Feb. 26, 2009

Courtesy of Tennessee Athletics

The #18/23-ranked Tennessee Lady Vols (19-8, 8-4 SEC) will be fighting not to play on the fi rst day in the SEC Tournament when they visit the LSU Lady Tigers (15-9, 8-4 SEC) on "Senior Night" at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Thurs., Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. CT. Both teams are deadlocked in the fourth position in the SEC league standings with identical 8-4 records and at stake is a fi rst round bye in the SEC tournament next week.


This is the Lady Vols' 35th season under Head Coach Pat Summitt...She has compiled a staggering 1,002-190 overall record... Registered her record-breaking 1,000th win over Georgia, 73-43, on Feb. 3, 2008 in Knoxville... Collected her 900th coaching win with a 80-68 decision over #19-ranked Vanderbilt on Jan. 19, 2006... She passed Dean Smith (879 wins) for most NCAA collegiate basketball wins of all-time with a 75-54 victory over Purdue on Mar. 22, 2005 ...Her 2006-07 and 2007-08 squads were crowned as the NCAA Champions producing the program's seventh and eighth titles...Last season, UT fi nished with a 36-2 overall record and were also the SEC Tournament Champions... This year, UT returned fi ve letterwinners, a redshirt freshman and welcomed a talented six-pack rookie class...The Lady Vols sport the youngest team and starting line-up in Summitt's 35 seasons at the helm...


The Lady Vols wrap up the last week of the regular season with two key SEC "must win" games on the slate. Tennessee travels to face LSU on Thurs., Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. CT in an FS-South telecast. The Lady Vols return home for a rematch with #19/21-ranked Vanderbilt on Sunday, Mar. 1 at 7 p.m. in Thompson-Boling Arena. The "Senior Night" game will honor Alex Fuller as ESPN2 has the telecast.


UT is 8-6 all-time on Feb. 26, with an 3-5 mark in Knoxville, a 2-1 record on the road and a 3-0 slate on neutral courts. The last time the Lady Vols were in action on Feb. 26, UT dropped a 95-93 overtime decision to Florida in Knoxville on Senior Night 2006. The six losses on this date are the most losses of any date on the all-time Lady Vol schedule from November thru April.


Last year at this time, the #3/3-ranked Lady Vols were 25-2 (11-1 SEC) on the campaign after defeating Mississippi State, 72-46, in Knoxville.


Twenty-two Lady Vol regular season games are slated for television this season. Upcoming TV games include: LSU (FS-South) and Vanderbilt (ESPN2). Last season, UT had a school record 36 national television appearances. UT is 12-8 in TV games this year.


Depending what happens between Tennessee and LSU, the positioning for the SEC bracket probably will not be known until the conclusion of the UT-Vanderbilt game on Sunday, Mar. 1 following the 7 p.m. tip-off in Knoxville. The SEC Tournament will be held in North Little Rock, Ark., Mar. 5-8.


With a victory over LSU, Tennessee will reach at least 20 wins in a season under Coach Pat Summitt for the 33rd consecutive time. Despite the 19-8 overall record, this Lady Vol team is still ahead of several other former UT teams who struggled to record 20 wins in a season. The 1984-85 team achieved 20 wins on Mar.3, 1985; the 1980-81 team picked up the 20th win on Mar. 10, 1981; the 1981-82 squad logged its 20th win on Mar. 13, 1982 and the 1983-84 squad picked up win number 20 on Mar. 17, 1984. With the exception of the 1984-85 three ACL injury-plagued team, the other squads advanced to the Final Four.