Short-handed No. 8 LSU women’s basketball carries seven-game win streak to No. 16 Tennessee

PHOTO BY JONATHAN MAILHES

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Eighth-ranked LSU concludes its regular season at No. 16 Tennessee with plenty to play for in Sunday’s Southeastern Conference matchup at 1 p.m.

The Tigers (24-4, 12-3 in SEC) need a win over the Lady Volunteers (21-6, 11-4) to clinch the SEC’s outright runner-up spot to league champion South Carolina where they’ve already locked up a double bye in the league’s postseason tournament next week in Nashville.

Moreover, LSU could further solidify a home berth in the NCAA Tournament’s first-and-second round games.

“This team won nine games last year and they just finished behind the No. 1 team in the country in the SEC (South Carolina),” LSU first-year coach Kim Mulkey said after Thursday’s 58-50 win over Alabama. “Now we don’t want to share it, but if we go to Knoxville and they play great on senior night, we’re still No. 2.”

The game will be carried by ESPN2 and broadcast locally by 107.3-FM in Baton Rouge.

LSU, which has won its last seven games, will be without their second leading scorer in Alexis Morris (15.8) who suffered a sprained MCL during the first quarter of the Alabama game. The Tigers hopeful she will be ready to play in the NCAA Tournament in three weeks. Guard Ryann Payne saw extended minutes in Morris’ absence.

Senior guard Khayla Pointer is the league’s second-leading scorer at (19) and second in assists (5.1). In the win over Alabama, she led the Tigers with 23 points, grabbed nine rebounds and became second in school history with eight assists.

Tennessee started the season 18-1 and looked like a potential high seed in the NCAA Tournament. Since the hot start, the Lady Vols have gone 4-5. Injuries have coincided with Tennessee’s drop in production.

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