Game Thread: LADY VOLS AT AUBURN

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"Flight Team"

Provided by: HOOPS CENTRAL
AUBURN, Ala. -- Tennessee (19-9, 9-6 SEC) closes out the regular season on the road, taking on the Auburn Tigers (10-16, 4-11 SEC) in their Senior Day game on Sunday afternoon at Auburn Arena. Tip-off is slated for 2:05 p.m. CT (3:05 ET). This will mark the first meeting of 2019-20 between the Lady Vols and AU, who stand tied for fifth and in 12th, respectively, in the SEC standings entering the final game of the regular season. The Big Orange women have bounced back from the roughest part of their schedule to emerge victorious in their last two games and equal last season's final victory total. On Sunday, they'll try to post the program's 43rd 20-win season in the past 44 years and put themselves into more secure position for a 39th berth in the NCAA Tournament. UT currently would receive the No. 7 seed for next week's conference tournament at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C., but there is a possibility to move up a spot. With a win, Tennessee would climb to 10-6 and move past the loser of the Arkansas (9-6) vs. LSU (9-6) game into the No. 6 seed and face the winner of the game between the No. 11 and No. 14 seeds. UT's first SEC Tournament game would be at approximately 8:30 p.m. ET next Thursday in Greenville. A loss vs. Auburn, and the Lady Vols would remain the seven seed and face the No. 10 team at 6 p.m. next Thursday.

THE LATEST FROM THE LADY VOLS
UT Bests Ole Miss On Senior Night, 77-66LADY VOL HOOPS REPORT (2/25/20)Lady Vols Fend Off Vandy, 67-63 Lady Vols Fall At No. 22/25 Arkansas, 83-75UT Narrowly Misses Upset, Falling 73-71 To #16 Texas A&M #25 Lady Vols Stumble At LSU, 75-65DAVIS MAKES CHERYL MILLER AWARD TOP 10DAVIS ON CITIZEN NAISMITH TROPHY MIDSEASON LIST

CONNECTIONS OF INTEREST
  • Tennessee head coach Kellie Harper spent two seasons working under Auburn legend Joe Ciampi, serving as an administrative assistant in 1999-2000 and moving up to assistant coach for the 2000-01 season, in which the Tigers advanced to the NCAA Second Round.
  • Kellie Harper's husband and assistant coach, Jon Harper, is a 1999 graduate of Auburn. He was a manager and later intern for Coach Ciampi from 1996-99.
  • Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy was an assistant coach from 2002-04 at (then) Southwest Missouri State. The school later changed its name to Missouri State.
  • Tennessee's Kellie Harper spent six years as the head coach at Missouri State before coming to Knoxville.
  • Jon Harper was her assistant at MSU all six years.
  • UT assistant Jennifer Sullivan was an assistant at Missouri State from 2013-18.
  • UT director of recruiting operations Jessica Jackson was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Harper at Missouri State in 2018-19.
  • UT director of women's basketball sports performance Tyler Watson was Harper's strength and conditioning coach in 2018-19.
  • Auburn assistant La'Keshia Frett played at Georgia from 1993-97, while UT's Kellie (Jolly) Harper played at Tennessee from 1995-1999, allowing for a two-year overlap of their teams battling on the SEC hardwood.
  • Lee Taylor, Tennessee's women's basketball strength and conditioning coordinator from 2013-19, is in his first season in the same role at Auburn.
A CLOSER LOOK AT TENNESSEE
  • The Lady Vols' only losses this season are to nine teams that appear destined for NCAA Tournament bids. Seven of those were ranked, including four that were top-10 ranked teams, when UT played them.
  • While UT beat Notre Dame when the Irish carried a No. 15/14 ranking, the most appealing win on the résumé currently appears to be the home triumph over LSU on Jan. 26.
  • UT has a two-point loss to #16/18 Texas A&M, a four-point setback at #RV/RV LSU and a six-point loss to Texas among its "Ls".
  • In the Feb. 25 edition of Bracketology, Charlie Creme has the Lady Vols listed as a No. 11 seed, playing sixth-seeded Princeton in the NCAA First Round in Iowa City, as part of the Dallas Regional. The winner would meet No. 3 Iowa or No. 14 Marist in the second round.
THE ROAD LEADING UP TO THIS
  • Tennessee has won its last two contests, defeating Vanderbilt (67-63) and Ole Miss (77-66) in back-to-back home games to improve to 19-9 overall and 9-6 in league play.
  • Despite its substantial personnel losses from a year ago, UT has managed to improve upon its 19-13/7-9 outcome of 2018-19.
  • The past two wins have been critical bounce-back contests after UT dropped five straight during a brutal stretch that included No. 1 South Carolina, No. 8 Mississippi State, LSU (receiving votes), No. 16 Texas A&M and No. 22 Arkansas in succession.
  • Tennessee's Rennia Davis is averaging 18.1 ppg. in all games and 19.7 ppg. in SEC play, shooting 49.5 percent (109-220) from the field and 83.3 (45-54) percent at the charity stripe vs. league foes.
  • Sophomore Rae Burrell and freshman Jordan Horston join Davis as double-figure scorers in SEC play, contributing 11.0 and 10.2 per game.
  • Burrell has started the past six games after coming off the bench the previous 22. She is averaging 14.7 ppg. and 7.0 rpg. over her last six contests and 15.7 ppg. and 7.3 rpg. over her last three.
  • Horston has come off the bench and has produced 10.3 ppg. and 5.3 apg. the past three games.
  • Auburn's record belies its talent and play in the latter part of the season. In three of their last four games, the Tigers have beaten LSU, lost to No. 10 Mississippi State in overtime and scored 95 points in a road win at Missouri on Thursday night.
  • AU began SEC play 0-5 but is 4-6 since then, including a seven-point road loss at No. 15 Kentucky.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
  • The SEC Tournament is next. It will be held at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in downtown Greenville, S.C., March 4-8.
  • Play begins on Wednesday, and Tennessee will see action on Thursday evening.
  • The SEC Network will broadcast all games from Wednesday through Friday, while ESPNU will carry Saturday's semifinal games and ESPN2 will televise the title game on Sunday.
  • This marks the second straight season, third time in four years and fourth time overall that Greenville as served as host.
RECAPPING OUR LAST CONTEST
  • The Lady Vols prevailed over an upset-minded Ole Miss team on Thursday, taking a 77-66 win on Senior Night at Thompson-Boling Arena.
  • Junior Rennia Davis was Tennessee's (19-9, 9-6 SEC) high scorer, recording her 28th career double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman Tamari Key and sophomore Rae Burrell were also in double figures, with Key scoring a career high of 17 points and Burrell finishing with 14 in the final regular-season home game of the 2019-20 campaign.
  • Ole Miss (7-21, 0-15 SEC) was led by Deja Cage and Mimi Reid, who posted 22 and 21 points, respectively.
NOTES FROM THE OLE MISS GAME
  • Senior Salute: Tennessee seniors Lou Brown and Kamera Harris were honored before the contest in their final regular-season appearance on The Summitt. Both will earn master's degrees in communication and information with emphasis in journalism and electronic media from UT.
  • Explosive First Half: The Lady Vols strung together a 15-0 run in the first quarter against UM. It marked their fourth longest run of the season and the 19th time they have managed a run of 10 or more points.
  • Jessie...From Downtown: Jessie Rennie went two of three from behind the arc against Ole Miss, moving her season shooting percentage to .489. She is shooting at an even higher rate in SEC play, hitting .571 of her 3-point attempts. She went five of six from three-point range in two games against the Rebels this season.
  • Cashing In At The Line: For the second time in three games, Tennessee shot 80 percent or better from the line, hitting 16 of 19 (.842) attempts against Ole Miss. The team previously hit eight of nine (.889) free throws against Arkansas.
  • Lou Taking Charge: Redshirt senior Lou Brown drew her 12th charge of the season against Ole Miss. That total leads the team and ties UT's total for the 2018-19 season.
  • Double-Double Davis: Rennia Davis recorded her 28th career double-double against UM with 19 points and 11 rebounds. She is now just one double-double away from tying Bashaara Graves for 10th all-time among Lady Vols.
UT-AUBURN SERIES NOTES
  • Tennessee holds a 45-11 all-time record vs. Auburn, dating back to Feb. 9, 1980, and has won 29 of the past 32 games in the series.
  • The Lady Vols are 14-5 in games played at Auburn, 22-2 vs. the Tigers in games held in Knoxville, and 9-4 at neutral sites.
  • UT has won in 14 of its last 16 trips to The Plains after getting a "W" there on Feb. 14, 2019.
  • UT is 2-0 vs. AU in overtime games, winning extra-frame contests in Knoxville vs. the Tigers in 1996 and 2004.
  • Tennessee has limited Auburn to 66 points or fewer 12 of the last 14 times they've met and to 61 or less on nine of those occasions.
  • Tennessee and Auburn played for the 1989 NCAA Championship in Tacoma, Wash., with the Lady Vols prevailing, 76-60.
  • Tennessee also beat the Tigers in regional finals in 1987 and 1991 en route to NCAA Final Fours they would end up winning.
  • UT and AU four times played for SEC Tourney titles from 1985 to 1990, with the Lady Vols winning three of those (1985, 1988, 1989).
  • Chamique Holdsclaw scored a career-high 39 points vs. the Tigers on Feb. 14, 1998, marking the sixth-highest point total in Lady Vol history.
  • AU coach Terri Williams-Flournoy beat UT and Pat Summitt while coaching Georgetown on Nov. 27, 2010, 69-58, at the Paradise Jam tourney in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Kellie Harper is 1-2 all-time vs. Auburn and 1-1 vs. Terri Williams-Flournoy as a head coach.
  • She is 1-0 vs. Terri Williams-Flournoy while she has been at AU, beating the Tigers, 85-71, in Raleigh, N.C., while coaching at NC State.
  • Harper's Wolfpack team fell to Coach Flo's Georgetown team in Washington, D.C., 67-66, on Dec. 22, 2009.
  • Harper was 0-2 vs. Auburn, then coached by Nell Fortner, while at Western Carolina.

VolNation:

Last 3 AUB game recaps:

Thompson sets double-double record as Auburn downs Mizzou 95-82
COLUMBIA, Mo. –
Unique Thompson set the Auburn career record with her 41st double-double, three players finished with 20-plus points, and Auburn got its first road SEC win of the season with a 95-82 victory over Missouri Thursday night. Auburn used a blistering third quarter, hitting their first 10 shots of the period, to pull ahead to as much as an 18-point lead, and Missouri would get no closer than seven points the rest of the way. The Tigers' 34 points in the third quarter was a school record for a single period, and Auburn's 95 points on the night were its most in an SEC game since 1990. Thompson finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds to get her 21st double-double of the season and the 41st of her career. It was a banner night for Auburn's offense as three players finished with 20-plus points. Robyn Benton scored a career-high 23 points with 17 of those coming in the second half; she also had four steals and a block. Erin Howard also had a career-high 22, hitting four 3-pointers. And Daisa Alexander was 7-of-9 from the floor for 21 points to go along with six assists. As a team, Auburn shot a season-high 59 percent (35-59) and hit 9-of-23 3-pointers (39.1%). The Tigers forced Mizzou into 20 turnovers, converting those into a season-high 28 points. Auburn also out-rebounded Missouri 35-25.

Tigers fall at No. 16 Texas A&M
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Daisa Alexander scored 15 points, but No. 16 Texas A&M pulled away in the fourth quarter for an 84-54 win Sunday afternoon at Reed Arena. The Tigers kept things within striking distance for much of the second and third quarters, but an 11-2 run to open the fourth quarter put the game out of reach for Auburn. "They were just hitting shots," Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "(Carter) and (Wells) were in double figures at halftime. We knew they were 3-point shooters, we knew they could score. We didn't do a very good job of covering (Johnson) on the inside. It's a game of runs, but at the end of the day, you've got to make defensive stops. We just didn't make enough defensive stops." Alexander's 15 point led the Tigers. Unique Thompson added 11 points and 8 rebounds, and Erin Howard had 9 points and 4 rebounds. The Aggies led 25-11 after 10 minutes, shooting 65 percent in the first quarter. But Auburn answered with a strong second quarter, shooting 53.3 percent and outscoring the Aggies 21-19 to get back within 12 at the half at 44-32. The Tigers got within 8 points late in the second quarter, but the Aggies continued their hot shooting and made a pair of shots in the final minute. Thompson had nine points and seven rebounds in the opening half.

Tigers drop overtime heartbreaker to No. 9 Mississippi State
AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn got a career record-tying double-double from Unique Thompson, a school-record night at the free-throw line from Daisa Alexander, and took the No. 9 team in the country to overtime, but ultimately came up short in a 92-85 loss to Mississippi State Thursday night at Auburn Arena. The Tigers led for most of regulation, lost the lead late, and had the ball with a chance to win the game with 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter. But a 10-second backcourt violation by Auburn and a missed shot by MSU at the buzzer set the game to an extra period. In overtime, MSU's Rickea Jackson took over, scoring nine points as the Bulldogs pulled away for the win. After going three games on the precipice of tying Auburn's career double-double record, Thompson finally got the 40th of her career with a 24-point, 11-rebound night. She almost had it by halftime with 15 points and nine rebounds in the first half. Thompson also added two steals, a block and an assist, and was 8-for-9 at the free-throw line.

By the numbers:
Depth (over 10 min pg)…Aub 9 UT 11
FG-made over 50…Aub 6 (Thompson 162) UT 11 (Davis 190)
3pt (Over 20 makes)…Aub 5 (Hansen 40) UT 4 (Davis 32)
3pt (over 25%)…Aub 7 UT 6
FT (Over 50 makes)…Aub 3 UT 2
Scoring (DBL digits)…AUB 4 UT 4
Rebs (Over 100)… Aub 3 (Thompson 302) UT 7 (Davis 223)
Ass-TO (Team)…Aub 312-460 UT 459-481
Ass-TO (positive ration)…Aub 1 (Alexander 78-71) UT 3 (JH 138-125, JM 116-45, RJ 19-13)
Steals (over 20)…Aub 7 (Alexander 53) UT 4 (Horston 35)
Blocks(over 20)…Aub 1 (Howard 20) UT 3 (Key 78)

Predictions:
Masse: TN 74 AUB 66
RPI.com: TN 68 Aub 66


Coach Jumper game plan: Emphasis on controlling Thompson on both scoring and on the boards. Body up on her and never leave her.. No switches for her......Aub will press the ball continually looking for the steals...Use three on the bringdowns and plant one on the midcourt....Aub is not an assist-first team, so, one on one lockdown defense is key....Speaking of Key, turn her loose in the paint! Look for another career high for her.
 
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#7

allenfan1

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#7
Rennia needs to show up for this game and the tournament games. 18 points and playing the decoy is not enough, she needs to give the effort she gave against Notre Dame, when she came out aggressive after just losing Zaay to injury, and scored 33 points. GO LADY VOLS!
She is about the only one that does show up every game and I am including the coaches. Look at the Ole Miss score from the first game until the second time around and you will see that everyone in the SEC is improving except us.
 
#8

mike099

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#8
Auburn 76
Tennessee 70

Auburn on the upswing and we seem to be slipping on defense and lack enough consistent scorers. Hope they come out aggressive, hit the boards and score. Regardless the game will probably be close.
 
#12

Volfan2012

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#12
Auburn 76
Tennessee 70

Auburn on the upswing and we seem to be slipping on defense and lack enough consistent scorers. Hope they come out aggressive, hit the boards and score. Regardless the game will probably be close.
Definitely agree if they score 76 were losing today. I think we have to hold them to 60 to 65 at the most.
 
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#15

Hoosier

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#15
speaking of Jordan Horston (well, somebody did somewhere, sometime) --- I wish she would stop hitting her teammates upside-the-head as a means of celebration -- personally, I would find that very annoying, I mean slap me on the back or on the butt, but spare my head, please
 
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#17

VolBall09

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#17
Hoping to see some fire from the Lady Vols today. Would like to see us try to pressure them a bit. They are just as turnover prone as we are at 17.7 per game to our 17.2. Both teams have cleaned it up a bit toward the end here.

If we can get ourselves some easy buckets it will help. Their defense tends to be much better at home, would probably be wise if we can keep it from being a halfcourt game. Their shooting and offense has been a lot better lately. Ours has been worse the last couple of games while other issues have improved.

Fingers crossed we finally put together a complete contest again. I felt we had a few games earlier this season where we executed pretty well for 40 minutes.
 
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