The appetizer to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta is women’s basketball in nearby Nashville. Holly Warlick’s Lady Vols (14-7, 3-5 SEC) after dropping six straight games, will try for their 3rd consecutive win when they take on rival Vanderbilt (6-15, 1-7 SEC) at Memorial Gymnasium at 3 p.m. ET.
Tennessee will attempt to snap a two-game road skid, which includes setbacks at Georgia (66-62) and Alabama (86-65) on Jan. 13 and Jan. 17, respectively. In four of the Lady Vols' five SEC losses, they have lost by a combined total of nine points, including a one-point loss to Arkansas, two-point setbacks to Missouri and Kentucky, and a four-point loss at Georgia.
Vanderbilt has lost two in a row, seven of eight and 10 of its past 12 contests. The Commodores' only SEC victory came at home vs. Ole Miss, 80-68, but they've been competitive in many of those games, including an 11-point loss to current No. 16/18 South Carolina, 80-69, in Columbia on Monday night.
The Lady Vols feature two in-state players, including Murfreesboro native (Blackman H.S.) Meme Jackson, a senior guard/forward, and freshman point guard Jazmine Massengill of Hamilton Heights Christian Academy in Chattanooga. UT assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Sharrona Reaves is a product of Murfreesboro's Oakland High School.
VU's director of offensive analytics is Mickie DeMoss, who worked alongside Holly Warlick and served under Pat Summitt as assistant/associate head coach/assistant from 1985-2001/2001-03/2010-12. Vandy graduate assistant Kortney Dunbar played at Tennessee from 2014-18, appearing in 101 games and averaging 2.9 ppg. and hitting 69 three-pointers.
ESPN2 will carry the 81st meeting between the Lady Vols and Commodores, as they face off on Super Bowl Sunday at historic Memorial Gymnasium.