For the first time since 12/14/08, Texas and Tennessee will meet with both teams ranked in the top 10 in the AP poll. Texas will look to win a third straight game when both are ranked in the top ten. #4 Texas won 74-59 over #1 Tennessee on11/25/2004 and on 12/14/08, #6 Texas beat #7 Tennessee 73-59. Texas enters this game ranked #6 while Tennessee comes in at # 4. Texas will be the first top 25 team that Tennessee plays this season. Their previous wins were against Penn, Oral Roberts, Winthrop and Tennessee State before dropping the game against Chattanooga. Texas, meanwhile, has played UTSA, Stanford, UCLA and UTPA and won all four. Tennessee will be looking to extend a five game winning streak against the Horns. Texas has one win in the last nine game, that being the 12/14/18 win. Tennessee will be coming off their first loss of the season while Texas seeks to go to 5-0. Tennessee was shocked on the road by Chattanooga 67-63 the same night that Texas was struggling against UTPA before pulling out the double digit win. Tennessee lost their leading rebounder and second leading scorer from last season, Isabelle Harrison, to a right knee MCL sprain in their season opener. She had a double double in 19 minutes before her injury. It is not clear if she will be available for the game Sunday. Texas continues to be without Imani who is recovering from leg surgery and projected to be back after the end of the semester. Tennessee is also waiting the return of Jannah Tucker from a knee injury. The Lady Vols are led in scoring by Nia Moore (# 1, 6-3 Jr. F) with an average of 17.8 ppg. Ariel Massengale (# 5, 5-7 Sr. PG) is second with 15.0 ppg. Basharra Graves (# 12, 6-2 Jr. F) comes in third at 13.0 ppg. The aforementioned Harrison (# 20, 6-3 Sr. C) adds 12.0 ppg, if available. Jasmine Jones (# 2, 6-2 Jr. F) at 9.5 ppg, Kortney Dunbar (# 13, 6-2 Fr. G/F) at 9.0 ppg, Jamie Nared (# 31, 6-2 Fr. G/F) at 8.6 ppg, Andraya Carter (#5-9 RS Soph. G) 7.8 ppg and Alexa Middleton (# 33, 5-9 Fr. G) 7.2 ppg all present scoring options for the Lady Vols. Moore tops the Lady Vols in FGs made (39) and attempted (70). She is second in FG% at 55.7%. Graves is second in FGs made and attempted at 23-47 (48.9%). Dunbar is the leader in FG % at 56.0% (14-25) while Massengale is the third Lady Vol over 50% at 52.4% on 22-42 shooting. While Tennessee has seven players that have attempted a trey, the main threats are Massengale (11-22, 50.0%) and Dunbar (7-15, 46.7%). No other Lady Vol has attempted more than nine treys or made better than Middleton’s 22.2%. The Lady Vols are shooting a very good 78.4% from the FT line. Graves is the leader in FTs at 19-24 (79.2%). Nard (14-19, 73.7%) and Moore (11-14, 78.6%) are the others that have attempted at least 10 FTs. Five others, while attempting 8 or less FTs are making at least 80%. It’s hard to pick a Lady Vol to that is likely to miss a FT with the game on the line. Harrison has the best rebounding average at 10.0 rpg but has not played since the first game. Moore (8.4 rpg) and Graves (8.2 rpg) are strong on the boards. Five others average at least four rpg. Jordan Reynolds (# 0, 5-11 Soph. G) with 24 (4.8 apg) leads a quartet of Lady Vols with double digit assists. Middleton (17, 3.4 apg), Carter (15, 3.8 apg) and Nared (11, 2.2 apg) are the others. Moore is the leader with 11 blocks while Graves is second with 5 and Dunbar has four. Three Lady Vols have reached double figures in steals with another at nine. Carter (16), Reynolds (14), Graves (10) and Middleton (9) are the top ballhawks for the Lady Vols. Tennessee has fourteen players on the roster. Diamond DeShields (# 10, 6-1 Soph. G) is sitting out her redshirt year after transferring from North Carolina. Both Harrison and Tucker are questionable due to injuries. That leaves 11 players, all of whom are averaging at least 14 mpg. Moore, Graves and Reynolds have started all five games. Five others have at least one start. Graves (29.4 mpg) and Carter (29.3 mpg) lead seven players averaging at least 20 minutes per game. Two players, Jasmine Jones and Cierra Burdick (# 11, 6-2 Sr. F) have played in only 2 and 3 games, respectively. Burdick has started the last two games while Jones played against Chattanooga after not playing in the previous three games due a concussion suffered in the first game. Joining Burdick as starters in the Lady Vols last game were Moore, Graves, Reynolds and Carter. Horns are by Kelsey at 14.5 ppg while Nneka is second with 11.0 ppg and Ariel adds 10.5 ppg. Brooks is averaging 9.5 ppg. Empress brings an 8.5 ppg average while Brady and Nekia each averages 8.0 ppg. The Horns are balanced inside and out in their shooting. Kelsey tops the team with 46 FGs attempted while Empress is second with 43. Others that have reached double digits in attempts: Brooke (34), Ariel (33), Nneka (31), Brianna (25), Brady (12) and Celina (12). Kelsey has made 28 (60.9%). Nneka has put in 18 (58.1%). Brady 7 (58.3%). Lilley at 2-4 is the other Horn hitting at least 50%. Ten of the 12 Horns that have played have taken at least 1 three. Brooke at 8-16 (50.0%) is the only one have taken double digit treys. Ariel is at 40% (2-5) while Tasia (1-2, 50.0%) and Brianna (1-1, 100%) are the others hitting more than 25% of their treys. Texas is getting to the FT line an average of 23.5 times a game. They are shooting a pedestrian 66%, partly due to their 17-28 for 61% in their last game. Six Horns are getting at least 2.5 FTs per game with Ariel’s 18-20 (90.0%) leading the team in all three categories. Except that Nekia is slightly better with an percentage of 100% on 2-2. Tasia (10-12, 83.3%) and Brady (9-11, 81.8%) are the others hitting at least 80% of their FTs. No one is hitting better than 67%. Our two leading scorers are also our two leading rebounders with Kelsey and Nneka swapping positions in rebounding as Nneka averages 8.0 rpg while Kelsey is one rpg behind at 7.0 rpg. Brianna adds 6.0 rpg. Nekia, having played in only the first game, is averaging 10 rpg to actually lead the team. Five players average at least two assists per game led by Celina’s 2.8 apg, Brady’s 2.7 apg and Empress’ 2.5 apg. Nine players have at least one steal with Ariel (6) and Kelsey (5) topping that list. Kelsey (7) and Nneka (7) have 14 of Texas’ 17 blocks this season. Ten players have played in all four games. Brady has played in the last three after missing the opener with a right thumb injury. Nekia has missed the last three games with illness after playing in the first game. Diani, coming off a knee injury, played in her first game against UTPA this past Wednesday. Imani remains out after undergoing leg surgery before the start of the season. Texas has used the same starting lineup in the last three games: Nneka, Kelsey, Ariel, Empress and Celina. Kelsey, after fouling out in the first game, has stayed out of foul trouble and is averaging 30.8 mpg to lead in that category. Five players are averaging between 21 and 28 mpg. Three are averaging in the teens. The rotation has been a pretty stable 10-11 player rotation. With Diani and possibly Nekia now available, that could allow the rotation to expand, especially in the post. Projected starters based on the last game: [pre] Texas Tennessee Nneka (6-1 Sr. F) Graves (6-2 Jr. F) Kelsey (6-5 Soph. C) Moore (6-3 Jr. C) Ariel (5-11 Fr. G) Burdick (6-2 Sr. F) Empress (5-7 Jr. G) Reynolds (5-11Soph. G) Celina (5-8 Jr. G) Carter (5-9 RS Soph. G) [/pre] If both Nneka and Kelsey can stay out of foul trouble, they will give Tennessee trouble inside. To get a few minutes breather, Lilley, Nekia and Diani should be available. The ability of both Kelsey and Nneka to hit the outside shot as well as score close to the basket will be key for Texas. So will their ability to pass out of double and triple teams to the open shooter. Moore and Graves are the main scorers for the Lady Vols. Dunbar, Jones and Burdick are the main posts coming off the bench. It remains to be seen whether preseason All American post Harrison will be available to play Sunday. Tennessee will likely look to go inside and use their depth to get Kelsey and Nneka in foul trouble.One advantage that Texas will have is in the backcourt depth where Tennessee has four guards and two 6-2 G/Fs to go against eight Texas guards who can all penetrate, finish, pass and shoot the three or mid range jumper. Both teams are going to run, press and work the boards. [pre] TEAM STATISTICS Texas Tenn -------------------------------------------------------------- SCORING.................. 302 429 Points per game........ 75.5 85.8 Scoring margin......... +15.7 +35.4 FIELD GOALS-ATT.......... 113-264 165-366 Field goal pct.......... .428 .451 FG made per game. 28.25 33.0 FG att. per game… 66.0 73.2 3 POINT FG-ATT........... 14-48 23-70 3-point FG pct.......... .292 .329 3-pt FG made per game.. 3.5 4.6 3-pt FG att. per game….. 12.0 14.0 FREE THROWS-ATT.......... 62-94 76-97 Free throw pct.......... .660 .784 F-Throws made per game. 15.5 15.2 FTs attempted per game... 23.5 19.4 REBOUNDS................. 196 226 Rebounds per game...... 49.0 45.2 Rebounding margin...... +17.2 +8.2 ASSISTS.................. 62 99 Assists per game....... 15.5 19.8 TURNOVERS................ 65 64 Turnovers per game..... 16.3 12.8 Turnover margin........ +1.0 +14.2 Assist/turnover ratio.. 1.0 1.5 STEALS................... 28.0 79 Steals per game........ 7.0 15.8 BLOCKS................... 17 27 Blocks per game........ 4.3 5.4 WINNING STREAK........... 4 -0- Home win streak........ 2 4 ATTENDANCE............... 5072 36971 Home games-Avg/Game.... 2-2536 4-9243 SCORE BY PERIODS: 1st 2nd OT Total ----------------- ---- ---- ---- ----- Texas................. 145 145 12 302 Tennessee............. 198 231 - 429 [/pre] While Texas looks to run whenever possible, the Horns are comfortable running their half-court offense. Neither team is overly dependent on the three as 18% of Texas FGs attempted are treys while the Lady Vols’s 3s make up 19% of their shots. Tennessee is much better from the FT line than Texas (78.4% to 66.0%). But Texas takes more FTs per game (23.5 to 19.4). Both average just over 15 FTs made per game. Texas has a slight edge in rebounds per game at 49.0 rpg to the Lady Vols’ 45.2 rpg. However, the Horns rebounding margin is twice that of Tennessee (17.2 to 8.2). Tennessee should have their hands full staying the Horns on the boards. Tennessee does steal the ball twice as much as Texas does (15.8 to 7.0). This will be the last chance for seniors Nneka and Krystle to get a win over Tennessee in their time at Texas. It should be their best chance as well. With Stanford losing for the second time on Friday, a win over Tennessee could vault Texas into the top four in the AP poll. From texassports.com: No. 6/9 Women's Basketball preview: No. 4/5 Tennessee Link to the Tennessee utsports.com writeup: LADY VOL HOOPS CENTRAL: #6/9 Texas Still no Bevo Bargains listed. But this game will be the Orange Santa game according to the program from the UTSA game. Fitting since both teams have orange as one of their primary colors. Last year, I believe you got a general admission ticket for a toy. Guess more information will be on the gameday site on texassports.com when it goes up for the Tennessee game. Meanwhile, don’t forget to bring a toy to the game.