Monday, February 19, 2007

Lady Vols Seek To Clinch SEC Title

The #3-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols (24-2, 11-0 SEC) will be looking for their 12th consecutive SEC victory of the season and possibly clinching the SEC crown traveling to conference nemesis and #7-ranked Louisiana State (23-4, 9-2 SEC) in Baton Rouge, La., on President's Day. ESPN2 has the telecast.


This is the Lady Vols' 33rd season under Head Coach Pat Summitt...She has compiled a staggering 937-179 overall record... Is just 63 wins away from a remarkable 1,000 career victories...Collected her 900th coaching win with a 80-68 decision over #19-ranked Vanderbilt on Jan. 19, 2006... She passed Dean Smith (879 wins) for most NCAA collegiate basketball wins of all-time with a 75-54 victory over Purdue on Mar. 22, 2005 ...Her 2005-06 squad advanced to the NCAA Elite 8...Finished with a 31-5 overall record and were the SEC Tournament Champions...

This season, UT returned six letterwinners, welcomed a senior manager turned player, two junior college transfers and a pair of rookies...The 2006-07 season marked the Lady Vol debut for former senior manager Elizabeth Curry, JC transfers Shannon Bobbitt and Alberta Auguste...True freshman are Cait McMahan and Nicci Moats.


A UT win over LSU would clinch the SEC Championship for the Lady Vols. A loss would force Tennessee to win the final two regular season games - at Arkansas and versus #12/13-ranked Vanderbilt. The Lady Vols' last win at LSU was in 2003.


In the final tune-up before facing Tennessee, #7-ranked LSU (23-4, 9-2 SEC) used a 24-0 run in the second half to pull away from Arkansas in an 86-65 win on Feb. 15 in Fayetteville. With the score tied 49-49 with 10:30 left in the contest, LSU shut down UA (18-9, 3-8 SEC) for the next five minutes and went on a 24-0 run to take a 73-49 lead, the largest of the game. Sylvia Fowles sparked LSU with with 23 points and 20 rebounds -- 15 of her points came in the second half, including six during the run. Quianna Chaney added 21 points in the victory, including 10 in the run the broke the game open. Erica White tossed in 15 points and added eight rebounds and seven assists. A topsy-turvy opening, LSU led 32-28 at the half while Arkansas led 17-12 with 11:24 left in the first half. The Lady Tigers took the lead on a three-pointer by Chaney with 3:35 left in the half and closed out the first 20 minutes on a 7-3 run. The Lady Tigers then opened the second half on an 8-2 run to take a 40-30 lead, but Arkansas chipped away to tie the score at 44-44 with 11:50 left in the game.


This week, the Lady Vols travel to #7 LSU for an ESPN2 match-up on Feb. 19...head to Arkansas on Feb. 22...and finishes the regular season at home versus #12/13 Vanderbilt on Feb. 25.


A record 21 Lady Vol regular season games are slated for national/regional television this season. Five non-televised games will be available as streaming video with voice-over from Mickey Dearstone on UT is 17-2 on TV this season.


UT is 9-2 in games played on Feb. 19. The Lady Vols are 4-0 at home, 3-1 on the road and 2-1 on neutral courts. The last time out on Feb. 19, the Lady Vols registered an 82-65 victory at Alabama in 2006.


Last year at this time, the Lady Vols were 24-3 and had just defeated Alabama, 82-65.


It's hard to believe that there are just three games to go in the regular season. UT's stretch run to the SEC Tournament includes a dangerous slate. The Lady Vols have just one game at home -- #12/13 Vanderbilt (Feb. 25). Tennessee travels to #7 LSU (Feb. 19) and Arkansas (Feb. 22). Tennessee has an 11-0 record in SEC play and is being chased by LSU (9-2), Georgia (9-3) and Vanderbilt (8-3). The 2007 SEC Tournament will be held Mar. 1-4 in Duluth, Ga.


In all games, this is how Tennessee has shot from the field: 50%FG: Chattanooga (.579), MTSU (.565), Arizona St. (.548), Kentucky (.532), UCLA (.531), ODU/UT-Martin (.509), Stanford (.500); 40%FG: Louisiana Tech (.483), GWU (.482), Alabama1 (.464), Georgia2 (.459), Vandy1 (.458), Alabama2 (.453), Ole Miss (.448), Florida (.442), WVU (.431), Texas (.429), Auburn (.403); 30%FG: Georgia1 (.396), Miss. St. (.395), Notre Dame (.381), USC (.379), UConn (.371), North Carolina (.362), Duke (.361)


In all games, this is how the opposition has shot from the field: 50%FG: none, 40%FG: Duke (.491), GWU (.472), Arizona St. (.469), Stanford (.456), MTSU (.453), UCLA (.451), North Carolina (.444), Vandy1 (.438), Kentucky (.434), UConn (.433), Chattanooga (.431), Miss. State (.409), Notre Dame (.407), Ole Miss (.406), 30%FG: ODU & Auburn (.396), Georgia2 (.380), Alabama2 (.378), Alabama1 (.369), WVU (.352), USC (.349), Florida (.345), Georgia1 (.319), Texas (.308); 20%FG: Louisiana Tech (.295), UT-Martin (.204)


Wins: +56 (1), +36 (2), +30 (1), +29 (2), +24 (2), +23 (2), +22 (2), +21 (2), +17 (1), + 16 (2), +15 (1), +12 (1), +11 (1), + 10 (2), +9 (1), +6 (1). Losses: -13 (1), -4 (1)


Lady Vol junior college transfer forward, Alberta "Bird" Auguste returns to her home state for the game versus LSU. Auguste, a native of Marrero, La. (John Ehret H.S.), is Tennessee's first player ever from the state of Louisiana. Marrero is located in southeastern Louisiana near New Orleans and is 73 miles from Baton Rouge (as the crow flies).


Tennessee and Louisiana State square-off in Baton Rouge in a President's Day meeting on ESPN2. In the mid-1800's, president's from the two states served a majority of time in the White House. The state of Tennessee supplied three of the nation's presidents (No. 7 Andrew Jackson, 1829-37; No. 11 James K. Polk, 1845-49 and No. 17 Andrew Johnson, 1865-69) while one served from the state of Louisiana (No. 12 Zachary Taylor, 1849-50). Since the mid-1800's, neither the state of Tennessee nor the state of Louisiana has seen a president elected from their home state. Tennessee's Al Gore came close in the 2000 presidential race.


LSU is 23-4 overall and 9-2 in the SEC this season. Defeating Tennessee in Baton Rouge on Feb. 19 would keep the Lady Tigers chances alive for a piece of the SEC crown. LSU has lost four games this season with a countdown margin: 4-3-2-1. In order of defeat, Baylor won by 4 (64-60), Ole Miss won by 3 (77-74), Georgia won by 2 (53-51) and Connecticut by a point (72-71).

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