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No. 13 LSU Plays Tennessee Sunday On The Road

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No. 13 LSU Plays Tennessee Sunday On The Road

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – With three games remaining in the regular season, No. 13 LSU (23-4, 10-3, SEC) will be on the road Sunday to face Tennessee (16-9, 9-4 SEC) at 11 a.m. CT inside Thompson Boling Arena on ESPN.

ESPN’s broadcast will feature Courtney Lyle and Debbie Antonelli. Patrick Wright will call the action with Emily Ward on the LSU Sports Radio Network, 107.3 FM in Baton Rouge.

“Both teams are playing to try to finish second in the league,” Coach Mulkey said of Sunday’s matchup.

LSU currently controls its own destiny, sitting alone at the No. 2 spot in the SEC. A win on Sunday would lock up a top-four seed for LSU for a first-round bye. A top-two seed would give the Tigers a bye to the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament for the third year in a row. Tennessee is also looking to secure a top-four seed as the season winds down. LSU will play at Georgia on Thursday and be home next Sunday against Kentucky to wrap up the regular season.

The Lady Vols still could finish as high as No. 2 in the league. The last time LSU faced Tennessee in Knoxville was the final game of Coach Mulkey’s first season at LSU with the No. 2 spot in the SEC on the line. LSU left that game victorious, 57-54. Last season, LSU was 1-1 against Tennessee, winning the regular season matchup in Baton Rouge before falling to the Lady Vols in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament.

The Tigers have won five in a row as they head to Knoxville, playing their best basketball of the season. The LSU defense hit all its goals in each of those five wins. The more time the team has spent on the floor together, the better the defense has got. In conference stats only, LSU ranks No. 2 in the SEC in field goal percentage defense (.380), No. 4 in blocked shots (4.8 per game), No. 3 in steals (9.2 per game) and No. 5 in points allowed (67.6 per game).

Angel Reese is five points shy of 2,000 in her career. Already with over 1,000 rebounds, Reese is looking to become the fifth currently active player with 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. Aneesah Morrow surpassed both those marks earlier this season and is the only current underclassman with those stats. Morrow and Reese have been quite the duo for LSU in the post. Reese has 16 double-doubles this year to lead the SEC, followed closely behind by Morrow at 15. In LSU’s win on Thursday over Auburn, Reese had 25 points and 20 rebounds, her seventh 20/20 game of her career.

Tennessee was off on Thursday as Sunday will be LSU’s fourth game, the most in the SEC, facing a team coming off its bye. The Lady Vols took down Vanderbilt last Sunday, 86-61, bouncing back after a tough loss against No.1 South Carolina, playing neck-and-neck with Gamecocks through the first three quarters. Rickea Jackson, who leads Tennessee with 18.9 points per game, led the Lady Vols with 24 points against the Commodores for her seventh 20-point game of the year.

The Lady Vols score 76.8 points per game, the fourth best mark in the conference, but they give up 69.8 points per game which ranks No. 10, in the bottom four of the SEC. One of the game’s biggest keys will be rebounding though. LSU grabs 47.0 boards per game which leads the nation, but Tennessee is not too far behind with 43.2 per game which ranks No. 11 in the nation. Whichever team finds a way to win the battle on the boards could leave Sunday’s game victorious.

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