Game Thread: #23/25 LADY VOLS VS. #8/8 MISSISSIPPI STATE

#1
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#1
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- No. 23/25 Tennessee (17-5, 7-2 SEC) will play its second straight top-10 opponent, as No. 8/8 Mississippi State (20-3, 8-1 SEC) comes to Knoxville for a 6:32 p.m. ET encounter on Thursday at Thompson-Boling Arena.

This will mark the 44th meeting in a series that began in 1986, with Tennessee leading 37-6. The Lady Vols will try to snap a three-game losing streak to the Bulldogs as well as a three-game home court skid to MSU.

Thursday's match-up will offer a tussle between the SEC's second-place team, Mississippi State, and the Lady Vols, who stand alone in third place a game ahead of Arkansas, Kentucky, LSU and Texas A&M.

The battle with the Bulldogs marks the only home game for Tennessee in a four-game stretch that included trips to Vanderbilt and No. 1/2 South Carolina as well as an upcoming journey to #RV/RV LSU on Feb. 13. The Lady Vols do enjoy their only off date this weekend before heading to Baton Rouge next week.
 
#3

Amb3096

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#3
Biggest game of the year by far. Great opportunity for Kellie's first signature win and a chance to make a statement about her as a coach and the direction of the program to fans and recruits.

I hope the fans will really step up for this one as well. Anything less than 15,000 would be disappointing...
This is a much more winnable game compared to Stanford or SC. MSST's weaknesses can be exposed by Tennessee's size and strength on the boards. I'd be disappointed if this turned into a blowout.
 
#4

Darth_Vol

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#4
This is a much more winnable game compared to Stanford or SC. MSST's weaknesses can be exposed by Tennessee's size and strength on the boards. I'd be disappointed if this turned into a blowout.
It's at home and Tennessee had an extra day to prepare. A blowout loss would not be a good look...
 
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#9

superfly

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#9
OK....take them down. We need a two game buffer here at the end of the season.....so do this for us...please. See you in the finals of the SEC tournament if you do. I would say you guys have become the solid No. 2 team in the SEC if you win by double digits...
 
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#11

Volfan2012

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#11
Tennessee 65 Miss St 60 We can definitely win if we eliminate some of the turnovers and equal out the offensive boards. Going to be a close game probably in the sixties. We can't continue the streak of games where were giving the opponent 10 to 15 shots more than were attempting.
 
#13

SGMVols

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#13
Biggest game of the year by far. Great opportunity for Kellie's first signature win and a chance to make a statement about her as a coach and the direction of the program to fans and recruits.

I hope the fans will really step up for this one as well. Anything less than 15,000 would be disappointing...
15,000 would require them to remove the black curtains from the upper deck that have been there at every LV home game this year...
 
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#20

Volfan2012

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#20
Coach Harper is totally aware of what needs to happen for this team to get better and progress to another level. She outlined it in her media coverage yesterday that the team needs to get a lot better with the mental game as well as more physical in their play. Sometimes it takes a long time for players to get this especially when you have several young players that don't have the playing experience at this level. Coaching can only go so far the players also have to take ownership in their play. She is pushing them in the right way even if some still keep making the same mistakes game after game they will eventually get it. She doesn't take the Summitt approach and I don't think it would work in this era you have to be a lot gentler with players these days. I was very encouraged that she was aware of where we need to go from where we are now. I never had the feeling that was the case in previous seasons.
 
#21

OrangeBeachVol

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#21
Would be a statement win for them. As much as I want them to win, I see games more as a realist instead of with my heart. Hard earned gambling lesson! State plays a great pressure D when they want to and with the LV's penchant for giving the ball away without pressure, you know they will turn it up high. Afraid their TO's will do them in again but would love to eat crow tomorrow.
 
#22

creekdipper

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#22
Would be a statement win for them. As much as I want them to win, I see games more as a realist instead of with my heart. Hard earned gambling lesson! State plays a great pressure D when they want to and with the LV's penchant for giving the ball away without pressure, you know they will turn it up high. Afraid their TO's will do them in again but would love to eat crow tomorrow.
Just tell us how you'd like it cooked, OB.;)
 
#24

RAVOL

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#24
They will have major, major height advantages over the players that will be guarding them. If they can take advantage of that, that is a very realistic scenario and prognostication.
Eventually you would think that the light bulb will come on both our talents just very inconsistent. So why not tonight game. Free your mind and just play.
 
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#25

Volfan2012

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#25
Guard play will decide the game. We have height but they have quickness at guard spots and I think this is the biggest weakness with our team. I think we have some excellent guards but their size makes them slower and thus we haven't been able to guard in the man to man. We play the zone very well but end up giving two or three shots at the basket because we have to play it and can't get the rebounds on the long misses. I've looked over a few games and we seldom lose because of post play it is always guard play that does us in of course added to our unforced turnovers and giving up steals. Our slowness is evident based solely on how many possessions we give up to stolen passes. Vandy had 13 steals against us how terrible is that.
 
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