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#20/#22 Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball faces Florida at Thompson-Boling Arena, Sunday

 

#20/#22 Tennessee (11-3 | 5-1 SEC) vs. Florida (9-7 | 2-6 SEC)

Sunday, January 31st, 2021 | 1:02pm CT
Knoxville, TN | Thompson-Boling Arena | TV: ESPNU

UT Lady VolsKnoxville, TN – No. 20/22 Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team (11-3, 5-1 SEC) closes out its four-game homestand Sunday with a Southeastern Conference match-up vs. Florida (9-7/2-6 SEC) at Thompson-Boling Arena.

UT, which is third in the standings and one of only three SEC teams with one loss or fewer in league play (along with South Carolina and Texas A&M), tips it off on The Summitt against the Gators at 1:02pm CT.

Tennessee enters this contest after carding its second one-point victory of the season in three such games, coming from 13 points down and then holding on for the win over Ole Miss, 68-67, on Thursday night in Knoxville.

Tennessee Women's Basketball hosts Florida, Sunday. (UT Athletics)

Tennessee Women’s Basketball hosts Florida, Sunday. (UT Athletics)

The UT Lady Vols find themselves with an opportunity to improve to 6-1 in league play for the second season in a row and preserve a two-game lead over four teams tied for fourth in the standings.

Florida, meanwhile, comes to Knoxville in similar fashion as Ole Miss, with a record that belies its ability to compete with any team in the conference. The Gators are coming off a three-point loss to Missouri on Thursday night, 61-58, that snapped a two-game UF winning streak.

One of those victories was a 10-point triumph over Ole Miss in Oxford. Florida also had a four-point loss at Arkansas on January 14th. That same Razorback team knocked off UConn on Thursday night in Fayetteville, 90-87.

Following Sunday’s game, there are only two more Lady Vol home games scheduled, including the “Live Pink, Bleed Orange” game vs. South Carolina on February 18th (6:00pm CT/SEC Network) and Senior Day vs. Auburn on February 28th (SEC Network).

Sunday’s game will be televised by ESPNU with Sam Gore (PxP) and LVFL Tamika Catchings (analyst) on the call.

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.

Institutions also can produce for SEC Network+ (SECN+) any conference and non-conference games that are not otherwise televised. Those are available on the ESPN app and SECSports.com.

The contest also can be heard on Lady Vol Network radio stations and by audio stream, with Mickey Dearstone behind the microphone. Now calling the action for his 22nd season, Dearstone is joined by studio host Bobby Rader.

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.

Air time for games on the Lady Vol Radio Network generally occurs 30 minutes prior to tip-off.

Tickets Available At ALLVOLS.COM

Single game tickets are on sale, starting at just $5.00. Go to AllVols.com to purchase. 

Nothing But Net (Rankings)

Tennessee climbed to a season-best NCAA NET Ranking of 13th on January 26th and now stands one spot down at No. 14 after the win over Ole Miss.

That rating is the second highest in the SEC (South Carolina is No. 3).

Tennessee started at No. 28 on January 4th, when the first-ever ranking was released. The rating tool replaces the previous RPI formula that was used for helping determine NCAA Tournament invitations and seeding.

The Lady Vols have wins over NET No. 10 Indiana, No. 20 Kentucky, No. 24 Arkansas, No. 29 Alabama, and No. 53 Ole Miss.

UT has three close losses, including to No. 2 UConn, No. 17 Georgia, and No. 22 West Virginia.

UT will face top-60 NET foes in No. 3 South Carolina, No. 17 Georgia (in Athens), No. 15 Texas A&M (possibly twice), No. 20 Kentucky (in Lexington), No. 39 Mississippi State (in Starkville), No. 44 Missouri (in Columbia) and No. 60 Florida.

 


About the Tennessee Lady Vols

Tennessee has posted three victories over ranked teams (No. 13/13 Arkansas, No. 15/15 Indiana, No. 12/12 Kentucky), marking the most by the program in a season since 2017-18 when it had seven.

The Lady Vols have done so starting a freshman (Marta Suárez), two sophomores (Jordan Horston, Tamari Key), a junior (Rae Burrell), and senior (Rennia Davis). They have played together as a quintet for 10 total games, with Key and Horston being inserted into the starting lineup for the contest at Indiana (12/17/20).

UT is led in scoring in all games by junior guard Rae Burrell (16.6 ppg.) and senior forward Rennia Davis (14.5 ppg.), with sophomore point guard Jordan Horston contributing 8.7 and classmate and center Tamari Key chipping in 8.5.

In SEC play, four Tennessee players are scoring in double figures, including Davis (17.7 ppg.), Burrell (16.3), Key (11.5), and Horston (10.3 ppg.).

Davis (8th) and Burrell (10th) make UT one of two schools with two players ranked in the top 10 on the SEC’s conference-games-only scoring list. Alabama (Jordan Lewis, Jasmine Walker) is the other.

Rennia Davis leads the team with a 9.1 rebound average for the season, but she has raised that to 10.2 rpg. in league play to average a double-double vs. SEC foes.

Davis, who is on all of the preseason awards watch lists (Wade, Wooden, Naismith, Cheryl Miller), the Wooden Midseason List, and a projected All-SEC First Team pick by the coaches and players, is averaging 17.8 ppg. and 13.8 ppg. vs. ranked teams in four games this season.

Davis has climbed to 16th on UT’s all-time scoring list with 1,603 points, surpassing Mercedes Russell (16th, 1,597) and standing 18 behind Dana Johnson (15th, 1,621).

On the all-time rebounding list, Davis also stands in 16th place with 862. She surpassed Daedra Charles (16th, 858) and is 22 behind Dana Johnson (15th, 884).

Sophomore Tamari Key has scored in double figures in five of the past six contests (12/14/15/10/19/7). That 19-point effort vs. Kentucky was a career-best. Her scoring average over the past six games is 12.8 ppg. along with 6.0 rpg.

The team’s 45.6 shooting percentage, which ranks third in the SEC, currently rates as UT’s highest since the 2013-14 squad knocked down shots at a 45.7 rate.

The 45.86 per game rebound average that stands 10th nationally and second in the SEC, ranks as the fifth-best in school history at this point.

Tamari Key ranks No. 1 in the SEC in field goal percentage in conference games (65.2), with Rennia Davis (4th, 53.8) and Rae Burrell (12th, 47.5) making the Lady Vols the only school to have three players ranked in the top three of that statistical category.

Recapping Tennessee Lady Vols’ Last Game

The No. 20/22 Tennessee Lady Vols held off an upset-minded Ole Miss team on Thursday night, earning a 68-67 win in Thompson-Boling Arena.

 Senior Rennia Davis led Tennessee (11-3, 5-1 SEC) with 21 points and seven rebounds, and junior Rae Burrell logged 17 points and three rebounds. Sophomore Jordan Horston was also in double figures, managing 13 points and three assists.

 Donnetta Johnson was the high scorer for Ole Miss (7-6, 1-6 SEC) with 19 points, and Shakira Austin and Snudda Collins were close behind with 16 and 13, respectively.

 Tennessee overcame trailing by 13 points in the second quarter to defeat Ole Miss, matching a Kellie Harper era comeback of 13 in last year’s SEC Tournament to Missouri on March 5th, 2020.

 It was the largest regular-season comeback made by a UT team since erasing a 20-point, third-quarter deficit against Stetson on December 5th, 2018.

 The Lady Vols were a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter and were 16 of 19 for the game.

 Their free-throw percentage of 84.2 percent against Ole Miss was the highest by UT since having the same exact performance against the Rebels on February 27th, 2020, at 16 of 19 (84.2).

 


About the Florida Gators

Florida is led by the dynamic guard tandem of sophomore Lavender Briggs (19.2 ppg., 6.1 rpg.) and redshirt senior Kiara Smith (16.4 ppg., 6.2 rpg.)

The Gators won at Ole Miss by 10 last Sunday and only lost by four at Arkansas on January 14th.

Cameron Newbauer is in his fourth year as head coach, leading the Gators to a 43-65 record during his tenure.

Tennessee-Florida Series Notes

Tennessee holds a 53-4 all-time record vs. Florida, dating back to February 8th, 1980, winning five straight and 16 of the past 17 meetings.

UT is 23-2 vs. UF in games played in Knoxville, 8-0 at neutral sites and 3-1 in overtime contests vs the Gators, including 3-0 in Gainesville in those extra-frame affairs.

UT is 22-2 all-time in games played in Gainesville, winning the past seven trips there and in 13 of the past 14 visits, including 78-50 on January 16th, 2020.

Kellie Harper is 1-1 vs. the Gators, suffering a 66-64 neutral site loss as North Carolina State’s head coach on November 23rd, 2012, and starting her UT career, 1-0, with last season’s 78-50 victory.

Tennessee has managed to hold Florida to 50 points or fewer in the past three meetings, including exactly 50 the past two seasons.

UT’s record for most free throws made in a game (40-46) came at Florida on February 3rd, 2005.

Sunshine State native Rennia Davis is averaging 16.0 ppg. and 8.3 rpg. in three games vs. Florida. The product of Ribault High School in Jacksonville had an 11/10 effort in Gainesville as a freshman in 2018, a 19/10 performance in Knoxville as a sophomore in 2019, and an 18/5 showing in 2020 in Gainesville.

Recapping The Florida Gators’ Last Game

Florida fell in a hard-fought battle to visiting Missouri Thursday night inside Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, dropping a 61-58 decision despite outscoring the Tigers in the second half.

In a back-and-forth contest, Florida (9-7/2-6 SEC) crept within a single possession on several occasions late in the game but could not break through as its two-game winning streak came to an end.

Sophomore Lavender Briggs, finishing with her third double-double of the season and 10th of her career, tallied a game-high 19 points to go with 11 boards while senior guard Kiara Smith scored 14 and added six rebounds.

Ladazhia Williams led MU with 16 points, while Aijha Blackwell added 14 points and 16 rebounds.

Last Time Tennessee Met Florida

The No. 24/25 Tennessee Lady Vols picked up their third-straight SEC win on Jan. 16, 2020, defeating the Gators in Exactech Arena, 78-50.

Junior Rennia Davis, playing in front of family and friends who made the drive down from Jacksonville, led the effort for Tennessee (14-3, 4-1 SEC), finishing the day with 18 points and five rebounds. Sophomore Rae Burrell was also in double digits with 11 points.

Freshmen Lavender Briggs and Brylee Bartram led Florida (11-7, 2-3 SEC) with 11 points each.

Last Time In Knoxville

Sophomore Rennia Davis (19/10) and redshirt senior forward Cheridene Green (15/10) each posted double-doubles to propel Tennessee (14-7/3-5 SEC) to victory over Florida on January 31st, 2019, in Thompson-Boling Arena, 67-50.

The Gators (5-16, 1-7 SEC) were led by redshirt senior guard Funda Nakkasoglu, who finished with 18 points, and sophomore Kiara Smith, who notched 11.

Next Up For Tennessee Women’s Basketball

After enjoying a four-game homestand, the Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team will hit the road for a Thursday game in Starkville against No. 21/19 Mississippi State at 7:00pm CT/8:00pm ET (SECN+).


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