Lady Vols;Coach Kellie Harper made terrified statement today disapointing’…….

 Lady Vols;Coach Kellie Harper made terrified statement today disapointing’…….

Being tied for second in the SEC after playing five of their first eight conference games on the road is no small thing for the Lady Vols.

Their only two conference losses are on the road, and they are tied for second (6-2) in the SEC with Ole Miss, which beat Tennessee by five points Sunday. The only remaining undefeated team is No. 1 South Carolina — even reigning national champion LSU already has picked up three losses in conference play.

“This league is so tough this year,” Lady Vols coach Kellie Harper said Friday. “There are no bad teams. We don’t have the bottom. You don’t have a game that you can look on the schedule and go, ‘Oh, that’s going to be an easy win for so and so.’ That just does not happen this year.”

LSU and Mississippi State are tied for fourth at 5-3. Alabama, Arkansas and Vanderbilt are tied for sixth at 4-4.

The SEC is deeper than last season, and the upsets around the conference have shown that.

“You’ve seen that in scores, close games, tight games, I think everyone is capable,” Harper said. “That is one of the most challenging things about the league this year. And our players recognize it, and I would say most players in the league do — you have to bring it each and every night. There cannot be an off night, and we talk about that every year. But I think it’s holding true this year more than ever.”

But she certainly has settled in, averaging 27.5 points the past two games, shooting 61.3% from the field and 52.9% from 3-point range. Her 53.8% shooting in conference games ranks second behind South Carolina center Kamilla Cardoso.

“I think just getting comfortable being uncomfortable, understanding that you can succeed playing in a physical league, and really sometimes embracing it,” Harper said of Spear’s adjustment to the SEC. “And obviously, she’s very experienced, and she’s played in big games. So that transition is probably a little bit quicker for her understanding, ‘Oh, this is what you’ve been talking about.’ “

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