The Maryland women's basketball team, buoyed by Saturday's 68-63 escape against fifth-ranked Texas, plays second-ranked Tennessee tonight in the AIAW quarterfinals in Knoxville, Tenn.

The Terrapins have had good luck against the Volunteers, with victories in the 1978 AIAW tournament and in the 1979 Orange Bowl Classic.

Tennessee (3-14) gained the quarterfinals with a 20-point romp over Kansas State. The Vol's high-powered offense is led by Foward Jill Rankin, who averages 20 points per game. Rankin had 28 against Kansas State.

Although the ninth-ranked Terps (2-8) played sloppily most of the Texas game, Coach Chris Weller said her team is peaking and has to be a squad the top-ranked teams dread going up against.

Weller also realizes that "Tennessee at Tennnessee is a whole different story. You can forget about our wins over them in the past. (Vols Coach) Pat Head says we have a hex over them . . . but none of those games mean anything."

Tonight's is the last round in which regional winners will have the homecourt advantage. If the Terps win tonight, they will travel to Central Michigan, where the final four will play Friday night. The championship game is Sunday.