Tennessee Lady Vols Shock No. 6 Ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish: 3 Takeaways

The Tennessee Lady Vols upset the No. 6 ranked Fighting Irish Monday in Knoxville. Here are three takeaways from the Volunteers’ women’s basketball win.

Holly Warlick’s team got back on track after a two-game losing streak with a huge upset win Monday at Thompson Boling Arena. The Tennessee Lady Vols shocked the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 71-69.

Tennessee came back from 10 points down going into the fourth quarter to pull out the win. The Lady Vols were down by 13 going into halftime.

With the win, Tennessee improved to 11-6 overall, and Notre Dame dropped to 16-3.

This is Tennessee’s third win against a Top 25 team, and it was a crucial win after two straight SEC losses last week.

They are likely to move up with their Top 20 RPI ranking thanks to their strength of schedule as well.

Here are three takeaways from the Tennessee Lady Vols’ victory.

1. Tennessee can play fast-break defense.

Dating back to the early Pat Summitt days, the Tennessee Lady Vols developed a reputation for tough, half-court defense and rebounding. Holly Warlick’s problem has been a seemingly inability to adapt to up-tempo basketball.

But against a Notre Dame team that likes to run and shoot, they did just that. Tennessee only forced 12 turnovers and allowed the Irish to shoot over 60 percent from three, but they only allowed five made three-pointers. That’s because by getting back on time defensively, Notre Dame wasn’t able to pull up on threes the way they often like. That was huge in the fourth quarter as well.

2. Holly Warlick needs to run eight players.

She keeps insisting that she doesn’t need to have a deep bench, but Tennessee’s two-game losing streak saw the Lady Vols run only seven people. In this game, she ran eight players, and once again, they looked like the team that was on a six-game losing streak.

Not only that, but Tennessee came back late in the fourth, meaning they didn’t just not get tired. They got a jolt of energy. Perhaps Warlick should use this method more.

3. Diamond Deshields can get aggressive in ways other than shooting.

She made one three on five attempts, but Deshields still managed to have one of her best games with 20 points on 7-of-17 shooting the ball. The guard looked like the superstar she needs to be with four assists to go along with that, and she even added three blocks and six rebounds.

Deshields was the biggest reason the Tennessee Lady Vols were able to run with Notre Dame all night, and she is certainly the player of the game for this team.

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