Lady Vols close out regular season Sunday

Tennessee has already clinched the SEC championship but still has one more game to play to close out the regular season before postseason play starts next week. Kelley Cain isn't worried about a letdown tonight against Ole Miss and said the team also has a bigger picture in mind than just a league crown.

"Honestly, it's a huge stepping stone for us, but we're not going to just limit ourselves to regular season," said Kelley Cain, who is two blocks away from breaking the single season record of 99 held by former Lady Vol Candace Parker. "We're going to go after the conference and then after the national championship.

"It's great to win SEC regular season but that's not our ultimate goal. We celebrated as much as we could (Thursday) night, and now it's time to move on. There's no letdown because we remember how close they played us there, so we're definitely going to be ready."

It took an Angie Bjorklund three-pointer with a second left to claim the 61-58 victory in Oxford on Feb. 11. Tennessee also escaped in Knoxville last season when Bjorklund hit a three-pointer with eight seconds left in a 60-59 win on Jan. 29, 2009.

The Lady Vols practiced Friday for a little over two hours in an up-tempo session at the arena and took off Saturday because Pat Summitt wanted to make sure that the players were rested for the third game this week.

"I don't think we'll have a letdown," Summitt said. "Giving them a day off, I think they'll come back fresh and be ready to go. I don't anticipate that (motivation will be an issue)."

No. 4 Tennessee (26-2, 14-1) takes on Ole Miss (16-12, 7-8) at 6 p.m. Eastern (TV: ESPNU, Lady Vols Radio Network, The evening start means the Lady Vols and Rebels will close out SEC regular season play since the other 10 teams tip off in the afternoon.

The Lady Vols do have a sense of pride after flipping the script from last season when Tennessee lost five SEC games, the most since four losses in the 1996-97 season, to claiming an SEC title with just one loss to date.

"Definitely," Cain said. "Everybody saw last year as a letdown year. I think Pat said this, ‘It's like night and day.' It really is. It's like we have a different swagger. We're a lot happier. We have a lot more fun in games and practice.

"It's not like she's letting up or anything, but you can definitely tell (she's happier). We're still going hard, no matter what we do."

Summitt used that exact phrase to describe the play this season of Cain, who has recovered from two knee surgeries to realign her right kneecap and then remove screws that had migrated out of the lower leg bone from the first operation.

"I think Kelley is just feeling better," Summitt said. "The knee is better. Her confidence level is up. She knows how to maneuver in the post area and get good looks, using the glass extremely well. She plays within herself.

"She is not trying to step out and shoot a three or do anything crazy. She plays in the paint, and she defends. I just really like the progress that she has made. From last year to this year, night and day."

Cain has 98 blocks this season, just one away from the record of 99 set by Parker in the 2006-07 season. Cain didn't know about the approaching record until it was mentioned to her after Thursday's game.

"So I've been told," Cain said. "It's cool, but again I am not really thinking about it. People have told me that. It's not like I'm going out there and I am going to try and block every shot. Mostly, I just want to contest a shot or alter a shot and hopefully it'll miss."

Cain did smile at being mentioned in the company of Parker, a three-time All-American at Tennessee who won two national titles in 2007 and 2008 and then a gold medal for the USA Olympic team in 2008.

"She was all right," Cain deadpanned.

"She'd do in a pinch," Assistant Coach Dean Lockwood said with a smile.

Cain's defensive pressure, not just the blocks, is what makes her so effective, according to Lockwood.

"Her ability to change shots, not only to block them but to change shots," Lockwood said. "I think it speaks to her really embracing that role. It's kind of like our enforcer defensively. Our players now have developed a real trust that if they do get beat, Kelley is there to clean up the mess. She can make a bad possession end up pretty good.

"I think it really speaks well to Kelley embracing the role. And also in order to block shots, obviously she's got size, but you have to have a sense of timing, and you have to do it without fouling."

That remains a work in progress as Cain has gotten into early foul trouble in the last two games.

"Not be so aggressive or find a different way to be aggressive," Cain said. "I just need to be more cognizant of my body and what angles they are calling the fouls at and definitely just go straight up so they have no reason to call a foul on me. I don't usually ask (the official what happened). It's not like I can do anything about it. Once you call it, it's called."

Cain was scheduled for a one-on-one film session with Summitt before Sunday's game to go over clips of offense and defense and especially review the plays in which she got into early foul trouble in games.

"We'll be looking at that before the game," Summitt said. "We're doing a defensive tape and an offensive tape. She's going to see a lot of good stuff, and I want her to see some of her fouls. We can't afford for her to get in early foul trouble, which she has done on a number of occasions.

"Starting out, if you get one, you're not going to go up and try to block a shot at the (top of the paint). So just getting her to understand how important she is to the success of our post game."

Cain, a redshirt sophomore, is one of just three true posts on the roster with sophomores Glory Johnson and Alyssia Brewer. The trio has considerable size, but they have added a wrinkle to the post game this season with their improved passing ability, both inside to each other and to the guards on the perimeter.

"Since there are only three of us we do a lot of work with each other, so (familiarity) is definitely a big thing," Cain said. "We know each other like the back of our hand."

Brewer had an assist against Kentucky in which she froze the defender and then zipped a sidearm pass across the high post to Briana Bass, who drained the three-pointer from the left wing. Lockwood said it was Brewer's decision making that stood out to him.

"Her pass to Bree (Thursday) night not only was it beautiful but it was very well timed," Lockwood said. "She waited until that defender took another step in thinking Lyssi was going to start making her move, and as that defender came in, she kicked out, and it was impossible for her to close out (on Bass).

"So, she's got a very good feel for where people are and where to get them the ball. That's a big plus. When you have people who are team-oriented and can share the ball, oh my gosh."

Brewer's evolving game has been a godsend to Tennessee this season with the post depth down to three because of injuries to Faith Dupree and Vicki Baugh. Brewer struggled last season to adjust to playing inside and sometimes chafed at Summitt's daily expectations, but she handled the criticism, quit drifting out of the paint on offense, transferred practice repetitions to games with less slippage and has been rewarded this season with extended minutes.

"I think it's mostly a confidence thing," Cain said. "She doesn't go in the game scared, thinking of, ‘Oh my gosh, if I make a mistake, then I am going to get yanked out.' She's going to take it one play at a time and do what we work on in practice. In practice that's how she's playing."

Brewer got a seat on the bench last season for over-passing when she was at the rim instead of taking the shot – that can still get her a trip to the sideline – and for not sprinting the floor. She is in better condition this season, which set the other dominoes in motion and has allowed her to play at longer stretches of time.

"She really has found her game both offensively and defensively," Summitt said. "Offensively she is doing a great job of getting paint points, She is so much more aggressive but also skilled. She's stepped up big and made big shots. The good thing about her is that she's getting a piece of the paint all the time as opposed to getting pushed off the block. She is establishing the position she wants, not what the defense wants.

"With that said and her touch off the glass, she has got great hands and a really great touch in the paint. Even when she is double-teamed she finds a way to get away from that and get great looks at the basket. She's just been a great finisher."

When Cain and Brewer are in the game at the same time, it's an imposing defensive presence in the paint. They combined for 11 of the team's 15 blocks – a new school record – against Kentucky.

"A t first I didn't even think we had that many blocks until I looked up (at the stat board), and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, that's a lot. That's a big number up there,' " Cain said. "We're two big bodies in there and a lot of guards like to test us. It's sending out a message if you're going to come in there, you're going to have to make a great play over us."

Cain's improved defense has coincided with her improved mobility. Several times this season an opposing player has had a clear path to the basket for a layup, and Cain has swept across the paint with one long step and swatted the ball with a wingspan that resembles a pterodactyl.

"A lot of people are telling me that it's a big difference for me from the beginning of the year," Cain said of her movements on the court. "My knee still hurts, but I am kind of used to it now and I don't think about it when I am out on the court."

"I think that has a lot to do with me getting those screws out of my knee, and it doesn't get hit as much. I need to knock on some wood for that one," Cain added, using a press row table behind her to do just that. "I think the screws had a lot to do with a lot of the pain I was going through."

Cain missed the game at Alabama on Feb. 18 because of extensive academic obligations, and it had a side benefit because her knee got some additional rest.

"My knees weren't hurting at all in that LSU game," Cain said of the following game after Alabama.

Cain, an honor roll marketing and logistics major in the College of Business, has four classes on Monday and Wednesday – two before practice and two after practice. Because of consecutive weeks of road games, she had missed 75 percent of the Wednesday evening classes – the team leaves in the afternoon the day before Thursday games – and had missed all four on the Monday that Tennessee played at Vanderbilt. Subsequently, she was behind in class work and sessions with her professors.

Cain met with Summitt to discuss the matter the day the team was to leave for Alabama, and Summitt offered her the chance to remain behind.

"Academics truly do come first here, and my teachers actually appreciated it, too," Cain said. "Pat is one of a kind, and she knows that we are working as hard as we can in the classroom, and it's kind of hard to do that when you miss a lot of classes, especially this part of the season. As soon as she asked me, I was like, ‘Yes, it would help me so much to stay back, and go visit my teachers.'

"I went to my tutors, went to Thornton, met with my teachers, just did as much as I could to take advantage of that day."

Cain said it entered her mind that maybe she could depart for Tuscaloosa on her own, but she knew that solo trip wasn't approved by the staff, so she watched on television that evening and was as uptight as any Lady Vol fan at how close the game was at various times.

"I was nervous. I was so nervous," Cain said. "I was actually thinking the night before, ‘Maybe, I could just go now or wake up early in the morning and go.' I had confidence in my team that they would pull it out."

Cain didn't give her teammates an earful about the sluggish effort.

"Nope, because I feel like they got enough (from the coaches)," Cain said. "I just wanted to tell them we pulled it out, but we've got to get back to work."

Cain has gone to work at the free throw line, a place she has struggled all season. In the past two games she has been 4-4 from the line. As a team, the Lady Vols have shot 35-37 from the stripe in the past two games, a staggering number because of woes throughout the team at various times.

"Syd (Smallbone) and I were just talking about that," Cain said.

Summitt instituted a new rule at practice a week ago that no talking was allowed while the players shot free throws to eliminate any distractions. The performance in the past two games lends credence to its effectiveness.

"I think we're just concentrating more," Cain said. "Confidence has everything to do with it when you're stepping up to the free throw line. I am more comfortable getting up there and a little more confident in my shot. I know I can shoot it. I do it in practice all the time. It's just a matter of getting in the game and doing it."

Focus has become a focal point of Summitt. She learned from a staff member that two players were goofing off in pre-game warmups in Tuscaloosa and then again before the home game against Kentucky.

Before practice began Friday, Summitt spoke to three players, Johnson, Kamiko Williams and Amber Gray, and expressed her dismay about a report from the staff member about the antics in pre-game warmups.

Summitt didn't learn of the incidents until Friday. She felt like the behavior of Williams and Johnson was inappropriate before the Alabama game when they took non-game-like shots while other players warmed up. The Crimson Tide players watched the antics while they were warming up at Coleman Coliseum. Summitt said the players were disruptive to the preparation process before Thursday's home game against Kentucky. While a teammate was trying to practice free throws, a backwards shot was lofted directly behind her that nearly knocked the ball off course.

The coaches are not on the floor during warmups – they remain in the locker room to review the game plan – but other support staff members are nearby.

"Basically when we come out on this court, it's all business," Summitt said. "We're not here goofing off. Obviously when you step over the line and on here, this is a place that you go to work, this is a place that you commit to (and) you've got to be serious about it. Obviously I think that they have to understand that that's not going to happen here anymore, ever.

"When they first come out obviously they're just loosening up and shooting. It's not as structured. All but three of the players they understand it."

Gray, who is not playing this season because of injury, often takes shots before the rest of the team arrives on the floor and then moves into the paint to help rebound for teammates. On Thursday, some of the disruptive activity continued when the full team arrived on the floor, though Gray was not a primary offender among the trio. Still, Summitt believes her message to all three players was received.

"Yes ma'am. Loud and clear," Summitt said.

Assistant Coach Dean Lockwood was disappointed by the behavior, especially with the head coach having to deal with it the day after Tennessee won an SEC championship for the first time since 2007.

"That soured the mood a little bit," said Lockwood, who added it stung more because it an unwanted distraction was generated from within the team, not an outside camp.

"One of the things that is big is her commitment to preparation and preparing the right way. That is almost a sacred violation. That's a cardinal sin. Because how you prepare has so much to do with how you play. So if there is any kind of feedback where somebody is not fully invested in it, that's going to get under her skin. After clinching a championship, which could be a good moment, we come in here and we're grrrr."

Summitt was most disappointed in Johnson, a sophomore starter, and removed her from the lineup against Ole Miss, though she will play in the game off the bench. Sophomore forward Alyssia Brewer will start in place of Johnson. Lockwood spoke to Johnson after Friday's practice.

"I think Glory struggled a little bit (in practice), because I think sometimes she takes things (to heart)," Lockwood said. "She is a very sensitive soul. She's wounded. I think she got wounded a little (Friday) and throughout practice she was bringing it back, which was good.

"That is what I was talking to her about now. She's got to move on. We can sit here and split hairs. Here's what I did or didn't do. But at the end of the day, you know what you've got to learn what to do with Coach is give her double doses back of what she thinks she's not getting from you. OK, I'm not playing. Guess what? You're going to see a Tasmanian devil for the next 25 minutes out here the way I'm sprinting and flying around."

Lockwood, who was an assistant for the Vols basketball team under Don DeVoe from 1986 to 1991, said he has learned he has to handle women athletes differently from men when it comes to stumbles in the season.

Johnson has a tendency to hold onto how Summitt is talking, while Brewer, who was a primary target last season, learned to listen and let go.

"Feel these calluses," Lockwood said, turning over his hands. "(Brewer) has developed that internally. She listens to everything Pat says. Everything. But she doesn't listen to how it's said. She listens to it faithfully, but she's learned not to let it wound her spirit.

"With female athletes, especially, I've found in my limited experience that is a critical element. You can't take it and wound your spirit. A lot of times they feel things a lot deeper. Take it, receive it with the spirit of its intent and the information that's given but do not let it wound your spirit.

"That is why they're so much more evolved than males. They're way ahead of us. They feel things. Things resonate deeper a lot of times, whereas guys stuff bounces off us. You can forget something. You can be in a vicious argument with somebody and two hours later, I'm sorry, move on, whereas that might be two weeks or two months (with women). That stuff you've got to let go. Listen to what's said. There is great information in there, but don't take it personal."

Summitt's talk with the players was rather low-key and low volume and won't even merit a mention in the pantheon of Summitt eruptions, but Lockwood understood why she was peeved.

"The sanctity of the preparation process, if she feels that is violated that is a major, major offense that needs to be addressed," Lockwood said. "That is part of the thing that has made the program so good is that there is a respect for how you go about preparation. You go to the NFL or MLB, there are certain things the great organizations they do and they don't do.

"We have our fun but as we prepare for game day that's where she wants the focus. She doesn't want all the peripheral stuff to come into play on game day especially."


Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt is expected to start: Shekinna Stricklen, 6'2 sophomore forward, No. 40 (12.4 points per game, 6.0 rebounds per game, 3.9 assists per game); Angie Bjorklund, 6'0 junior guard, No. 5 (14.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.7 apg); Alicia Manning, 6'1 sophomore guard/forward, No. 15 (4.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.1 apg); Alyssia Brewer, 6'3 sophomore forward, No. 33 (9.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.1 blocks per game); and Kelley Cain, 6'6 redshirt sophomore center, No. 52 (10.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 3.8 blocks per game).

Ole Miss Coach Renee Ladner is expected to start: Shantell Black, 5'4 senior guard, No. 11 (9.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.5 apg), hails from Lawrenceville, Ga., had 12 points, eight assists and four rebounds in first game against Tennessee this season; Kayla Melson, 5'8 junior guard, No. 20 (12.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 5.9 apg), hails from Montgomery, Ala., leads the SEC in assists, tallied four in the first game against Tennessee; Bianca Thomas, 5'10 senior guard, No. 45 (20.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.4 steals per game), hails from Henderson, Tenn., has hit 84 three-pointers this season, leads the league in scoring, SEC Player of the Year candidate, scored 22 points in Senior Night win over Auburn, had 18 points against Tennessee; Elizabeth Robertson, 5'10 senior guard, No. 14 (9.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg), hails from Vestavia, Ala., has hit 67 three-pointers this season, connected on three against Auburn and has scored in double figures in five of the last six games, scored 18 points against Tennessee; and Kayla Holloway, 6'4 sophomore center, No. 21 (4.0 ppg, 3.6 rpg), hails from Dyersburg, Tenn., had a career-high 13 points against Vanderbilt in first career start on Feb. 21, came off the bench against Tennessee in first matchup this season.

A key player off the bench for the Rebels is Nikki Byrd, a 6'4 sophomore forward who started the first game against Tennessee and was 3-5 from the field with six points and four boards. She injured her shoulder seconds into the second half during a scramble for a loose ball and played sparingly after that.

Both teams played just eight players in the tight contest in Oxford with Kamiko Williams, Taber Spani and Alyssia Brewer coming off the bench for Tennessee. Brewer will start this game for the Lady Vols with Glory Johnson coming in as a reserve. Ole Miss also got minutes from LaKendra Phillips, Katorra Lewis and Holloway, who came off the bench in the first game.

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

When Ole Miss has the ball: The Rebels want to score from behind the arc and are hitting 34.4 percent from three-point range and making an average of 7.1 per game in SEC play. Bianca Thomas and Elizabeth Robertson combined to hit eight against Tennessee, and Shantell Black added two more from behind the arc.

"You know the drill," Lockwood said of three-point shots being an emphasis for Ole Miss.

The first game was just slightly more than two weeks ago so the scouting report is easier to present to the Lady Vols because little has changed.

"Absolutely," Lockwood said. "Versus LSU (the second time), which at the time, changed two players in their lineup, were playing a little differently, were playing more zone (required different instructions). Even though (Ole Miss) may have changed some, they've only changed a little bit.

"So, who we saw two weeks ago is not going to deviate a whole lot from who we see now. You look at their box scores, you watch them on tape, for them to win games they've got to make threes. Robertson and Thomas are the leaders of the pack. Black can also make threes. In order for them to win games, those three have to make threes."

Defensively, "I think we're going to see a lot of zone here," Lockwood said. "They played us in stretches in man, but I would be shocked if we don't see a lot of zone."

When Tennessee has the ball: Pat Summitt intends to start Alyssia Brewer inside with Kelley Cain so the Lady Vols will want even more to get paint points and establish that scoring option early in the game.

"Double the emphasis (inside)," Lockwood said.

Cain and Brewer work well inside together, especially in the high-low game, and both are willing to find guards open on the perimeter if defenders double and sag in the paint. Brewer is a particularly adept passer, in part because she mostly played on the perimeter in high school.

"Basketball is a game that five people play, but there's one ball," Lockwood said. "So your ability to see things on the court and have a feel for who to get the ball to and when is really critical. Lyssi has a very good feel."

Defensively, the Lady Vols have to guard the shooters behind the arc much better than they did in Oxford.

"Pat made a great point to our team (Friday at practice)," Lockwood said. "She said, ‘It wasn't like we did a great job defending them. They missed a lot of open looks.' When I do the scout (film), it's going to be the shortest one we've had all year. It's like eight minutes, normally they're like 12, 13 minutes, it's eight minutes and, I think, 47 seconds.

"We're going to show every shot that they missed (behind the arc) and then every three-point shot that they made so that they can get a feel of not only how they got them but the fact that, whoa, they missed some wide-open ones."

ON TAP: The SEC regular season concludes Sunday with all 12 teams in action and jockeying still ongoing for seeding in the conference tourney, which starts Thursday in Duluth, Ga.

The other matchups are: South Carolina at Vanderbilt; Kentucky at Auburn; Mississippi State at LSU; Arkansas at Georgia; and Alabama at Florida.

THE SOPHOMORES: The last home game of the season is always Senior Day at Tennessee, but the Lady Vols don't have a single senior in uniform for the first time in Pat Summitt's 36-year career. They will honor senior managers and cheerleaders.

The sophomores, which started as a "Six Pack" signing class, will mean a long ceremony in two years. Amber Gray had shoulder surgery and then a stroke because of an aneurysm, and took a redshirt year this season, thus trimming the class to five in terms of graduation year. But two members of the previous class, Kelley Cain and Vicki Baugh, had knee surgeries that required a year off the court, so they raised the class, in terms of departure year, to seven.

Cain is in her second year on the court, though third year on campus, and she understood why the freshmen struggled so much last season. The class arrived with high expectations and stuffed resumes but not a second of collegiate experience.

"When we come here as a freshman, it's a lot to take in," Cain said. "Coach's system, it's just a lot to learn at one time. I hate to give that as an excuse for what happened last year, just being freshmen and being young, but that has something to do with it."

Cain has seen a lot of development among the group – Glory Johnson, Alyssia Brewer, Alicia Manning, Briana Bass and Shekinna Stricklen – this season.

"First of all I don't think you can tell that they're sophomores," Cain said. "A lot of them the way they're playing it's like they're juniors. They have just taken it upon themselves to work hard in the off-season and put in work during the season to get better, and it's paying off."

Summitt echoes the overall maturation of the five second-year players.

"Obviously they've matured tremendously," Summitt said. "They've invested in their workouts and getting in the gym and repetition offensively. I think that's been a really key part. Obviously I think across the board they're better.

"Yes, their bodies have changed, and they're stronger, but they're mentally tougher, and I think they are understanding how you have to play together on the defensive end. I think we're defending a lot better. Board play is getting a little bit better and then offensively I think we're in a better rhythm because they're sharing the ball."

Baugh briefly took the court this week in some post drills and showed a remade upper and lower body.

"Next year it will be a difference," Summitt said. "I think she's excited that she's able to get stronger and that her knee is getting a lot better. That is encouraging. That gives her a reason to feel good about it."

Cain was among the post players who couldn't stop smiling when Baugh joined them in the drill line.

"It's just been so long," Cain said. "To have two back-to-back ACL surgeries on the same leg that takes a toll on anybody. It was good that she's out there; she's jumping. I remember when I was getting back from my surgery I was happy to be able to walk without crutches. It just shows how hard she's been working, and she's getting closer and closer to being back."

The combination of Baugh and Cain next season will also provide additional voices to help Angie Bjorklund with team leadership. Baugh's off-court personality is laidback but she brings a competitive fire when she takes the court.

"I think that will (help)," Summitt said. "I think Angie has been very vocal. Kelley has been one of the most vocal players. Lyssi is starting to really speak up. Those three and Stricklen, I think she's more comfortable to express and talk and challenge the team. She's been a lot better.

"They're all communicating now. It's not like we're listening to one player. They're in the huddle and they're communicating. I like the language that I'm hearing."

ODDS AND ENDS: Tennessee leads the series with Ole Miss, 34-7. The Lady Vols are 15-2 against the Rebels at home. Ole Miss' wins in Knoxville came in 1984 and 1987 with both games being played in Stokely Athletics Center. … Tennessee is 10-2 in games played on February 28. The last win on this date was against Florida, 88-61, in 2008. The first win on February 28 was against Austin Peay, 55-35, in 1974. The two losses on this date were to Appalachian State, 58-50 in overtime, in 1969, and Kentucky, 80-74, in the SEC tourney in 1982. … Tennessee's 14 wins so far in SEC play ties a program high set in 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2007. With the SEC schedule expanded to 16 games this season, the 14-1 Lady Vols could set a new program record with 15 wins. It's a far cry from last season going into the final home game. The Lady Vols were 9-5 in conference play and still looking for the 20th win on the season with a 19-9 overall record. Tennessee clinched the 2010 SEC Championship with Thursday's win over Kentucky and has now claimed 15 of the 30 SEC titles. ... Tennessee will be going Sunday for its fifth sweep in SEC play this season. The Lady Vols have swept Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Florida and LSU. A win in Knoxville would complete the flush against Ole Miss and also extend the home-court winning streak to 17 games overall.

BY THE NUMBERS OVERALL WITH SEC PLAY IN PARENTHESES: Tennessee is averaging 74.4 points a game (69.7 in the SEC) while allowing opponents to score 56.8 (56.7). Ole Miss averages 72.8 points a game (67.8) while allowing 63.9 (69.9).

The Lady Vols are shooting 46.5 percent overall (45.9), 38.3 percent behind the arc (38.7) and 67.9 percent from the free throw line (65.6). The Rebels are shooting 42.3 percent overall (41.3), 34.9 percent from long range (34.4) and 72.3 percent from the line (73.4).

Tennessee makes an average of 5.5 three-pointers a game (4.9) while allowing 6.0 (6.4). Ole Miss makes 7.5 threes a game (7.1) while allowing 5.6 (6.4).

Tennessee averages 42.7 rebounds a game for a +8.4 margin (41.1, +7.5). Ole Miss averages 38.6 boards for a +2.0 margin (34.5, -3.5).

The Lady Vols average 15.5 assists (15.0) and 14.6 turnovers (14.6) a game. Opponents lose the ball an average of 16.3 times a game (15.8). The Rebels average 15.1 assists (13.5) and 14.4 turnovers (14.0) with foes losing the ball 16.6 times a game (14.5).

Tennessee averages 7.0 steals (6.3) and 6.6 blocks a game (7.1). Ole Miss averages 7.9 steals (6.9) and 2.0 blocks (1.8).

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