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#7/8 Lady Vols vs. #25/23 Texas A&M

The Aggies’ first loss of the year came on Dec. 5 at home vs. Texas, a squad the Lady Vols toppled in overtime on Nov. 21, 74-70. The other setback came at TCU on Dec. 12, 87-75.
KNOXVILLE, TN - December 18, 2021 - Guard/Forward Sara Puckett #1 of the Tennessee Lady...
KNOXVILLE, TN - December 18, 2021 - Guard/Forward Sara Puckett #1 of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers during the game between the Stanford Cardinal and the Tennessee Lady Volunteers at Thompson–Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN. Photo By Emma Corona/Tennessee Athletics(Tennessee Athletics)
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 6:29 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 6, 2022 at 8:20 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - No. 7/8 Tennessee (13-1/2-0 SEC) returns to Thompson-Boling Arena to take on No. 25/23 Texas A&M (10-3/0-1 SEC) on Thursday at 6:32 p.m. ET. These teams were picked either second or third in the preseason SEC media and coaches polls, with UT getting the No. 2 nod from the media and A&M getting it from the coaches.

Kellie Harper’s squad enters on a four-game winning streak since suffering its only loss of the season on Dec. 18 to (then) No. 3 Stanford, 74-63, in Knoxville. The Lady Vols, who are No. 1 nationally in field goal percentage defense, will face a second-straight team that favors the three-ball, with the Aggies ranking No. 1 in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (42.1) with 101 makes thus far.

UT comes off a game in which it held a hot-shooting Arkansas squad to an 8-of-40 day beyond the three-point arc (20.0 pct.), and it will be tasked with slowing a similar arsenal on Thursday evening. Tennessee rode its defense, rebounding and offensive surges in the first and fourth quarters to a 70-63 road win against the Razorbacks on Sunday in Fayetteville. A 25-15 edge in the final frame overturned a three-point UA lead entering the last 10 minutes.

The Big Orange, which had played since Nov. 10 without Rae Burrell due to injury, welcomed the senior back into the mix at Arkansas. Also back was Jordan Horston, who was out the previous two contests due to illness. Burrell came off the bench and hit her first shot and finished with two points in 12 minutes, while Horston contributed 12 points, seven rebounds and five assists in 28 minutes.

Texas A&M, which has lost three of its past five contests and did not play between Dec. 20 and Jan. 2, returned to action on Sunday and fell on the road at LSU, 75-66. The Tigers limited their visitors to 10-of-31 shooting (32.3) from beyond the arc and 32.9 percent overall, and outrebounded A&M, 49-39.

The Aggies’ first loss of the year came on Dec. 5 at home vs. Texas, a squad the Lady Vols toppled in overtime on Nov. 21, 74-70. The other setback came at TCU on Dec. 12, 87-75.

Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair, in his 19th year in College Station and his 37th overall as a head coach, announced prior to the 2021-22 campaign that he will retire at the end of this season, so this could be his final visit to Thompson-Boling Arena at the helm of a program.

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