Greenville, SC – #RV/NR Tennessee (20-9, 10-6 SEC) will open play on Thursday at approximately 7:30pm CT in the second round of the 2020 SEC Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
The Lady Vols, who tied for third in the league standings, were assigned the No. 6 seed based on the SEC’s tie-breaker policy. They will meet the winner of Wednesday afternoon’s first-round contest between No. 11 seed Missouri (8-21, 5-11 SEC) and No. 14 Ole Miss (7-22, 0-16 SEC).
Tennessee defeated Missouri 77-66 in Knoxville to open the SEC slate back on January 2nd and owns road (84-28) and home (77-66) wins over Ole Miss this season.
UT comes into the tournament on a three-game winning streak, having defeated Vanderbilt and Ole Miss at home and Auburn on the road to secure the program’s 43rd 20-victory season in the past 44 years.
The 2018-19 squad finished 19-13 and came up a win short of keeping a lengthy streak intact.
The winner of Thursday night’s contest advances to the third round to meet No. 3 seed Kentucky at approximately 8:30pm on Friday.
Thursday’s game will be televised by the SEC Network with Courtney Lyle (PxP), Carolyn Peck (Analyst) and LVFL Andraya Carter (Reporter) on the call.
The SEC Network studio crew includes Alyssa Lang, Andy Landers and Steffi Sorensen.
SEC Radio Network will broadcast every game from the SEC Tournament on SiriusXM 374 as well as on Sirus 138/XM 190 and on Sirius/XM app. channel 961.
The contest also can be heard on Lady Vol Network radio stations and by audio stream, with Mickey Dearstone calling the action for the 21st season and Bobby Rader serving as the studio host.
A link to the live audio stream can be found on each game’s Hoops Central page or the Lady Vol schedule on UTSports.com.
For a list of Lady Vol Network affiliates, please click on the Fans tab at the top of UTSports.com, select Vol Network and then click on Vol Network Affiliates in the black bar at the top of the page.
SECN+ games are online broadcasts and are available only on WatchESPN via computers, smartphones and tablets.
All of the games included in the ESPN package (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU) and the SEC Network will be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 or Xbox One to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
Tennessee Lady Vols In The SEC Tournament
Tennessee enters Thursday night’s game with a 79-23 (.775) all-time record in the 41st year of the SEC Tournament.
The Lady Vols improved to 35-5 all-time in their opening game of the SEC Tournament and are 26-9 in their second contest of the tourney.
UT was a No. 8 seed a year ago and is playing as a No. 6 seed for the first time.
No. 6 is the Big Orange’s highest seeding since entering as a No. 5 in 2017 at Greenville.
Tennessee is seeking to capture its league-leading 18th SEC championship trophy. UT was victorious in 1980, 1985, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.
The Lady Vols were runners-up on six occasions, including 1982, 1990, 1991, 1995, 2003 and 2015.
UT has advanced to the title game in two of the past six seasons, winning in 2014 as a #2 seed, 71-70, over #4 Kentucky and falling as a #2 seed to #1 South Carolina, 62-46, in 2015.
The Big Orange women are 24-7 in SEC Tournament play since 2007-08.
Tennessee has had 15 SEC Tournament MVPs through the years, with a Lady Vol winning four of the last nine awards.
Isabelle Harrison (2014), Glory Johnson (2012), Shekinna Stricklen (2011) and Alyssia Brewer (2010) were the past four MVPs from Tennessee.
The Lady Vols won the very first SEC Tournament title in 1980, defeating Ole Miss, 85-71, at Stokely Athletics Center in Knoxville.
SEC Tournament Experience
This marks the active SEC Tournament debut for six of 12 Lady Vols, including Lou Brown (injured last season), Jordan Horston, Tamari Key, Jaiden McCoy, Jessie Rennie and Emily Saunders.
This also is the first SEC Tournament for Kellie Harper and her coaching staff while at Tennessee.
Kellie Harper had an 11-1 record at the SEC Tournament during her time as a student-athlete at UT with postseason tournament titles in 1996, 1998 and 1999. The only loss was in the 1997 semifinals.
Assistant Lacey Goldwire worked on Mike Neighbors’ staff at Arkansas last season during the Razorbacks’ drive to a runner-up finish.
Rennia Davis has averaged 14.0 ppg. in four SEC Tournament games, tallying 16 and five vs. Auburn and South Carolina in 2018 and 19 and 16 vs. LSU and Mississippi State in 2019.
Previous Visits To Greenville
This marks the fourth time Greenville has played host to the SEC Tournament.
UT stands at 4-2 in games played in the city after beating LSU and falling to Mississippi State last year.
No. 2 seed Tennessee defeated #1 seed LSU in the tourney title game, 67-56, on March 6, 2005, the first time the event was held here.
Shyra Ely was named the SEC Tournament MVP that year, while Shanna Zolman and Brittany Jackson joined her on the all-tournament team.
UT beat Auburn in the second round (64-54) and Vanderbilt in the semifinals (76-73) that year.
Candace Parker Is UT’s SEC Legend
Two-time NCAA champion Candace Parker, UT’s all-time No. 3 scorer (2,137 pts.) and No. 8 rebounder (972 rebounds), will be honored as the Lady Vols’ SEC Legend at this week’s SEC Tournament.
Parker will be introduced at halftime of UT’s first game of the tourney and at halftime of game nine on Friday.
The 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic gold medalist is a WNBA star for the Los Angeles Sparks.
She also is a TV commentator for NBA on TNT, NBA TV and NCAA Tournament coverage by Turner Sports and CBS Sports.
Big Orange Tailgate Tour
Join the Big Orange Tailgate Tour, March 5th-8th, in Greenville, SC, for food, fun and Rocky Top at the SEC women’s basketball tournament.
The official UT Alumni and Lady Vol fan tournament headquarters is the Carolina Ale House, located at 113 South Main Street in Greenville. It’s a short walk to the Bon Secours Wellness Arena.
The following Big Orange Tailgates will be held ONLY if the Lady Vols advance to that day’s tournament play.
- Thursday, March 5th | Tailgate: 3:00pm – 5:00pm CT | Game: (approx) 7:30pm CT vs. Ole Miss/Missouri
- Friday, March 6th | Tailgate: 3:00 – 5:00pm CT | Game: (approx) 7:30pm CT vs. Kentucky
- Saturday, March 7th (semifinals) | Tailgate: 3:00pm – 5:00pm CT | Game: (approx) 7:30pm CT
- Sunday, March 8th (championship) | Tailgate: 10:00am – 12:00pm CT | Game: 2:00pm CT
The Road Leading Up to This
Tennessee has won its last three contests, defeating Vanderbilt (67-63) and Ole Miss (77-66) in back-to-back home games and closing out the regular season with a 56-55 squeaker at Auburn to improve to 20-9 overall and 10-6 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 three 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.
UT had won six straight SEC contests and stood at 7-1 before dropping those five consecutive contests.
Tennessee’s Rennia Davis is averaging 18.3 ppg. in all games and 19.9 ppg. in SEC play, shooting 49.6 percent (118-238) from the field and 82.8 (48-58) percent at the charity stripe vs. league foes.
Sophomore Rae Burrell and freshman Jordan Horston join Davis as UT’s next highest scorers in SEC play, contributing 10.5 and 9.9 per game.
Burrell has started the past seven games after coming off the bench the previous 22 contests. She is averaging 13.0 ppg. and 6.3 rpg. over her last seven games.
Horston has come off the bench and has produced 8.8 ppg., 4.6 apg. and 4.4 rpg. the past five games.
Recapping Tennessee Lady Vols Last Contest
Junior Rennia Davis tallied a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds, and freshman Jordan Horston hit a runner in the lane with 0.6 seconds left on the clock to lift Tennessee to a crucial 56-55 win at Auburn to close out the regular season on Sunday afternoon.
The double-double was the 29th of Davis’ career (11th this season), tying Bashaara Graves for 10th all-time among Lady Vols. Redshirt senior Lou Brown was Tennessee’s next highest scorer, posting nine points off three-of-six shooting from behind the arc.
Auburn (10-17, 4-12 SEC) was paced by senior Daisa Alexander, who finished with 15 points, followed by sophomore Robyn Benton who had 11.
Notes From The Auburn Game
Keeping Thompson In Check
Auburn junior Unique Thompson entered the game averaging 16.6 ppg. and 11.6 rpg. and was fresh off recording her 41st career double-double against Missouri. Tennessee managed to hold her to just six points and five rebounds on the day.
With 22 points against Auburn, Rennia Davis recorded her sixth 20+ game of the season and the 13th of her career, putting her at ninth all-time among Lady Vols.
Dominating The Boards
The Lady Vols out-rebounded the Tigers by a commanding 50-26 margin. UT has now out-rebounded 21 of 29 opponents on the season and boasts a +11.4 rebounding margin.
With the victory over Auburn, UT claimed its 20th victory of the season. Tennessee has now posted 20-win seasons in 43 of the last 44 years.
Every Tennessee player who saw action against AU contributed at least two points to the victory, and UT’s bench outscored Auburn’s 15-9.