Two of the most iconic programs in women’s college basketball will meet on the court Monday in a highly-anticipated non-conference match-up when the Tennessee Lady Vols visit the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Both squads are undefeated so far this season, each winning the first two games on their schedule. But questions remain for each team and the game should be a good measuring stick for both sides. Who will step up for Notre Dame with all five of last season’s starters gone? Can Tennessee win an early, important game and make a statement in their first year under Kellie Harper?
Here’s everything you need to know about the Lady Vols vs. the Irish.
Tennessee vs. Notre Dame: Preview, how to watch
Tip-off: Monday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. ET | Live Stats
Where: The Edmund P. Joyce Athletic & Convocation Center in South Bend, Indiana.
Watch: This match-up will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
The Irish and the Lady Vols have met every season since 2011 and 29 times since 1983.
Their last meeting was in Knoxville on Jan. 24, 2019, and the Irish left with a 77-62 victory. Arike Ogunbowale scored 28 points and grabbed six rebounds, while Jackie Young totaled a triple-double with 16 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in the win for Notre Dame. Tennessee was led by Zaay Green’s 19 points.
Notre Dame has won eight of its last nine games against Tennessee, but the Lady Vols won the first 20 games in the rivalry from 1983 through 2008. They have met in the NCAA tournament four times. Tennessee still leads the all-time series 21-8.
|Tale of the tape|
|Received Votes||Rankings (AP/Coaches)||16/14|
|63-36 win over Central Arkansas||Last game||84-60 win over Loyola Maryland|
|19-13; First round NCAA tournament||2018-19 Record||35-4; National Championship game|
|Kellie Harper||Coach||Muffet McGraw|
|Zaay Greene (13 ppg)||Top Scorer||Katlyn Gilbert (19 ppg)|
|Tamari Key (8.5 rpg)||Top Rebounder||Destinee Walker (8 rpg)|
Tennessee vs. Notre Dame: Players to watch
Notre Dame: Katlyn Gilbert, Sophomore, Guard
Gilbert has stepped up in the first two games of the season for Notre Dame, scoring in double-digits in wins over Fordham and Loyola Maryland. In all, she’s totaled 38 points, 11 rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists so far in 63 minutes played.
A former McDonald’s All-American from Indianapolis, Indiana, Gilbert was playing regularly off the bench as a freshman last season for Notre Dame — and featured often in the Irish’s early season wins over Gonzaga and Drake — but she separated her shoulder against Iowa on Nov. 29, 2018, and missed the rest of the year after having surgery to repair it.
In losing all five starters from last season’s Final Four team, McGraw has relied on Gilbert early and often.
OREGON ON TOP: Ducks top the Associated Press Top 25 Preseason Poll
Tennessee: Jordan Horston, Freshman, Guard
Horston was Harper’s first big recruit signing, as ESPN tabbed her as the second best player in the 2019 class. The 6-foot-2 product of Columbus, Ohio was a McDonald’s and Jordan Brand All-American and has played with Team USA on the FIBA U-17 team.
In her Lady Vols’ debut against East Tennessee State, Horston struggled a bit in scoring — totaling just four points on six shot attempts — but she did dish out six assists, grab four rebounds and block a shot in 15 minutes. Her second game was better, as she led the Lady Vols in scoring with 17 points in a win over Central Arkansas, while also tallying five rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
A matchup with Notre Dame will not only be a test for Tennessee, but for Horston too.