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Game preview: South Carolina women open SEC Tournament play against Tennessee

The Gamecocks will see a familiar foe in the conference tournament quarterfinals tonight.

Saul Young-USA TODAY Sports

No. 2 seed South Carolina (23-6, 12-4 SEC) vs. No. 7 Tennessee (24-6, 11-5)

Start time: 7 p.m.

TV: SEC Network

Live stream:

Live audio: 98.5 FM/1320 AM (Columbia); Sirius 138/XM 190/App Channel 966 (SEC Radio Network)

Last game

Thanks to a top-four seed, South Carolina secured a double-bye to start the SEC Tournament and is just now getting in on the action. Tennessee opened play against Auburn on Thursday night, escaping with a 64-61 victory when Rennia Davis banked in a 3-pointer with half a second left. The tenth-seeded Tigers gave the Lady Vols all they could handle in a game that saw 13 ties and 15 lead changes, but came up just short in their bid for the upset.

What to watch for

It’s unfortunate for the Gamecocks that Auburn didn’t succeed, because Tennessee swept South Carolina in the regular season and the games were not exactly close (86-70 and 65-46). While the Gamecocks were missing A’ja Wilson for that last contest in Knoxville, that poses another problem: She stayed home because of struggles with vertigo, and while she’s been practicing with the team and will play Friday, her health will be the biggest factor in South Carolina’s success. The Lady Vols may be dealing with an ailing starter of their own, however, as Jaime Nared — who led Tennessee with 17 points against Auburn — took a hard fall and didn’t return to the game. The Gamecocks have their work cut out for them, so hopefully the bye gave them time to regroup and get healthy.