Lady Volunteers Face No. 1 South Carolina in Final Home Game 


Photo By Kate Luffman/Tennessee Athletics

Chloe Levering 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– After their third consecutive SEC win over Auburn, the Lady Volunteers take on the top-ranked Gamecocks at home in Thompson-Boling Arena on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. 

Despite their winless record against top-25 teams this season, Tennessee has kept in close range throughout their matchups with opponents such as Stanford, UConn, and LSU.

Tennessee now occupies third place in the SEC behind South Carolina and LSU, as they’ve lost to only 2 SEC teams thus far. 

“I think the SEC is being underrated right now,” Tennessee head coach Kellie Harper said on Wednesday. “There’s a lot of parity in our league.” 

It’s no surprise that South Carolina is undefeated and commonly agreed to be the best women’s basketball team in the NCAA this season, by far. However, the Gamecocks have their inconsistencies, such as a close call with unranked Ole Miss on Sunday afternoon in overtime. 

Additionally, it was only 2 years ago that Harper’s team brought an 8-point win over the then No. 2 ranked Gamecocks in Thompson-Boling Arena. 

It’s going to be difficult for Tennessee to stop South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston or Zia Cooke, so it might be easier for them to take a page out of Ole Miss’s book and try to force some turnovers to maximize scoring efforts– and these turnovers must result in points for the Lady Vols to remain close with the Gamecocks. Tennessee also has to stay locked in as far as rebounding in order to stay with South Carolina. 

Jordan Horston’s performance will definitely be crucial and some primetime threes from Tess Darby or Sara Puckett wouldn’t hurt either. 

“They just don’t have a lot of weak points,” Harper said.“You gotta try to find the matchups you want, maybe the spacings that you want. To me you just gotta be really aggressive.” 

The game starts at 7:00 p.m. EST in Knoxville and will air on ESPN.