December 20, 2017

Next up: Cardinal vs Orange

The Stanford Cardinal and the Tennessee Lady Vols will meet for the 35th time on Thursday evening at 6:00 in a series that began in 1988.

The meeting between these storied rivals is always a big game and that's especially so this season.

For the Cardinal, it's a chance to show that they're ready to play with the big kids. A loss on Thursday will quite likely drop them out of the AP Top 25.

Wear your cardinal sweater or shirt to Maples and make lots of noise to encourage our struggling team.

Tennessee, in the sixth season of the Holly Warlick era, is finally playing with the spirit and cohesiveness that led the Lady Vols to eight national titles. They are currently one of the eight remaining undefeated teams in the nation (11-0), are ranked 7/7 in the national polls, and have an RPI of 18.

The Lady Vols have lost their prior five games at Maples. A victory on Thursday will go a long way to prove that they are for real this season.

The Lady Vols are a big, strong team with seven of ten players taller than six feet. They lead the nation in rebounds with 51.3 per game.

Their aggressive play results in a lot of fouls — they receive more than they commit and lead the nation in free throws attempted and made. Although their success rate is only a mediocre 69%, they average twice as many made free throws as their opponents (19.0-8.2).

The Lady Vols are led by senior guard/forward Jaime Nared (17.0 ppg, 9.5 rpg) and 6'6" redshirt senior center Mercedes Russell (16.9 ppg, 8.7 rpg). Russell makes 66.1% of her attempted shots — the eighth-best in the nation.

The veteran leaders are ably assisted by four All-American freshmen — the No. 1-ranked recruiting class in the country in 2017.

Freshman guard Evina Westbrook runs the point for the Lady Vols. She averages 5.1 assists per game with 3.5 turnovers and adds 8.5 points per game.

Freshman guard/forward Rennia Davis has started every game and contributes 12.3 points and 8.4 rebounds.

Freshman guard Anastasia Hayes comes off the bench and adds 12.4 points, 4.3 assists, and 3.1 rebounds.

(Whatever happened to Diamond DeShields? She opted out of a redshirt senior season and is playing pro ball in Turkey.)

There are Tennessee's roster and season statistics.

This is the media coverage of the game:

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