No. 14 Women Head To No. 12 Tennessee For Top 15 Showdown Thursday

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Game 23 • SEC Game 9 • Thursday, February 1, 2018 • 5:30 p.m. CT / 6:30 p.m. ET
No. 14 AP / No. 12 Coaches’ Texas A&M Aggies (17-5, 6-2 SEC) at
No. 12 AP / No. 13 Coaches’ Tennessee Lady Vols (17-4, 5-3 SEC)
Knoxville, Tenn. | Thompson-Boling Arena (21,678)
TV: SEC Network (Pam Ward, Gail Goestenkors)
Radio: Texas A&M Sports Network (Tom Turbiville, Steve Miller)

No. 14 Texas A&M heads to No. 12 Tennessee for a Top 15 women’s basketball showdown, with tip set for 5:30 p.m. CT at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The game is broadcast on SEC Network, with Pam Ward and Hall of Fame coach Gail Goestenkors on the call. Authenticated subscribers can also access the stream of the game through WatchESPN and the ESPN app on their computers, mobile phones, tablets, smart TVs and other connected devices. Tom Turbiville and Steve Miller bring listeners the call across the Texas A&M Sports Network, heard locally in Bryan-College Station on The Zone 1150 AM/102.7 FM and online at 12thMan.com.

The Aggies (17-5, 6-2 SEC) have won three straight regular season games against the Lady Vols, with each of them coming down to the wire. Texas A&M won the first matchup this season, 79-76 on Jan. 11, as Danni Williams sank three free throws with 7.8 seconds in overtime to take the lead. Texas A&M won 61-59 in Thompson-Boling Arena last season, and 76-71 in overtime at Reed Arena in 2016. The Lady Vols (17-4, 5-3 SEC) won 70-60 in the 2016 SEC Tournament Quarterfinals.

After this game, the Aggies return home to face Auburn on February 4 at 3 p.m., with television coverage set for SEC Network.

Aggies’ Hillsman, Lady Vols’ Russell Set For Another Battle

Barring a matchup in the SEC Tournament or NCAA Tournament, this is the last matchup between senior All-SEC centers, Khaalia Hillsman and Mercedes Russell.

“I like the fact that we’re very competitive against each other, but not to the point where we’re getting frustrated,” said Hillsman of the matchup with Russell. “She’s one of my favorite post players to play against, because we always have friendly conversation at random times.”

Both Hillsman and Russell have posted double-doubles in their last two matchups, and have scored at least 10 points in all three games they have started against each other. Hillsman averages 15.3 points and 10.7 rebounds when starting against Russell, while Russell puts up 16.3 points and 10.0 rebounds against Hillsman.

“It’s just who has more energy and more intensity, to be honest,” said Hillsman of the upcoming game. “If I can stay intensive, stay low on defense, and do better than the last time, it will be better for our team.”

In the January 11 matchup, the two had nearly identical stat lines, with Hillsman posting 22 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks, and Russell scoring 21 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Russell outscored Hillsman 17 to 10 during the 2017 game in Knoxville, but it was Hillsman’s put-back with 4.0 to play that gave Texas A&M a 61-59 win.