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South Carolina women tangle with Tennessee in top-10 showdown

The Gamecocks take on the Lady Vols today in a big-time matchup.

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

No. 9 South Carolina (14-2, 3-1 SEC) vs. No. 6 Tennessee (15-1, 3-1)

Start time: 1 p.m.

TV: ESPN2

Live stream: watchespn.com

Live audio: 107.5 FM (Columbia)

Last game

The Gamecocks bounced back after a loss at Missouri, handling Auburn 71-63 in Columbia. The biggest story of the game, however, was A’ja Wilson’s ankle injury with only minutes left in the contest. Her status earlier this week was questionable for Tennessee, but she’s now officially out. To say that’s a big blow to South Carolina would be a tiny bit of an understatement.

What to watch for

After a few years of wandering in the wilderness, the Lady Vols look to be making a comeback to prominence. Tennessee is coming off a 79-76 overtime defeat at No. 17 Texas A&M, its first loss of the season.

The Lady Vols are led by post player Mercedes Russell, who trails A’ja Wilson in career double-doubles with 37. In SEC play, Russell is averaging 20 points, 7.8 rebounds, and three blocks per game while also shooting 62% from the floor.

Last season in Columbia, Tennessee handed South Carolina its first SEC loss with a 76-74 victory in a nailbiter that came down to a pair of Lady Vols free throws.

This game will be a matchup of the SEC’s most efficient offense (South Carolina is shooting nearly 50% from the floor) and stingiest field goal defense (Tennessee is allowing opponents to shoot just 34%).