Lady Vols set for second showdown with Gators

Tennessee looks to stay perfect in SEC play as “We Back Pat” week begins.
Tennessee looks to stay perfect in SEC play as “We Back Pat” week begins.
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 3:54 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2023 at 7:23 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Tennessee (14-6, 6-0 SEC) hosted its annual “We Back Pat” game on Thursday at 6:32 p.m. as Florida (12-6, 1-4 SEC) made its way to Thompson-Boling Arena for the second meeting between the two squads in less than a month.

The Lady Vols and Gators opened their SEC seasons back on Dec. 29, with UT taking a 77-66 victory in Gainesville.

Tennessee and Florida will meet for the 61st time in a series that dates back to 1980 with UT holding a 55-5 advantage through their first matchup this season.

Through six games, UT remained tied atop the SEC standings along with South Carolina and LSU while Florida stands alone in 10th place.

Kellie Harper’s team entered on a seven-game winning streak and has been victorious in 12 of its past 14 contests with its only two losses coming against then-No. 9 Virginia Tech (59-56) on Dec. 4 and at No. 2 Stanford on Dec. 18 (77-70).

A UT win over the Lady Gators would equal last year’s 7-0 league start as the best by the Lady Vols since opening at 13-0 in 2014 through 2015. Tennessee finished with a 15-1 league record and a regular-season title that year.