennessee ranked No. 8 nationally in average home attendance through 18 contests a year ago at 7,477 and is currently averaging 7,540 to rank sixth.

Looking Back At The Chattanooga Game

  • The Tennessee Lady Vols got contributions throughout the lineup Tuesday night en route to a dominant 69-39 victory over UTC at Thompson-Boling Arena.
  • After posting perhaps its best effort of the season in a three-point loss to No. 9 Virginia Tech on Sunday, UT took more steps forward in the midweek contest vs. a long-time in-state rival. The Big Orange (5-5) dominated in nearly every facet of the game, capitalizing on opportunities when presented with them. 
  • The Lady Vols, despite playing without seniors Tamari KeyJasmine Franklin and Rickea Jackson, outscored Chattanooga (6-5) by an 18-0 count in fast-break points and turned 21 UTC turnovers into 19 points while surrendering only four.
  • Of the 12 players to take the floor for the Lady Vols, 11 scored and the wealth was spread throughout the squad. Senior guard Jordan Horston led all scorers in the game, dropping 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting and sinking both tries from beyond the arc. Horston also added two blocks and two steals in the contest.
  • Senior guard Jasmine Powell cleaned up the glass and secured six boards, all on the defensive end. She was followed closely by Jillian Hollingshead, who collected five rebounds go along with nine points.

Collegiate First

  • Sophomore Karoline Striplin made her first career start against Chattanooga and immediately made an impact, scoring UT’s first points of the game and leading the team in scoring at the half with seven points.
  • She finished with a 3-of-7 night from the field, including 1-of-2 shooting behind the arc, and tallied three rebounds, an assist, steal and block in 20 minutes.

Lockdown Defense

  • Tennessee limited Chattanooga to just eight first-quarter points, the fewest points scored by any Lady Vol opponent in an opening period this season. 
  • It was the first time the Mocs had been held below 10 points in a first quarter and just the third time they’d posted single-digit scoring in any quarter during the 2022 campaign.  

Defense Creates Offense

  • The Lady Vols forced 21 turnovers against UTC and turned those into 19 points. 
  • That was the second-highest number of turnovers UT has forced this season, only trailing Colorado’s 25 turnovers.

Balanced Attack

  • Eleven of UT’s 12 active players made it onto the score sheet against the Mocs, with seven Lady Vols tallying five or more points and nine grabbing three or more rebounds.  

Money From The Stripe

  • Junior Tess Darby has hit a pair of free throws in each of the last two games, keeping her career total a perfect 100 percent on 14-of-14 from the free-throw line. 

Specialty Stats Bests

  • Tennessee held Chattanooga to opponent season lows in three specialty stats categories.  
  • The Mocs generated only four points off turnovers, five second-chance points and none via fast breaks. 

A Look At The Raiders

  • Wright State is located in Dayton, Ohio, and is a member of the Horizon League.
  • The school is named for American aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright.
  • The Raiders are off to a tough 1-7 start, with their only victory a 98-37 home romp over Ohio Christian on Nov. 17. 
  • A common opponent is Ohio State, which handled Wright State by a 102-72 count in Columbus on Nov. 23. UT fell in the season opener to the Buckeyes by a score of 87-75 on Nov. 8.
  • WSU is giving up 80.5 points per game and scoring only 62.6 for a deficit of -17.9 points per contest.
  • Bryce Nixon is Wright State’s sole player scoring in double figures, putting up 10.5 ppg.
  • Nixon is hitting 46.3 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from beyond the three-point arc.
  • The Raiders are coached by second-year skipper Kari Hoffman, who is 5-26 at WSU and 111-64 after a successful five-year run at nearby Cedarville University where she was 106-38.

Wright State’s Last Game

  • Wright State got outscored 25-12 in the first quarter and went on to fall to Marshall, 72-47, on Friday night at the Cam Henderson Center in Huntington, W.Va. 
  • Bryce Nixon led the Raiders (1-7, 0-2 HL) in the loss with 10 points — all in the first half — to go along with two rebounds and two assists.
  • Isabelle Bolender scored nine points, while Makiya Miller totaled eight points, three assists, and two rebounds in her second collegiate start. Cara VanKempen chipped in with four points, a team-high four rebounds, and three assists. 
  • WSU was held to a 32 percent (19-of-59) shooting percentage, which included a season-low five 3-pointers on 27 attempts. 
  • The Raiders were limited to 13 or fewer points in all four quarters of the non-conference matchup vs. the Thundering Herd (5-3).

UT/WSU Notes

  • This will mark the first-ever meeting between Wright State and Tennessee. 
  • Sunday’s clash will mark the second time a Kellie Harper-helmed unit has faced the Raiders.
  • When Harper was at Western Carolina, the Catamounts dropped a 65-63 decision to Wright State in regular-season tournament action on Nov. 27, 2005. 
  • WSU last played in the state of Tennessee at the Nashville Tournament during the 2018-19 season, according to the school’s game notes.
  • The Raiders went 3-0 in the tourney with wins over Hofstra (93-64), Stetson (57-44), and Marist (76-60). 
  • Tennessee is 5-0 vs. teams currently in the Horizon League, including 2-0 vs. Green Bay, 1-0 vs. Oakland and 2-0 vs. Youngstown State.
  • The Lady Vols’ most recent contest vs. a program from that conference came on March 18, 2016, in the NCAA First Round, when UT defeated Green Bay, 59-53, at Wells Fargo Arena, in Tempe, Arizona.

-UT Athletics

lady Vols Hoops / Credit: UT Athletics


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