Game Thread: #25/RV LADY VOLS VS. #RV/RV LSU

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"Air Tamari"



KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- No. 25/RV Tennessee (17-6, 7-3 SEC) and RV/RV LSU (17-5, 7-3 SEC) will meet for the second time this season, as they face off Thursday at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La., at 6:32 p.m. CT (7:32 ET). This will mark the 67th meeting in a series that began in 1977, with Tennessee leading 51-15 after the Lady Vols defeated the Tigers, 63-58, in Knoxville earlier this season on Jan. 26. UT and LSU enter the game tied for third in the Southeastern Conference standings at 7-3, and the winner will take sole possession of the three spot. The loser, meanwhile, will fall into a tie with Arkansas and Kentucky in fourth place. In addition to conference seeding, Thursday night's contest offers Tennessee an opportunity against an LSU squad that ranks No. 24 in the RPI. As of Feb. 10, the Lady Vols occupy the No. 48 spot in the RPI, with games against LSU (No. 24) and Texas A&M (No. 17) this week providing a chance to improve that stock.


THE ROAD LEADING UP TO THIS
  • Rennia Davis is averaging 23.3 points per game over her last three, shooting 46.9 percent (23-49) from the field and 95.5 (21-22) at the charity stripe.
  • Rae Burrell had a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double vs. Mississippi State and is averaging 12.0 ppg. and 5.7 rebounds over the past three contests.
  • Jazmine Massengill is averaging 10.3 ppg. and shooting 52.0 percent over the last three games.
  • LSU lost senior leader Ayana Mitchell for the season after she suffered a knee injury vs. Texas A&M on Feb. 2.
  • The Tigers, however, managed to overcome that terrible misfortune to beat the Aggies, 59-58, in Baton Rouge on Feb. 2.
  • LSU followed that with a 66-58 home triumph over Missouri on Monday night to extend its winning streak to three games.
  • The Bayou Bengals are 10-1 at home this season, including 5-0 in SEC games with wins over Alabama, Ole Miss, Kentucky, Texas A&M and Missouri at the PMAC.
  • LSU's only home loss came vs. Florida State, which currently ranks No. 14 in both polls.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
  • The Lady Vols now get to play three of the next four at home, including No. 16/18 Texas A&M on Sunday (3 p.m. ET), Vanderbilt on Feb. 23 (noon) and Ole Miss on Feb. 27 (7 p.m.). The lone road game during that set is at No. 23/RV Arkansas on Feb. 20 (6 p.m. CT/7 ET.
  • Sunday's goal for UT is to have #12KinTBA (a season-high 12,000 in attendance) for the Texas A&M game.
  • The Vanderbilt game is UT's Live Pink, Bleed Orange (Play4Kay) game, and the Ole Miss date is Senior Night.
  • LSU plays its next two on the road, traveling to Auburn on Feb. 16 and to No. 1 South Carolina on Feb. 20.
LET'S NOT FORGET
  • The Lady Vols are 17-6 overall, 7-3 in the SEC, tied for third in the SEC standings and ranked No. 25/RV nationally.
  • Their only losses are to four top-eight teams (South Carolina, Stanford, UConn, Mississippi State), No. 13/13 Kentucky and Texas.
  • Tennessee did not begin the season in either the AP or USA TODAY Coaches polls.
  • All 12 (now 11) active players had never played for first-year head coach Kellie Harper before.
  • Sophomore Rae Burrell led Tennessee (17-6, 7-3 SEC), scoring 20 points and pulling down 10 boards to record a double-double in her first career start and her third overall. Freshman Jordan Horston and sophomore Jazmine Massengill were also in double digits with 12 and 11, respectively, as the Lady Vols played without leading scorer Rennia Davis (18.1 ppg.), who was recovering from a bout with the flu.
  • UT out-rebounded Mississippi State, 40-39, as both teams recorded 16 offensive boards. Tennessee shot at a 36.2 percent clip from the field while holding the Bulldogs to a 40-percent performance that was 7.5 percent below their 47.5 season mark. The Big Orange also held MSU 9.5 points below their typical scoring average of 81.5.
ABOUT LSU

  • The Tigers returned nine letterwinners, including four starters, from last season's team that finished 16-13 overall and 7-9 in SEC play (t8th).
  • LSU is led by junior guard Khayla Pointer, who averages 15.0 ppg. Faustine Aifuwa adds 10.2 ppg. and 8.3 rpg. The Tigers lost All-SEC candidate Ayana Mitchell (13.7 ppg., 8.9 rpg.) on Feb. 2 due to a knee injury in the Texas A&M game.
  • The Tigers are coached by Nikki (Caldwell) Fargas, who played at Tennessee (1991-94) and was a G.A. (1998-99) and assistant (2002-08) at Rocky Top.
  • LSU was picked to finish eighth by the media and sixth by the coaches in the SEC preseason polls.
RECAPPING LSU'S LAST GAME
  • LSU (17-5, 7-3 SEC) took down Missouri (6-18, 3-8 SEC) in a battle Monday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, 66-58.
  • Redshirt junior Faustine Aifuwa tallied a season-high 19 points and tied her career high for rebounds with 16.
  • Senior Jaelyn Richard-Harris had a season-high-tying 14 points, junior Khayla Pointer had 12 and junior transfer Awa Trasi, starting in place of the injured Ayana Mitchell, scored 11.
  • Richard-Harris was perfect from the free throw line, hitting eight of eight attempts and contributing to a team free throw percentage of 77.8.
VolNation
LSU last 3 game recaps

Aifuwa Leads Tigers in 66-58 Win Over Missouri
BATON ROUGE, La. — The LSU Women's Basketball Team took down Missouri in a battle Monday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, 66-58. LSU moves to 17-5 overall and 7-3 in conference play. Mizzou falls to 6-18 overall and 3-8 in the SEC. Redshirt junior Faustine Aifuwa excelled for the Tigers with a season-high 19 points and tied her career-high for rebounds with 16 for the second game in a row. She was accompanied in double digit scoring by three of her teammates. Senior Jaelyn Richard-Harris had a season-high tying 14 points, junior Khayla Pointer had 12 and junior transfer Awa Trasi, starting in place of the injured Ayana Mitchell scored 11. Richard-Harris was perfect from the free throw line, shooting 8-8 and contributing to a team free throw percentage of 77.8.

Aifuwa Posts Career Game in Victory over No. 15 Texas A&M
BATON ROUGE, La. —The LSU Women's Basketball team beat No. 15 Texas A&M in a 59-58 nail biter on Sunday afternoon in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. It is the first time that LSU has swept its permanent partner, Texas A&M, in the regular season. The Tigers and Aggies have battled twice a season since the 2012-13 season when A&M joined the SEC. The victory improves LSU's record to 16-5 overall and 6-3 in conference play. Texas A&M drops to 18-4 overall and 6-3 in the SEC. Redshirt junior Faustine Aifuwa collected the seventh double-double of her career and third of the season with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Her 16 rebounds was a single-game career best, while her 18 points tied her season-best. Junior Khayla Pointer hit the 800-career points milestone in the fourth quarter and ended up with a total of 18 points (808 for career). Junior Jailin Cherry was the third player in today's game to hit double-digit scoring with 10 points and three rebounds. Senior guard Jaelyn Richard-Harris was key on defense with five rebounds and a steal while dishing out four assists.

Pointer Scores 24 In Win at Florida
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The LSU Women's Basketball team took down Florida on Thursday night in a 77-68 win. With the win, the Tigers are now 15-5 overall, 5-3 in the SEC. The Gators will fall to 11-10 and 2-6 in conference play. Junior Khayla Pointer showed out for the Tigers as she had 24 points, five rebounds and four assists. She was helped by senior Jaelyn Richard-Harris, who had 14 points, three rebounds and two steals. LSU was 8-10 from behind the arc, with Richard-Harris hitting 4-4. Juniors Awa Trasi and Jailin Cherry also hit double-digits in points with 10 each. Redshirt junior Faustine Aifuwa made a stand against the boards, with 11 rebounds while the team won the battle of the boards, 35-28.

LSU comes in riding a 3 game winning streak
UT comes having lost 2 games in a row for the 1st time this year
Time to stop both streaks

Coach Jumpers prediction: UT 64 LSU 58
 
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#2

lvocd

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#2
I hate for the team to feel pressured, but I’m sure they understand that they desperately need to win tonight. No matter what happens I’ll be glad it’ll be over, because I’ve been feeling actively nervous about it since Sunday. :oops: In order to deal with the mid-season bye in the schedule, my brain chose to fill in the no-game gap by jump-starting my normal pre-game fan jitters four days early — then forgot to shut off the valve! lol

But seriously, because Rennia has needed recovery time it was fortunate we had a bye, but man oh MAN, I know I’m not alone in jonesing for a game!

I’m anxious to see if the team made any progress during the bye week.
 
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@lvocd I’m right there with you. I’ve been anxiously waiting for tonight’s game. The team definitely needed a bye, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they respond after having time to get their legs back under them. With the exception of Re, this is the first time most of them have played this many minutes for this long of a stretch. (I didn’t count Lou since it’s been awhile since she’s played this late in the season.) Re being out with the flu might end up being a blessing. She’s been carrying this team and getting almost 2 weeks off physically and mentally might bode well going into tournament time.
 
#5

Volfaninfl2

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#5
I hate for the team to feel pressured, but I’m sure they understand that they desperately need to win tonight. No matter what happens I’ll be glad it’ll be over, because I’ve been feeling actively nervous about it since Sunday. :oops: In order to deal with the mid-season bye in the schedule, my brain chose to fill in the no-game gap by jump-starting my normal pre-game fan jitters four days early — then forgot to shut off the valve! lol

But seriously, because Rennia has needed recovery time it was fortunate we had a bye, but man oh MAN, I know I’m not alone in jonesing for a game!

I’m anxious to see if the team made any progress during the bye week.
Funny, I thought this would be a nice recovery week, plus a great opportunity to work with Rae on Team offense. 🙂
 
#6

lvocd

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personally, I see every single game from here on out as a must win ---- I hope the team is on the same page
I certainly hope they compete like they are all must-win games, but in reality, probably only four are “musts,” in my opinion. Beating LSU tonight, Auburn, Alabama and Vanderbilt are the musts, and then getting a fifth win from either A&M or Arkansas would certainly garner Tennessee more respect come Selection Monday. A miraculous SIXTH win? Oh my gosh...

But back to reality! Beating LSU on the road is going to be tough. I wish I didn’t have to work today so I could spend the day chewing Tums and lighting candles to please the Basketball Gods. lol
 
#8

Volfaninfl2

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#8
I certainly hope they compete like they are all must-win games, but in reality, probably only four are “musts,” in my opinion. Beating LSU tonight, Auburn, Alabama and Vanderbilt are the musts, and then getting a fifth win from either A&M or Arkansas would certainly garner Tennessee more respect come Selection Monday. A miraculous SIXTH win? Oh my gosh...

But back to reality! Beating LSU on the road is going to be tough. I wish I didn’t have to work today so I could spend the day chewing Tums and lighting candles to please the Basketball Gods. lol
Our last 3 games are Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, and Auburn. We don’t have to beat Alabama again. 😀
 
#14

Volfan2012

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#14
LSU does half their scoring off offensive rebounding. I'll know real quick if we've come to play. They start getting a lot of second and third chance shots we can all go home with a loss. I was happy with the rebounding at one point the last few games have sucked no one wants to stick their head and body in their and get the ball other than Burrell. Since she is only in there about 20 minutes someone else needs to do the job. Of course there are also turnovers. They win by getting 15 more shots or more at the basket in a game that is how they beat Missouri. Missouri shot 45 percent to their 34, but they had so many additional shots percentage did not matter.
 
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#17

madtownvol

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#17
I hate for the team to feel pressured, but I’m sure they understand that they desperately need to win tonight. No matter what happens I’ll be glad it’ll be over, because I’ve been feeling actively nervous about it since Sunday. :oops: In order to deal with the mid-season bye in the schedule, my brain chose to fill in the no-game gap by jump-starting my normal pre-game fan jitters four days early — then forgot to shut off the valve! lol

But seriously, because Rennia has needed recovery time it was fortunate we had a bye, but man oh MAN, I know I’m not alone in jonesing for a game!

I’m anxious to see if the team made any progress during the bye week.
No need to worry. The LVs have got this. It will probably be competitive through 3 quarters and then the LVs will pull out to an 8 to 10 point lead.

I am so confident that there really is no need to actually play the game. LSU just should save everyone the trouble and forfeit the match cause it is a fait complete.
 
#22

Volfan2012

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#22
Time is running out to get better. You can't keep talking about getting better you actually have to get better. If we can't win we haven't gotten any better. They are missing their best player should be a win we'll see what happens.
 
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#23

Voltopia

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#23
This game is critical to their post-season chances, and to SEC seeding (which can also improve post-season chances). If Tennessee wins they'll have a better than average chance for a bye in the SEC tournament. If they lose, they'll be a game behind and possibly looking at playing the top team in the SEC in the semi-finals should they win their quarterfinals game.

It's the most likely loss outside of the two obvious ones, so it would be nice to see Tennessee put their foot on LSU's throat and never let up. I want them to win but my gut tells me this one is a close L.
 
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