After a tough loss to open the season at the Ohio State Buckeyes Tuesday, the Tennessee Lady Vols will attempt to right the ship in their home opener. Once again, they’ll be facing a team that made the NCAA Tournament last year as part of their brutal non-conference slate.
UT, ranked No. 4 in the AP Poll and No. 5 in the Coaches Poll, will face the UMASS Minutewomen Tuesday night. It’s their second straight game against a program that made the NCAA Tournament last year as part of a brutal non-conference schedule.
UMASS, led by seventh-year head coach Tory Verdi, is coming off a 72-57 win over the Central Connecticut Blue Devils to tip off their quest for a fourth straight winning season. Here is all the information you need for the Tennessee Lady Vols’ matchup.
- TV: SEC Network+
- Live stream: WatchESPN
- Radio: Lady Vol Network; UMASS Sports Network
- Listen online: UTSports; The Varsity Network (Desktop); The Varsity Network (Phone)
While Tuesday’s loss wasn’t a terrible look for Rocky Top since it was against a ranked team on the road, losing by double-digits was a bad look, particularly for a program that was supposed to be back to national prominence. There’s now a lot of pressure on Harper’s team to right the ship.
To be fair, UT had to incorporate four new transfers into its rotation while replacing two key players from last year in Rae Burrell and Alexus Dye, so there are some growing pains. Dealing with that while starting the season off against a ranked team is certainly unique.
Last year, UMASS lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament 89-78 as a No. 12 seed. They enter this year with tons of expectations since they return four starters, all of whom make up their four leading scorers. This will certainly be a tough test for Harper’s team.
Up next for the Tennessee Lady Vols is a visit from the Indiana Hoosiers this coming Monday, another team that made the NCAA Tournament last year. UMASS, meanwhile, will return home to face the Maine Black Bears.