LSU (12-6, 4-3 SEC) will play host to No. 10 Tennessee in the Maravich Center at 12 p.m. ET on the SEC Network this afternoon. The Lady Vols still have an undefeated record (13-0) against unranked teams, and head coach Holly Warlick is the top-ranked active SEC coach in conference winning percentage. Warlick and Tennessee look to keep their streak alive against a tough Lady Tigers team on Sunday.
LSU fell to No. 15 Texas A&M on Monday by a score of 69-59, where Tigers guard Raigyne Louis’ 18 points were not enough. The Tigers were only able to muster 39 percent shooting from the field and 12 percent shooting from 3-point range in the loss. The Aggies out-rebounded LSU 39-29, and LSU logged 21 personal fouls. Only two other players for the Tigers had over 10 points on the night: guard Chloe Jackson (14) and forward Ayana Mitchell (13).
Scoring from the bench was non-existent for LSU, as the bench totaled just five points on the night. The bench as a whole shot 1-of-14 from the field, with guard Khayla Pointer shooting 1-of-9 herself. Other than Louis, Jackson and Mitchell, the rest of the team combined for 14 points on Monday. Meanwhile, they allowed Texas A&M forward Anriel Howard to tally 21 points and 14 rebounds.
The Tigers only have two players averaging double-digit points per game in Jackson and Louis, who each register over 15 points per game. The rest of the team averages less than nine points per game and six players tally less than five points per game. However, LSU does average nearly 10 steals a game, which could play a factor with the Lady Vols’ struggles to take care of the basketball.
In Tennessee’s last game out, they rolled over Ole Miss 75-66 with a strong second half performance. The Lady Vols were finally able to limit their turnovers to just 14 against the Rebels, and out-rebounded Ole Miss 39-36 in the win. Tennessee held the Rebels to just 38 percent shooting on field goals, but the Lady Vols allowed Ole Miss guards Madinah Muhammad and Alissa Alston to combine for 40 points.
However, Tennessee had four players with over 10 points in the win, including a career-high tying 18 points from freshman Rennia Davis. Seniors Mercedes Russell and Jaime Nared combined for 28 points and 16 rebounds, while freshman Anastasia Hayes logged 16 points off the bench. Despite shooting just 2-of-11 from beyond-the-arc, the Vols shot just under 50 percent on the night.
Not surprisingly, Russell and Nared lead Tennessee in points per game with 17 points apiece per outing. The freshman duo of Hayes and Davis both average over 10 points per game, while guard Evina Westbrook is on the cusp with an average of 9.8 points per game. Dominating the post will be the most important aspect for the Lady Vols, especially if Nared breaks out of her shooting slump. If Russell and Nared dominate the paint, everything else seems to fall in Tennessee’s lap with some decent guard play.
Edited by Ben McKee
Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Athletics