Last second heroics are why St. John's Red Storm (23-10) are dancing another day. Brianna Brown drained a last second 3-pointer that pushed the Red Storm into this battle with the Tennessee Lady Volunteers (28-5).
With all that behind them, head coach Joe Tartamella knows that they have to come out quick against this Tennessee team.
"We don't want to be down early in the game," said Tartamella. "But we also know it's a game of runs and they're going to score the ball. They're not going to go without a field goal throughout the whole game. We obviously don't want to dig ourselves a big hole."
After Tennessee's first round struggle, at least St. John's knows Tennessee is in fact, human after all.
"We were able to watch their most recent games and we did watch a little bit of yesterday's game," Eugeneia McPherson said. "I think watching that film and watching a little bit of yesterday's game gives us momentum for tomorrow. I think we're well prepared for them."
Top seeded Tennessee struggled early with Northwestern State. After leading just 22-20 at halftime, they made the right adjustments and came out blazing in the second half. They went on multiple double digit runs to ice the game.
I think that's a little bit of the jitters," Tennessee Head Coach Holly Warlick said. "Northwestern State was getting under us.I think that game showed us that we've got to really rely on our defensive play. We will tomorrow night. We can't be passive, we've got to be aggressive, we've got to attack."
The Lady Vols have the size advantage and St. John's will want to play fast and keep the Lady Vols bigs off their feet for most of the game.
"They're an extremely athletic team," Tennessee forward Cierra Burdick said. "They play fast basketball. They really do. They get after it. They play with a lot of emotion. We can't get into a running game. That would be playing to their liking. We've got to focus on playing Lady Vol basketball, running when we can, but playing in the halfcourt I think will give us the advantage."
Even with all the nerves and how well St. John's played against USC Trojans, America isn't giving the Red Storm a chance in this game. Just 1 percent on ESPN's Tournament Challenge has chosen St. John's to beat Tennessee.
It's only the second time these two teams have done battle. They met back in 1982 with the Lady Vols winning 69-56.
St. John's is a life time 1-4 record in the second round games. Their one second round victory came in 2012.
Game will tip off at 8:05 CST on ESPN's networks. Check your local listings or catch it on WATCHESPN.
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