Lady Vols Readying For Top 25 Showdown

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    Tennessee is looking to improve to 3-0 in SEC play tonight in its greatest test of the young conference season as No. 25 Texas A&M comes to Thompson-Boling Arena.

    The Lady Vols blew out Alabama and earned a comeback road win at Arkansas last week while Texas A&M opened SEC play with a loss at LSU.

    The Aggies are 10-3 on the season with wins over Pittsburgh and Northwestern and losses to Texas and TCU.

    Tennessee star guard Rae Burrell returned to the lineup against Arkansas scoring two points in 12 minutes. While the senior is back, she’s still not ready to play full minutes as she works back into game shape.

    “She’s not ready to go 40 minutes,” Harper said Wednesday. “I’ll be honest with you, I don’t think any of our players will play 40 minutes. We’re just getting her minutes every day in practice, and you know, at this point, it’s like everybody else, we’ve just got to work her in. She’s got to come in and perform; she has to feel good about what she’s doing. I think that’s a big piece for her, mentally. When you’re out that long, it takes a little while to get back, and we understand that. We’ll have patience with her.”

    Guard Kayla Wells leads the Aggies in scoring with an impressive 17.1 points per game on 47% shooting from the field and 53% shooting from three-point range.

    The matchup will be a challenge for Lady Vols’ point guard Jordan Horston who missed two games last week due to non COVID-19 related sickness. Horston returned to the lineup against Arkansas scoring 12 points on three-of-13 shooting, adding seven rebounds and five assists.

    “I think Jordan’s in pretty good shape right now,” Harper said. “I think that Arkansas game was a much-needed game for her to get the rust off, the Christmas break off of her and get back in the swing of things. So, she’s been good in practice, looks good, and is moving really well. I was making a comment the other day about how well she was moving in practice, so feel really good about where she’s at.”

    Tennessee and Texas A&M tip-off from Thompson-Boling Arena at 6:30 p.m. ET Thursday night. The SEC Network will broadcast the game.

     

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.