With a week off and a two-game losing streak, the Tennessee Lady Vols visit the LSU Tigers. Here is our women’s basketball Volunteers preview.
After two losses to the top teams in the SEC, the South Carolina Gamecocks and Mississippi State Bulldogs, the Tennessee Lady Vols are back on the road with a week’s worth of rest. Ranked No. 25 in the AP Poll, they travel to Baton Rouge for a key rematch.
Rocky Top, at 17-6 and 7-3 in the SEC, visits the LSU Tigers, who are 17-5 and 7-3 in the SEC. The programs met two and a half weeks ago in Knoxville, with UT winning the game then 63-58. That remains their best quality win so far.
Kellie Harper’s team will be going for the sweep, and they should have Rennia Davis back as well. She missed the Mississippi State game due to the flu. Here is all the information you need for the Tennessee Lady Vols’ road trip.
No. 25 Tennessee Lady Volunteers at LSU Tigers
When: Thursday, Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Pete Maravich Assembly Center; Baton Rouge, La.
TV: SEC Network Plus
Live stream: WatchESPN
Led by former UT grad and ninth-year head coach Nikki Fargas, LSU has won three straight since that loss to the Lady Vols. Included in that was a huge win over the Texas A&M Aggies, whom they have now beaten twice, giving them four wins over top 30 RPI teams on the year. So they are a very tough opponent.
Right now, UT is in the midst of a five-game trip against teams either in the top 25 of the AP Poll or the top 25 of the RPI. That’s part of a stretch in which they play eight of 10 games against teams in the top 100 of the RPI. This has helped their schedule strength rise from outside of the top 150 to in the top 100, and it will likely go up over the next week.
This is the third game of that stretch. Harper and co. will then host Texas A&M and visit the Arkansas Razorbacks to close things out. They are clearly looking for a couple of quality wins in this stretch, as that could move up their RPI from a No. 49 ranking, and with their final three games against teams outside of the top 100, they need to get some.
That actually makes this game somewhat crucial. LSU already has numerous quality wins, so they aren’t as desperate. But if they don’t win one or two of these five games, and they have already lost two of them, the Tennessee Lady Vols will have a very thin resume entering postseason play. So this is an important matchup.