In search of their first quality win of the season, the Tennessee Lady Vols are now on Paradise Island for the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament that the men’s team will compete in next week. The eight-team event begins on Saturday and runs through Monday, November 21st.
UT, #11 in the AP poll and #12 in the Coaches poll, will take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. Kellie Harper’s team goes into this game after a 79-67 home loss to the Indiana Hoosiers last Monday.
Rutgers, led by first-year head coach Coquese Washington who replaced longtime coach Vivian Stringer, has clinched a 66-45 win over the North Carolina Central Eagles. Here’s all the information you need for the first Tennessee Lady Vols tournament game.
Rueger Scarlet Knights Basketball
Tennessee Volunteer basketball
Saturday 19 Nov
Bad Boy Mower Battle 4 Atlantis
Imperial Arena; Nassau, Bahamas
Washington joined Rutgers three years after her last job as a head coach. She led the Penn State Nittany Lions from 2007-2019, reached four straight NCAA tournaments from 2011-2014, and won three straight Big Ten regular-season championships from 2012-2014.
However, she failed to make the NCAA tournament her last five years there and their paths parted in 2019. She then spent a year as an assistant with the Oklahoma Sooners and two years as an assistant with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Now with Rutgers, she inherits a team that lost every starter from last year’s team that went 11-20. Only a semi-rotary player is back. Awa Sidibe played more than 13 minutes per game last year and is now the team’s top scorer.
Erica Lafayette and Chyna Cornwell are the only other returning players, and neither of them played more than seven minutes a game last year. The rest of the team is rookies, but only two are rookies: Kaylene Smikle and Antonia Bates. Neither is a beginner.
The rest are transfers. Kassondra Brown of the Saint Peter’s Peacocks is the second-best scorer. UNC Asheville Bulldogs’ Kai Carter leads the team in assists. Abby Streeter of the Hartford Hawks is a starter.
That’s as deep as this team has gone this year. On the other hand, UT played Monday’s game without Jordan Horston but should have their back for this matchup. Losses at the Ohio State Buckeyes and then Indiana derailed the excitement behind a top-five finish last season.
This tournament could put them back on track. In addition to the Tennessee Lady Vols and Rutgers, Saturday sees the UCLA Bruins versus the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, the Texas Longhorns versus the Marquette Golden Eagles, and the Louisville Cardinals versus the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
The winner of that game will play the winner between UCLA and the state of South Dakota on Sunday noon, and the loser of those two games will go head-to-head on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET. Noon ET Monday is the scheduled time for the championship game.