Last night, the Tennessee Lady Vols had a capacity crowd on hand to honor the great Pat Summitt as they welcomed the number-two ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish, a team the Lady Vols had been near perfect against.
Well, had is the perfect word because Notre Dame senior Skylar Diggins had her career best scoring night, drooping 33 on the Lady Vols en route to leading the Irish to a 77-67 victory, their third straight victory over Tennessee.
The Lady Vols won 20 straight against Notre Dame before 2011. The Irish defeated Tennessee for the first time, in the elite eight of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. In 2012, the Irish defeated the Lady Vols in South Bend and last night’s victory over Tennessee for their first win ever in Knoxville.
The Irish were led once again by Diggins, who dished out five assists and had four steals on top of her 33 points against the Lady Vols. Diggins, one of top players in the country, has not disappointed Irish fans this season. Diggins is averaging 17.8 points per game in her senior year and she saved her best outing for the biggest stage. There were a number of former Tennessee great players including Candice Parker in attendance to honor Summitt and all her accomplishments. Before the game, Tennessee raised a banner honoring Summitt, who has a career record 1098-208 and eight national championships.
Notre Dame took a four point lead into halftime against the The Lady Vols, the ninth ranked team in the country. In the second half, Diggins sparked a early run scoring 12 points early in the second half that extended the Irish lead to 16 points. Tennessee attempted a late rally but Diggins and the Irish were too much for the Lady Vols.