Hoops Preview: Lady Vols at Arkansas

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee (18-9, 10-2 SEC) will be in Fayetteville Thursday to battle with Arkansas (19-8, 6-6 SEC) at 6:02 p.m. CT (7:02 p.m. ET) at Bud Walton Arena.

This will mark the 39th meeting between these programs, with UT holding a 33-5 series advantage after sweeping a pair of games a year ago, including an 86-83 overtime triumph in Knoxville on Jan. 31, 2022.

The Lady Vols enter the contest holding down third place in the SEC standings, while the Razorbacks are tied for seventh with Georgia.

Tennessee is coming off a dominant second-half showing at home vs. Vanderbilt on Sunday, winning 86-59 on the strength of a 28-8 third-quarter explosion and 20-13 finishing frame to outscore the Commodores, 48-21, over the final 20 minutes after the teams were deadlocked at 38 at the half. UT has won two of its past three games, but it will try to snap a two-game string of close away-contest losses suffered at then No. 3/3 LSU (76-68) on Jan. 30 and at Mississippi State (91-90 in 2OT) on Feb. 6.

Arkansas has won two of its past three matchups but dropped five of its past seven after falling at Vanderbilt (78-70) last Thursday before crushing Missouri on Sunday, 61-33, in Columbia.

Broadcast Information

  • Thursday night’s game will be televised on SEC Network, with Courtney Lyle (PxP) and Christy Thomaskutty (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. This game, however, will not be available.

Lady Vols Solid In The Net Rankings

  • Tennessee is at No. 18 in the NCAA Women’s Basketball NET ratings as of Feb. 14. The system is used to determine projections for the NCAA Tournament, and UT is eyeing a record 41st bid.
  • UT is playing its 15th game vs. a NET top-50 team, including No. 2 UConn, No. 3 LSU, No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Indiana, No. 12 Virginia Tech, No. 16 Ohio State, No. 20 Colorado, No. 22 Alabama, No. 25 UCLA, No. 28 Ole Miss, No. 35 Mississippi State (twice), No. 38 Arkansas, No. 39 Gonzaga and No. 44 Georgia.
  • Tennessee is ranked No. 1 in the NCAA Toughest Schedule Report through Feb. 13 in cumulative opposition (510-235, .685) and also in past opposition (443-202, .687) entering the Arkansas game.

Lady Vol News & Notes

  • In UT’s last five games, Jillian Hollingshead has averaged 10.4 ppg. and 8.0 rpg. while shooting 55.9 pct., including career highs of 18 points and 12 boards vs. Mississippi State on Feb. 6 for her first collegiate double-double.
  • Rickea Jackson carded her 10th 20+ scoring effort of the campaign vs. Vandy, dropping 21 points. That’s seven in 12 SEC games.
  • Jordan Walker carded UT’s highest +/- rating of the year, logging an eye-popping +40 vs. Vanderbilt. In two seasons of box scores listing that stat, it ranks behind only Sara Puckett’s +43 vs. Chattanooga on Dec. 27, 2021.
  • After posting no double-digit scoring efforts before the winter break, Tess Darby now has seven since then, including six in SEC play. She is averaging 9.3 ppg. in league games.
  • With 18 points and nine rebounds vs. Vandy, Jordan Horston boosted her scoring average to 16.8 ppg. while shooting 45 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free throw line over the past five contests.
  • Jasmine Powell is three shy of 1,000 career points. Powell has 997 between her time at Minnesota and UT. She will become the fifth member of the current squad to reach 1K.
  • With 420 dimes, Jordan Horston is nine from matching Kristen Clement (429) at No. 10 on UT’s career assists list.
  • Tennessee has risen to No. 10 nationally and No. 3 in the SEC in rebound margin, out-working foes 43.3 to 32.9 on the glass in 2022-23.

Looking Back At The Vandy Game

  • A 28-point third quarter effort propelled the Lady Vols to an 86-59 victory over Vanderbilt in UT’s Play4Kay game at Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday afternoon.
  • Senior Rickea Jackson led Tennessee (18-9, 10-2 SEC) in scoring with 21 points on the day, while senior Jordan Horston narrowly missed a double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds. Junior Tess Darby also had a productive outing with 14 points, and graduate Jordan Walker dished out a game-high eight assists and logged an eye-popping +40 plus/minus effort.
  • Vanderbilt (11-15, 2-10 SEC) was led by Marnelle Garraud who tallied 16 points. Sacha Washington and Ciaja Harbison were also in double figures with 12 and 11, respectively.

Dominating the Paint

  • The Lady Vols were sensational around the basket, out-rebounding the Commodores 51-25 on the day and outscoring them in the paint 48-14.
  • On the offensive glass, UT out-rebounded Vandy 15-4, turning that into 19 second-chance points while holding VU to a Lady Vol opponent season-low zero second-chance points in the contest.

Second-Half Horston

  • Jordan Horston was key in Tennessee’s explosive third quarter, scoring 10 of her 18 points during that period, and leading UT in scoring for the half with 12 points while adding five second-half rebounds.

Another Third-Frame Surge

  • Tennessee broke open a 38-38 tie at the half with a 28-8 explosion in the third quarter to forge a 66-46 lead after three frames.
  • UT shot 73.3 from the field (11-15), 100 percent on threes (2-2) and 100 percent on free throws (4-4) in the period while holding Vandy to 20-percent shooting from the field (3-15), zero percent on threes (0-3) and 50 percent (2-4) on free throws. 
  • Tennessee is averaging 21.7 points in the third period in SEC play and 22.4 over the last 18 games.

UT/UA Notes

  • Tennessee holds a 33-5 all-time record vs. Arkansas, including 16-2 in Knoxville, 15-3 in Fayetteville and 2-0 at neutral sites.
  • UT is 2-1 in overtime and 2-0 in the postseason vs. UA, meeting for the first time in SEC Tourney play in 2016. UT prevailed, 68-51, in the second round in Jacksonville, Fla., on March 3 that year.
  • No. 1/1 Tennessee and unranked Arkansas met in an NCAA Final Four semifinal game in Kansas City, Mo., on March 27, 1998, and the Lady Vols cruised past the Razorbacks, 86-58, en route to their perfect 39-0 season.
  • Then the starting point guard for UT, Kellie (Jolly) Harper tallied 11 points, five assists and three rebounds during 30 minutes in that contest.
  • Harper was 4-1 vs. the Razorbacks as a player.
  • As a head coach, Harper is 5-3 all-time vs. Arkansas. She won her last two meetings vs. the Razorbacks while at Missouri State, including 69-54 in Fayetteville on Dec. 2, 2015, and 64-62 in Springfield on Dec. 11, 2016.
  • This is the fourth meeting between Harper and Mike Neighbors as head coaches, with Harper standing 3-1 vs. UA as UT’s skipper.
  • Arkansas assistant Lacey Goldwire had the same role at Tennessee from 2019-21 before returning in 2021-22 to Mike Neighbors’ staff at Arkansas, where she worked from 2017-19 in his first two seasons as head coach in Fayetteville.

A Look At The Razorbacks

  • Arkansas has four scoring in double figures, including Erynn Barnum (16.4), Samara Spencer (14.0), Makayla Daniels (13.5) and Chrissy Carr (11.1).
  • The Razorbacks average eight made threes per game, led by 61 from Carr, 48 from Daniels and 44 from Spencer.
  • UA gets out-rebounded, 40.8 to 39.0 per game.

Arkansas’s Last Game

  • Arkansas dominated Missouri on Sunday, rolling to a 61-33 victory that set a UA record for fewest points allowed to an SEC opponent.
  • Chrissy Carr led the Razorbacks with 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc, while Erynn Barnum added 14 and Makayla Daniels 11.
  • UA scored 24 points off 22 Mizzou turnovers and held MU to a 1-for-15 day beyond the arc.

Last Meeting Between UT, UA

  • Battling back from a 13-point deficit, the No. 7/5 Lady Vols defeated Arkansas 86-83 in overtime on Jan. 31, 2022, at Thompson-Boling Arena.
  • Tennessee (19-2, 8-1 SEC) found key offense from a number of contributors. Jordan Horston scored 24 points to lead the Big Orange, while Rae Burrell was clutch down the stretch, sinking 17 of her 21 points in the second half and overtime.
  • Tamari Key made a career-best eight free throws in a 14-point night, while Sara Puckett contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
  • Horston’s energy showed on both ends of the floor, as she also pulled down 11 rebounds and tallied 40 minutes on the floor, a career high. It was Horston’s 10th double-double of the year.
  • Amber Ramirez led UA with 29 points.

Last Time We Played In Fayetteville

  • No. 7/9 Tennessee picked up a hard-fought win on the road on Jan. 2, 2022, taking down the Razorbacks, 70-63, at Bud Walton Arena.
  • Tennessee (13-1, 2-0 SEC) had five players in double figures, with Tamari Key leading the team with 17 and Alexus Dye recording a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Jordan Walker finished with 13, while Jordan Horston had 12 and Keyen Green chipped in 11.
  • Amber Ramirez was the leading scorer for Arkansas (10-4, 0-1 SEC) with 26, while Makayla Daniels added 11.

Upcoming Games

  • There are only two more regular season Lady Vol home games.
  • Tennessee’s next home contest will be the Senior Day matchup vs. Auburn at noon on Sunday.
  • UT seniors will be saluted during pregame festivities.
  • The Weekend Family 4 Pack Deal will be available, with four tickets & four $10 concession vouchers starting at $72 (plus tax/fees).

-UT Athletics

Lady Vols / Credit: UT Athletics


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