Tennessee, LSU meet again tonight

It was loud in Thompson-Boling Arena on Sunday afternoon at practice, and it wasn't the coaches' voices that were being heard. It was those of the players. That level of communicaiton will be needed from the Lady Vols tonight when a resurgent LSU takes the floor against Tennessee, which has a chance to clinch a share of the SEC championship.

"Taking ownership," Coach Pat Summitt said afterwards.

Getting a win Monday won't be an easy task, which is perhaps appropriate as nothing has come easy in the SEC this season for any team.

No. 5 Tennessee (24-2, 12-1) takes on No. 23 LSU (18-7, 7-6) at 7 p.m. Eastern (ESPN2, Lady Vols Radio Network) at the arena in a "Big Monday" matchup. It's also the Lady Vols' WBCA Pink Zone game – "Live Pink … Bleed Orange" – to raise awareness for breast cancer, and the Tennessee players will be in pink uniforms and the Lady Tigers will wear their white ones with pink and purple trim.

The Lady Vols play their final three games at home after spending the majority of the SEC season on the road, and the players and coaches are happy to be in the confines of the arena.

"I think it's going to be good for us because we've been on the road so long and it just seems like we very seldom get to sleep in our beds, and now we do," Summitt said. "I know the players are excited to be back."

A seasonlong quest has been for the players to take ownership of the team from the coaches – it's what all the truly successful teams ultimately did – but it's been a challenging order for a team that remains young with no seniors on the roster, a first for Summitt in her 36 years of coaching.

Assistant Coach Dean Lockwood, in an interview last fall before the season started, said the coaches knew some players would have to eventually step forward to lead the team.

"On any good team that I've ever been on there comes a point when the players steer the ship," Lockwood said last October, quoting longtime football coach Marty Schottenheimer. "As coaches part of our job is to put things in place. There comes a point on good teams where that happens (the players take the wheel), and that's what we've got to see with this bunch."

So four months later how far along is the process?

"On a scale of one to five, are we a five? No," Lockwood said. "But are we farther along than when we started? Yes, we are. I think they are starting to understand. We had this conversation at the first of the year. I think you have to go through certain circumstances in order to understand things, and I think we did go through some things.

"Close calls, the Alabama game being one where there was no way that game should have been like it was. The Florida game there. The Florida game here where we played a bad first half. Having come through something they say, ‘I see what she's talking about now.'

"When we were up 13 and it went down to five (against Alabama), we needed somebody on the floor to step up and say, ‘Hey, we've got to do a better job than this.' We needed a voice in the huddle. We needed a voice other than the coaches in the timeouts. They're starting to get it but are they at a five yet? No. But I feel better at where we are than the last time we had this conversation."

In an indication of player maturity, sophomore forward Alyssia Brewer didn't offer excuses for the team's dismal performance against Alabama, a 74-67 victory in Tuscaloosa in which the Lady Vols couldn't maintain a comfortable lead or find its stride on either end of the court.

"It was like all of us were in La La Land," Brewer said. "I probably think it was the fact that we didn't take Alabama seriously, and we should never do that. I don't think every person out there had that mindset, but when you don't have every single person on your team out there into the game, one person can rub off onto everybody else. I think that is kind of what happened.

"We had a couple of people that were just out there, myself included. I wasn't totally out of it but that was probably the worst defense I had played all year."

One player not on the court was Kelley Cain, a redshirt sophomore center who remained in Knoxville because of too many missed classes in her business major because of all the road games. Cain, an honor roll student scheduled to graduate in December, could not miss another slate of Thursday classes.

"I think not having Kelley there, we are all so used to having her there in what we do, especially the guards, we always know that we have each other's help but when Kelley is in there she gets so many blocks a game," Brewer said. "I think that kind of played into why they got so many shots that they did."

Alabama's 45.9 shooting percentage was the highest allowed by Tennessee this season, and the bulk of the Crimson Tide's points came in the paint.

Cain's absence also underscores why the players are inclined to flush the game against the Crimson Tide and move on.

"I think it's definitely something that you throw out," Brewer said. "We're going to have Kelley from now on."

Summitt also let the game go – though she did watch the game film; "I just have to. I can't not do it," she said – and focused on LSU.

"I flushed that out," Summitt said. "All I had to do was watch tape on LSU."

That got Summitt's immediate attention because of the recent improvement of the Lady Tigers. Tennessee won in Baton Rouge, 55-43, a time period in which LSU lost four of five games and fell to 4-6 in SEC play, a league record that, if uncorrected, could wipe out a team's chances to make the NCAA tournament.

"They've got enough kids on board that have been through this now, they're playing with a sense of urgency," Lockwood said. "They know this deal and how it works. They know they could get shut out in the cold if they don't finish strong here."

Lockwood compared it to a group of rowdies who are about to be arrested. They can either surrender or resist.

"These guys aren't going to jail," Lockwood said. "They're not going quietly. They are playing with a desperation kind of in them. That's one of the things that makes them good right now."

After a triple overtime loss to Ole Miss, LSU won its next three games to get its league record to 7-6. In their last outing, the Lady Tigers beat Vanderbilt, 55-39. It was the Commodores lowest offensive output since 1977. Vanderbilt scored just 15 points in the second half and made two field goals in the final eight minutes.

"This will be our biggest challenge of the year to date, no question," LSU Coach Van Chancellor said. "It's the toughest place to win in America, but I like where we are at right now. We are playing with a lot of confidence, shooting the ball better and our defense has been outstanding. The Vanderbilt win was huge for us. We needed it for so many reasons."

LSU allows just 51.2 points per game, first in the SEC and fourth in the country.

"This LSU team is very, very good, and they are playing their best basketball right now so it's going to be a big challenge for us," Summitt said.

The Lady Vols have talked all season about trying to become a 40-minute team. In fact, it was the pre-game discussion in the locker room before the Alabama game. Then, the Lady Vols started the game with low energy and spotty effort at several spots on the floor. The scorer's table needed a revolving door as Summitt and the coaches kept a steady stream of players moving in and out of the game as they struggled to find a combination that would focus on both ends of the court.

"It's frustrating because we were really trying to put a 40-minute game together," said sophomore Alicia Manning, who remained puzzled as to why the team started so lethargically. "Let's put it together before postseason because we don't have time to keep messing around like this. It was a setback. I want to stay positive and say we got it all out of our system and hopefully that doesn't happen again.

"That was our last game we can do that. We can't afford to do it again."

It was the maddest Summitt had been since the first round loss to Ball State in the NCAA tourney a year ago and for two second-half timeouts she let Associate Head Coach Holly Warlick handle the team. She also slammed down her dry erase court board that she uses during the timeouts.

"She broke the thing," Manning said, barely suppressing a smile.

Manning did express sympathy for her coach.

"I can't blame her," Manning said. "I would have been just as mad. She puts all of her effort into this team and all her energy – all the coaches do – and for us to not play as well as we should would be frustrating for anybody. They can only say so much. We've got to go out there and do what we need to do."

Manning thought the team had gotten past such uninspired performances.

"I thought we were," she said. "It threw me. I couldn't figure out like, ‘Why are we doing this?' We shouldn't be playing like this. Go back to Ball State. We can't take any team lightly. I learned my lesson. I don't think I am ever going to take another team lightly again. It's got to be a group effort. If everyone is not on the same page … ."

Brewer and Manning's remarks indicate the team, as a whole, wasn't ready to play. Angie Bjorklund, who had to play 40 minutes in a game in which Summitt had hoped to give the junior at least some rest, was furious during and after the game.

The absence of Cain also hurt the team, especially on the boards. Alabama won on the glass, 45-33, and became only the second team to out-rebound Tennessee this season. The other was No. 2 Stanford, which has one of the best post games in the country.

"You could tell from the rebounding margins," Manning said of how the team missed Cain. "That and the defensive presence in the paint. It's good to have Kelley back."

Cain also will help Bjorklund in the accountability department. She has been finding her voice this season.

"We missed Kelley in the post game, and she's pretty vocal," Summitt said. "Glory Johnson needs to be more vocal and be more invested. As I told her I want her to have more composure and know what I am going to get, and we don't always know what we're going to get."

Summitt emphasized Johnson wasn't the only one who has been inconsistent. Summitt has changed her starting lineup 12 times this season because of injuries and fluctuation at point guard.

Manning has started the past three games and is expected to be there again tonight. She was 4-7 from the field against Alabama and scored nine points with four boards.

"A-Town has been a difference maker for us," Summitt said. "She's made big plays when we were struggling on offense. She comes up with a putback, her defensive intensity has been tremendous. She definitely deserves to be in our lineup, and that definitely helped us get out of trouble in a couple of games of late."

Summitt's mentor, Billie Moore, is in town from California and talked to the team before practice Saturday without the Tennessee coaches being present in the room. Moore, the former coach at UCLA, coached Summitt in the 1976 Olympics.

"She's been writing every week and spelling out what she sees from each individual as well as our team," Summitt said. "So I said, ‘Would you be OK to talk to them?' And she said, ‘I would love to.' I think she has watched us. I think she sees when we pick and choose when we're going to play hard. She just talked to them and I'm sure challenged them. I think she was ready to talk to them."

The specifics of the conversation were kept among the players and Moore, and it comes at a time when Tennessee could clinch a share of the SEC championship with a win over LSU and take a big step to securing a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament.

"There is a lot on the line," Summitt said. "That's why I wanted Billie to talk to them just to reinforce that we're up and down. It's different players each and every game. Instead of them taking ownership and saying to each other if somebody is not playing hard, rather than me have to go up and say something to Lyssi Brewer, let Kelley Cain turn around and ask her what she's doing or Angie or Strick (Shekinna Stricklen). Instead of me trying to jump on Glory like I did the other night to try to get her motivated to play, your teammates ought to do that.

"It is a different generation, but I am not giving in to it. We're going to figure out a way to be successful. Once the game starts they have to take ownership for how they play on the offensive end, the defensive end, the board play. I do think our huddles our better, and their communication overall is better."

Summitt sent one more person to talk to the team Sunday in longtime friend Carolyn Savoy, who holds a doctorate in sports psychology from Tennessee and is from Nova Scotia. Savoy, who retired last April after 32 years as the basketball coach at Dalhousie University, which played the Lady Vols in an exhibition game in 2005, remains connected with the Halifax school through its School of Health and Human Performance.

Summitt met Savoy in Cuba while doing scouting work before the Olympics in 1984, when Summitt was the head coach of the USA basketball team.

"We got to be great friends," said Summitt, who traveled to Nova Scotia and went sailing with Savoy and her husband. "She is really good in the sports psych part of it. She was here in grad school. To have somone like her to watch our team and give me feedback and give our staff feedback (has been beneficial).

"I didn't want to be in there. I wanted her to talk to them."

After the session with Savoy, which had an emphasis on communication among teammates, the players watched film on LSU with the coaches. When they took the practice court, it was the most vocal session, in terms of players talking, this season and definitely the most talkative one during the scouting portion of practice. A team that was unengaged in the game against Alabama last Thursday was fully engaged Sunday in its scouting work.

"We've got to move on (from the Alabama game), but they've got to take ownership," Summitt said. "I told them, ‘We're going to let you all have a lot of say-so to each other.' "

The key will be carryover from practice, when the coaches are in control on the court, to the games, when players take over.

"We need to think about the last game against LSU when we played there," Brewer said. "That was one of our best games as far as communication and helping each other out. We were talking the whole entire time. I think if we do that, then we'll be successful.

"We got through adversity in that game in some of the calls we were getting. We kind of had to adjust, the posts especially, how we were doing moves because there were a lot of offensive fouls called."

Brewer was a very bright spot in the game against Alabama on Thursday – though her defense left much to be desired, as she noted – with her 7-14 performance from the field for 20 points and 10 rebounds.

"I don't want her to pick and choose when she's going to play hard, and she has elevated her game tremendously from freshman year to now," Summitt said. "We count on her. She has come up big for us. In the Alabama game, I thought she really stepped up and made some great plays. She wants the ball offensively, and her all-around game is much better."

Brewer was 6-12 from the line – she started out 4-6 and finished 2-6 in the second half – in a game in which the team shot 45.8 percent overall from the stripe. Free throw shooting has been sporadic all season. In a departure from the talking emphasis, Summitt asked the players to stay quiet while they shot free throws at practice Sunday, so as to focus.

"For some it's mental," Summitt said. "The one thing they have to do is get the reps, like anything. If you want to be a great jump shooter, you practice your jump shooting. If you want to be great at the free throw line, it's repetition, repetition."

The one thing Tennessee wants to expel from its mind is the game last Thursday against the Crimson Tide.

"You definitely don't linger on it," Brewer said. "You throw it out the window. You realize what you need to do better and do it the next game. I hope everyone of my teammates does that. We don't need to hold grudges or linger on anything. That doesn't make you a better player. That just keeps you where you're at."

"At this part of the year, it's done," Manning said. "You can't change anything.You've got to take it, leave it, learn from it and say, ‘That's the last time we're going to do it. Move on.' "

This week is an important one for Tennessee – and a full one. The Lady Vols have three games against LSU, Kentucky – which is right on the Lady Vols' heels at 11-3 in SEC play – and Ole Miss, but the players should at least be accustomed to the pressure by now.

"Every single week has been important for us in the SEC because every team has brought it," Brewer said. "They play like they haven't played against anybody else against us. Monday's game is really going to be important. I think it's going to be a real test of how we react after Thursday's game.

"I am really excited about it. We definitely want that No. 1 seed, and we also want to get an SEC title and also win the tourney and having both of those would be awesome for us. … Whenever we play to our potential I honestly don't think anybody can stick with us."

Brewer follows the league closely and has kept up with how other teams are doing each week.

"I look and see how the games go if there are still games going on after ours and what the scores are each night," Brewer said. "I have seen that LSU has been doing really good."

Cain said Tennessee knows it will get every team's best shot, and the Lady Vols' on-court response needs to match it.

"The SEC is one of the best conferences out there so you've got to bring your ‘A' game every night," Cain said. "It doesn't matter who you're playing against, especially for Tennessee, because everybody has their best game against us. We have to learn to bring our best game every night. … We've grown up a lot. We have some more growing up to do but it's a big difference from last year."

Manning believes Tennessee will be sufficiently motivated Monday.

"I think we're going to be ready," Manning said. "We know it's a big game. We want to sweep the series with every team we play, get that No. 1 seed. I think we are all going to be focused, and it's on our home court so we'll have our fans to back us up."

A win would mean at least a share of the SEC crown. That's a long way from last season's tie for fourth place and the fifth seed in the SEC tourney. A year ago at this time Tennessee had eight losses, with four coming in league play.

"There has been some turf traveled," Lockwood said. "There is no question. I am not ready to say (the inconsistency issues are solved) and being objective we look at our team and we see flaws and things that we need to really improve on and shore up.

"But there is no question that we are very proud of the ground that they've traveled and the distance they've covered and the improvement that we've made from a year ago."


Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt is expected to start: Shekinna Stricklen, 6'2 sophomore guard/forward, No. 40 (12.5 points per game, 6.1 rebounds per game, 3.4 assists per game); Angie Bjorklund, 6'0 junior guard, No. 5 (14.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.6 apg); Alicia Manning, 6'1 sophomore guard/forward, No. 15 (4.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg); Glory Johnson, 6'3 sophomore forward, No. 25 (11.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg); and Kelley Cain, 6'6 redshirt sophomore center, No. 52 (10.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.3 blocks per game).

LSU Coach Van Chancellor is expected to start: Destini Hughes, 5'10 sophomore guard, No. 20 (3.1 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 2.0 apg), hails from Fort Worth, Texas, has recently moved into the starting spot for LSU, had five assists in the win over Vanderbilt, has 13 assists to just four turnovers in the past four games; Allison Hightower, 5'10 senior guard, No. 23 (18.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.2 steals per game), hails from Arlington, Texas, averages 19.8 ppg in SEC games to lead the league and is averaging 23.7 ppg in her last seven games; Katherine Graham, 5'11 junior guard, No. 1 (8.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.2 apg), hails from Birmingham, Ala., had 15 points and nine rebounds against Vandy, notched the third triple-double in LSU history and first since 1995 with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the triple overtime game against Ole Miss; Swayze Black, 6'3 sophomore forward, No. 25 (2.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg), hails from Brookhaven, Miss., recently moved into the starting lineup, will make fourth straight start Monday; and LaSondra Barrett, 6'2 sophomore forward, No. 55 (12.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg), hails from Jackson, Miss., leads the league in free throw percentage, 89.3 percent, in SEC games, scored a career-high 30 points against Ole Miss.

Key players off the bench for LSU are Taylor Turnbow, a 6'2 sophomore forward who has started 20 games this season; and Latear Eason, a 5'8 junior guard who has started 19 games this season.

Jasmine Nelson, a 6'2 junior forward, came off the bench and had a career-high 10 rebounds against Tennessee in the first game.

SCOUTING REPORT: Assistant Coach Dean Lockwood handled the scouting report for the Tennessee-LSU game. Here is his assessment.

When LSU has the ball: LSU was in a tailspin earlier this season that seemed to end after a three overtime loss to Ole Miss. Since that game, Ole Miss has lost four in a row, and LSU has won three in a row.

The Lady Tigers adjusted their starting lineup and found some rest for Allison Hightower.

"Playing her 36 minutes a game, I don't care who you are, after 22, 23 games you're going to wear down," Lockwood said. "I think they said, ‘Look, let's give her 29 minutes, and now we've got some other kids that can do some things.' "

The reduction in time has led to better shooting performances for Hightower.

"The one thing that's noticeable is she's shooting 41 percent from the arc in league play," Lockwood said. "She has significantly improved her three-point shooting. She's scoring better. Against Auburn she had 29 points with 19 minutes remaining in that game. She is now playing like a legitimate Player of the Year candidate. She was always very good, but she's playing now like a Player of the Year in the SEC. She's making a strong case for her preseason pick."

Hightower was preseason selection for SEC Player of the Year last October. Since then, others players have made their cases, including Angie Bjorklund of Tennessee, Alexis Rack of Mississippi State and Bianca Thomas of Ole Miss, but Hightower is making a late season surge.

"Hightower, she's the woman that we've got to know where she is at all times," Pat Summitt said.

Lockwood said LSU's resurgence came after changes to its starting lineup.

"They're playing different people," Lockwood said. "They've inserted Destini Hughes as the starting poing guard for (Latear) Eason and then they've got (Swayze) Black playing for (Taylor) Turnbow. Both those kids are still getting good minutes. One of the things that I like that they've done is they've lengthened their bench. The depth is better now.

"When we played them they had about six people that you really were getting just great minutes and then a couple that were trickle minutes. Now, they've got 10 kids that are getting double-digit minutes in league play. These kids have found roles for themselves. I think it's a matter of getting starters rest and utilizing the talent that you've got."

The emphasis for LSU remains paint points.

"They've got to have paint points," Lockwood said. "Katherine Graham, she's an excellent shooter from inside the arc. Other than that, they need paint points. They need the drives, they need offensive rebounds. They're going to get some things in transition. They're opportunistic. They're not going to go, go, go, but on turnovers, on long rebounds when they have the advantage, they're going to attack you."

Defensively, LSU played mostly man against Tennessee in the first game. The Lady Vols could see some zone in the rematch.

"I've always thought their defense was solid," Lockwood said. "But I think now they're playing with a little more sense of urgency. As you start to see the last stretch of road and you see their course, I think they realized, ‘Guess what? We've got to win some games here before the SEC Tournament.'

"They're not doing anything differently from a tactical standpoint, per se, but they're playing with a little greater sense of urgency. Hughes is probably their best active, on-ball defender, so what you're facing is a longer more active kid out front. I think that makes a difference. That's your frontline of defense. If you ask me, as someone who has scouted them, that makes a world of difference. She's got length, and she's active and quick. That makes your defense better automatically. They've bulked up a little bit by inserting Black and then (Jasmine) Nelson. They've got a little more beef inside.

"The only thing I've seen them do a little bit differently, is I've seen them play a little more 2-3 zone."

When Tennessee has the ball: The game plan is to always go inside, and it will be especially so with Kelley Cain back in the paint and the fact the post game was effective in the first game.

"We were successful in the paint," Lockwood said. "That's one of the things that we did early in the game to kind of establish that, it helped us, to get inside touches."

The post game is more settled with Cain inside, and she seems to have a calming effect on her teammates on both ends of the floor.

"It's calming for the coaches. I can tell you that right now. It's like walking in the South Bronx and it's just me and Dan," Lockwood said, referring to Dan Fleser, the longtime Lady Vols beat writer for the News Sentinel in Knoxville. "If it's me and Dan and Evander Holyfield, I think we're a little more secure.

"With her she definitely is somebody who's a presence (with) her size. But her production. You're looking at a kid who is shooting 60 percent from the floor and in the league it's over, and she's rebounding well, she's leading the conference in blocked shots. She's definitely a calming presence for our team."

Defensively, Tennessee's matchup zone was effective in the first game, but LSU's Hightower is shooting better from the outside, so the man systems will be needed, too.

"I see us mixing it up," Lockwood said. "There were stretches in that game where they got very comfortable attacking our zone. They got into a rhythm. (They got to the) middle and the short corners. They're great. They're the best team in the conference for my money at working zones and attacking high post and short corner, so we're going to change it up a little bit."

LIVE PINK … BLEED ORANGE:" Tennessee is one of 1,350 women's basketball teams and supporting organizations that are participating in the WBCA's Pink Zone initiative.

The Lady Vols participated in two events on the road at Ole Miss and Alabama and will host the Pink Zone game on Monday. The teams will be in special uniforms, and the officials will use pink whistles. Some 13,000 T-shirts will be distributed to fans in pink and white to create a checkerboard effect, and a mobile mammogram unit will be at the arena.

Sophomore forward Alyssia Brewer welcomes the attention to breast cancer awareness. She has one family member and a close friend's mother affected by the disease.

"I am a person that loves to be involved with different things," said Brewer, who also makes monetary contributions to breast cancer causes. "I know a lot of people that have gone through breast cancer I love the fact that everybody gets involved with it (in women's basketball).

"I think that it's cool that we have pink jerseys. Last year we had our white ones with a little bit of pink. I think that it's cool that we get all pink this year. I will enjoy it. I will definitely enjoy it."

Two former Lady Vols have had their own fights with breast cancer in Liza Graves, who is in remission, and Melissa McCray Dukes, whose battle is ongoing. Dukes spoke to the team last season at practice about always fighting, especially through adversity.

"Every person that comes here and talks to us it leaves an impression," Brewer said. "Yes, basketball is what we do, it's what we're here for, but it's also definitely a privilege, not the fact that we have more talent than other people but also that we are given the opportunity to do this and something could happen to us to take it away.

"I look at that every day, and I thank God that he has given me this gift. It's kind of eye-opening to see people like that because they are so passionate about it. I just hope that every time somebody says anything like that that it rubs off on us."

ODDS AND ENDS: Tennessee leads the series with LSU, 38-12. The Lady Tigers are 16-2 in Knoxville with both wins in Thompson-Boling Arena coming in the past two games. In 2008, LSU was down 21-2 before mounting a comeback and taking a 78-62 win. LSU also won in 2006 and broke the Lady Vols' 64-game home winning streak in SEC games. Tennessee's last win at home against LSU was in 2004. LSU is the only team in the country that has beaten Tennessee at least once in each of the past five seasons. … Tennessee is 13-3 in games played on February 22. The last win on this date was against Mississippi State, 82-68, in 2009. The first win on February 22 was against Carson-Newman, 59-41, in 1974. The three losses on this date were to Cincinnati, 29-9, in 1924; Western Carolina, 54-43, in 1972; and LSU, 83-78, in 1997. This date also accounts for two of the wins over LSU, 88-75, in 1996, and 90-58 in 1998.

BY THE NUMBERS OVERALL WITH SEC PLAY IN PARENTHESES: Tennessee is averaging 74.3 points a game (68.8 in the SEC) while allowing opponents to score 56.3 (55.7). LSU averages 69.8 points a game (66.7) while allowing 51.2 (56.2).

The Lady Vols are shooting 46.5 percent overall (45.9), 38.3 percent behind the arc (38.9) and 65.7 percent from the free throw line (60.3). The Lady Tigers are shooting 41.6 percent overall (40.4), 32.0 percent from long range (33.5) and 72.0 percent from the line (76.0).

Tennessee makes an average of 5.7 three-pointers a game (5.2) while allowing 6.1 (6.8). LSU makes 4.1 threes a game (4.2) while allowing 3.9 (4.2).

Tennessee averages 42.8 rebounds a game for a +8.5 margin (41.0, +7.6). LSU averages 40.2 boards for a +5.5 margin (37.2, +1.8).

The Lady Vols average 15.4 assists (14.6) and 14.6 turnovers (14.6) a game. Opponents lose the ball an average of 16.7 times a game (16.4). The Lady Tigers average 14.5 assists (14.7) and 12.7 turnovers (12.9) with foes losing the ball 20.5 times a game (18.9).

Tennessee averages 7.2 steals (6.5) and 6.0 blocks a game (6.0). LSU averages 9.6 steals (8.8) and 4.1 blocks (3.6).

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