Tennessee Lady Vols basketball vs. No. 3 LSU: Scouting report, score prediction
Lady Vols basketball doesn't have any time to lick its wounds after a blowout loss to No. 4 UConn.
The Huskies snapped a nine-game win streak for Tennessee (16-7, 8-0 SEC) Thursday. The Lady Vols get back to conference play and head to Baton Rouge to face No. 3 LSU (20-0, 8-0) on Monday (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
Here's what you need to know about the matchup:
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Slowing down Angel Reese is a priority
Junior forward Angel Reese has notched a double-double in every game this season.
She has yet to face elite talent like Jordan Horston and Rickea Jackson due to LSU's schedule, but you cannot deny Reese's production and athleticism.
Reese averages an SEC-leading 22.4 points and 16.8 rebounds in conference games. Slowing her down is the No. 1 priority for Jackson, Jillian Hollingshead and Tennessee's other post players.
How will Tennessee respond?
Monday will tell us a lot about how the rest of the Lady Vols season will go. After dropping all six games to now-ranked opponents in nonconference play, Tennessee has turned a corner in SEC play.
But UConn put a swift end to the Lady Vols' momentum. A 17-point loss at home isn't an easy pill to swallow, and hitting the road for another ranked matchup is no easy task. The Lady Vols desperately need a ranked win to show they can win the big games.
It starts with defense. UConn scored a combined 61 points in the first and third quarters, and Tennessee cannot allow that to happen again.
Battle on the glass will be crucial
Tennessee and LSU rank in the top three for defensive and offensive rebounding in SEC play.
LSU is No. 2 in offensive rebounding with 17.1 per SEC game, and the Lady Vols are right behind with 15.5. LSU leads the conference with 32.9 defensive boards per SEC game and Tennessee is No. 3 with 27.8. Rebounding was the one positive Thursday for Tennessee after the Lady Vols outrebounded the Huskies 41-30.
Tennessee will have to be disciplined on the defensive boards, because Reese will destroy them with second-chance points if it lets her.
LSU can hit from deep, thrives in transition
The Lady Vols need to ramp up their perimeter and transition defense to survive the Tigers.
Tennessee allowed UConn to shoot 57.1% from behind the arc for eight 3-pointers. UConn also scored 17 points in transition and 20 points off 21 Lady Vols turnovers.
LSU leads the SEC in 3-point shooting percentage in SEC games, hitting 40% (46-for-115) in eight conference games. The Tigers like to push the pace, and Tennessee needs to match up better in transition than it did Thursday.
LSU 80, Tennessee 70: After the defensive performance Thursday, I'm not sure Tennessee has what it takes to stop Reese and LSU's offense. The Lady Vols should keep up offensively, but they also need production beyond Jordan Horston and Rickea Jackson. With a projected sellout crowd on the road, Monday night may be a challenge too large for Tennessee right now.
This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Lady Vols basketball vs. No. 3 LSU: Scouting report, score prediction