The last time Tennessee met up with LSU in the SEC Women's Basketball Tournament was in the 2012 title game when the Lady Vols won 70-58 to give Pat Summitt her 16th league championship; the run also turned out to be her last season as head coach.
Now, two years later, and under the leadership of second-year head coach Holly Warlick, the No. 2-seeded and sixth-ranked Lady Vols will tip-off once again with the Tigers – this time in this season's SEC women's tournament quarterfinals tonight from the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga.
Although Nikki Caldwell's Tigers enter the tournament as losers of six straight contests, the former Lady Vol guard (1991-94) and her team avoided elimination by defeating No. 7 Alabama 78-65 on Thursday night.
"You always see different kinds of teams that go in and they all have different mindsets," junior forward Isabelle Harrison said of teams entering the tournament with a clean slate. "You're never going to see the same team that you were playing during the regular season."
This will be the third matchup this season between the two as each squad won on the road with UT winning the last matchup, 72-67, on Feb. 27 at LSU.
In their last regular season game, the Lady Vols turned the ball over a season-low seven times against No. 5 South Carolina, who holds the No. 1 seed in the tournament.
"We had very few turnovers, which I was very proud of," senior Meighan Simmons said after the South Carolina win. "We rebounded the ball very well, and that's something we're going to have to do in the NCAAs and especially the SECs."
Simmons will try to carry over her success that she's had over the past 12 games, in which she averaged 20.4 points per game and shot 49.7 percent from the field, 47.2 percent from deep and 85.3 percent at the line.
Simmons, who averaged 16.2 points per game in the regular season, will also try to emulate her last performance against the Tigers in which she poured in 31 points on an 11-of-18 effort from the field, including five 3-pointers and a season-high seven rebounds.
"I really want us to finish with the SEC Championship," Simmons said, who is just 42 points away from becoming the fifth player in Lady Vol history to reach the 2,000-point plateau. "As a senior, it's something you always want to end your legacy on.
"I really think winning the SEC would help in possibly going on to the NCAAs, and finishing in the Final Four would be great."
While the Lady Vols enter the tournament as winners of 10 of their last 11 games and are focused on winning the program's 17th conference championship, they are not trying to look too far ahead.
"We've talked all year about taking one game at a time," Warlick said. "We are trying to not look back and not look ahead, just stay in the moment.
"I think that's been a great thing for us this year to really focus on what we have to get done, take care of ourselves, get better with ourselves, and then we will prepare for our opponent."
The Lady Vols' matchup with the Tigers tips at 6 p.m. and will be televised by SportSouth and streamed on ESPN3.