Lady Vols in must win mode from here on out

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)— Tennessee (15-8, 4-6, SEC) returns home after a two-game road swing, hosting Auburn (18-6, 6-5 SEC) on Thursday night at Thompson-Boling Arena. Tip-off is slated for 7:02 p.m. ET on Valentine's Day in a contest that will be streamed by SECN+.

Tennessee is 12-2 all-time in games played on Valentine's Day, including 8-1 at home, 3-1 away and 1-0 at neutral sites. UT is 2-0 vs. AU on this date.

Including this match-up, the Lady Vols have six contests remaining during the regular season. Three are at home (Auburn, South Carolina, Vanderbilt) and three are away (Missouri, Texas A&M, Ole Miss).

The Lady Vols are coming off a 91-63 loss at No. 6/6 Mississippi State on Sunday. It was a three-point game with 6:09 to go in the third and a six-point contest with 2:06 remaining in that period before MSU used a 21-2 run spanning the third and fourth stanzas to pull away. UT played without starting point guard and leading scorer Evina Westbrook, who sat out the game due to a violation of team rules. First-year point guard Jazmine Massengill started in place of Westbrook, giving UT two freshmen, two sophomores and a senior in the starting lineup vs. MSU's four seniors and a sophomore. Westbrook is expected back for the Auburn game.

Despite the loss, Tennessee comes into the game having won three of its past four contests, defeating LSU, Florida and Vanderbilt in succession. Auburn comes to town on the heels of a 75-72 victory at Arkansas on Sunday. The Tigers also have won three of their past four, handling Ole Miss, Georgia (in OT) and Arkansas, while falling to Kentucky the game before last.

Tennessee won the first match-up this season between these teams, defeating the Tigers, 78-69, at Auburn Arena on Jan. 3 to open league play for both teams. Meme Jackson had 27 points in that game.

Bob Kesling (play-by-play), Madison Blevins (analyst) and Antonia Buffalino (sideline) will have the call for the SECN+ broadcast.
Mickey Dearstone is behind the microphone for IMG College/Lady Vol Network radio/online broadcasts for the 20th season. A link to the live audio stream can be found on each game's Hoops Central page or the Lady Vol schedule on
Air time for games on the Lady Vol Radio Network generally occurs 30 minutes prior to tip-off.
For UT home games, the Lady Vol Network has a low-power transmitter that makes the game available on the radio at 99.3 FM.