March 16, 2002
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A youthful Notre Dame squad will face another challenge Sunday night when it tackles No. 6 Tennessee in the second round of the NCAA Midwest Regional at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn. The two teams have combined to win four of the last six NCAA championships, and Sunday’s winner will continue on the path to another national title, advancing to the regional semifinals next weekend in Ames, Iowa.
No. 7 seed Notre Dame (20-9) opened NCAA Tournament play with a hard-fought 58-44 victory over 10th-seeded New Mexico Friday night in Knoxville. Junior guard Alicia Ratay scored a game-high 14 points for the Irish, who won their NCAA opener for the seventh consecutive season. Notre Dame also tied a Midwest Regional record by holding the Lobos to 11 second-half points. Second-seeded Tennessee (26-4) began its NCAA Tournament run with a 98-68 win over No. 15 seed Georgia State on Friday night. Gwen Jackson logged a double-double with game highs of 28 points and 10 rebounds, one of five Lady Vols to score in double figures. UT also shot the ball well, connecting at a 61 percent clip in the second half, to put away a pesky GSU squad that only trailed 38-30 at halftime.
All-America guard Kara Lawson leads Tennessee in scoring at 15.9 points per game, while center Michelle Snow adds 13.1 ppg. and a team-best 6.8 rebounds per game.
Pat Summitt is in her 28th season as the Lady Vols’ head coach, compiling a 785-157 (.833) record which includes six NCAA titles. She is 13-0 against Notre Dame in her Hall of Fame coaching career.