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Tennessee Lady Vols / Duke Lady Blue Devils Open Game Thread: Save The Ta-Tas! Edition

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Here's a press statement from Angie Bjorklund on the game versus Duke and on Breast Cancer Awareness.  This game really matters to them.


Lady Vols Logo

February 16, 2009
7:30 EST
TV: ESPN2
Internet TV: ESPN360.com
Internet Radio: Lady Vol Network
Radio: Lady Vol Network

Duke Logo
18-6 (7-3)
  13(AP)
  18(USA Today)
 
20-3 (8-2)
  7(AP)
  10(USA Today)
Tennessee
Ht.
Wt.
Yr.
PPG
RPG
APG
G 5 Angie Bjorklund
6-0
-
So.
11.8
3.1
2.6
F 25 Glory Johnson
6-3
-
Fr.
11.9
7.5
0.8
F
40 Shekinna Stricklen
6-2
-
Fr.
14.2
6.0
3.0
F/C 44 Alexis Fuller
6-3
-
Sr.
7.0
5.6
0.9
F
15 Alicia Manning
6-1
-
Fr.
4.0
3.1
1.1
Duke
Ht.
Wt.
Yr.
PPG
RPG
APG
F
21 Joy Cheek
6-1
-
Jr.
9.0
5.0
1.0
F 30 Carrem Gay
6-2
-
Sr.
5.6
4.9
0.6
C 11 Chante Black
6-5
-
Sr.
15.3
8.7
1.5
G 4 Abby Waner
5-10
-
Sr.
9.7
3.1
3.6
G
5 Jasmine Thomas
5-9
-
So.
9.3
2.7
2.7

Where to begin?  First, look at the "Yr." column.  Where UT starts 3 freshmen, Duke starts 3 seniors.  Next, look at the center name in the Duke list - Chante Black.  Black is a girl that Tennessee has had trouble against for a while.  It'll be nice to have her out of the Duke lineup next year, for whatever good that'll do us tonight (which is none).  Expect Alex Fuller to defend Black, and Glory Johnson to defend Joy Cheek.  If Fuller can contain Black and Glory can be that same feisty defender who shut down Oklahoma's Courtney Paris, the Duke game moves to the perimeter, where the guards are averaging 10 points a night. 

Don't expect any weak links in this Duke team.  Experience is a plus, as we've learned, and they have it in spades.  What UT has in its corner is better depth of talent.  It's not that Duke doesn't get top-end recruits (they do), it's that Pat Summitt is Pat Summitt.

To me, though, the most critical element will be UT's point guard play.  If Alicia Manning and Brianna Bass keep their heads up and make smart plays, Tennessee has a really good shot at this one.  If we see another freshman class meltdown, it'll going to be a long night for the Big Pink.