Vanderbilt jumped out to an early 6-0 lead on baskets by Rayte'a Long, Rachel Bell and Jasmine Jenkins. However, UT-Martin scored seven straight points, taking a 7-6 lead on a jumper by DaiJia Ruffin.
After a 3-point shot by Vanderbilt's Christa Reed put Vandy back on top 9-7 with 4:40 to play in the first period, the contest went scoreless for almost two and a half minutes before Morgan Batey's layup with 2:06 to play in the opening period. The first period scoring ended on a bucket by Marqu'es Webb to put the Commodores up 13-12.
Early in the second period the Skyhawks took an 18-15 lead on back-to-back three-pointers by players Jessy Ward and Haley Howard. UT-Martin would maintain that lead until 3:07 remaining in the half when Rachel Bell's 3-point shot put the Commodores back on top 29-27. Vanderbilt would head to the locker room with a narrow 35-34 lead.
In the third period, the Commodore lead swelled to eight at 49-41 on a layup by Christ Reed with 2:06 to play in the period. However, a jump shot by the Skyhawk's Katie Schubert closed out the third period's scoring with Vandy on top by five, 49-44.
Vanderbilt's lead later grew to 54-44 on a 3-pointer by Rebekah Dahlman with 8:44 to play in the game. But UT-Martin would slowly chip away at the lead before trailing just 60-59 with 1:56 remaining. To make matter worse, the Commodores reliable ball handler, Minta Spears, had fouled out earlier with three minutes remaining. The Commodores held on though, with Reed and Long making free throws in the final minute and Kristen Gaffney providing solid play at point guard.
Vanderbilt shot 45.8 percent from the field, 35.3 from 3-point range and 66.7 from the line. Vandy's bench outscored the Skyhawks 26-5.
The Commodores improve to 9-2 with the win while UT-Martin falls to 7-5. Vanderbilt will get a few days off for the holiday before facing New Mexico State on Dec. 29th in the Fordham Holiday Classic in the Bronx, New York.
For VandyMania.com and Scout, this is Don Yates.