In the first period, the Lady Vols wasted no time taking the lead after Jaime Nared was fouled under the basketball almost immediately after the tip-off. Nared made both foul shots to put the Vols the lead.
Vandy countered with a jump shot by Rachel Bell to tie the game at two but UT would go on to dominate the opening period. The Lady Vols went on an 11-2 run that put UT up 15-4 with 2:25 left in the period on a jumper by Nared.
After a layup by Morgan Batey, the Lady Vols outscored the Dores 5-1 for the remainder of the period. When the buzzer sounded the Vols led 20-7 at the end the period.
Vandy drew first blood in the second period on a jump shot by Christa Reed. After back to back UT buckets, Jasmine Jenkin's layup narrowed the Lady Vol lead to 24-11 with 7:40 left before the half. However, a 3-point play by Diamond DeShields followed by a layup by Te'a Cooper extended the UT lead to 29-11 with 5:12 left to play in the half. Back to back 3-pointers by Rebekah Dahlman and Minta Spears, along with a layup by Spears cut the UT lead to 31-19 with 1:47 left in the half. A jumper by Bashaara Graves ended the first half's scoring and the teams would head to the locker room with the UT up 33-19.
Tennessee scored the first four points of the second half. Vanderbilt countered with a layup by Webb and free throws by Dahlman to make the score 37-23 UT with 7:22 to play in the third. But the Lady Vols would continue their assault in Memorial and the visitor's lead reached 19 on a jumper by Mercedes Russell at the 5:39 mark. Vandy would not go down easily though, as the Commodores stormed back to cut the UT lead to 10 at the end of the period on 3-pointers by Dahlman and Minta Spears, a layups by Webb and Spears.
Trailing 48-38 heading into the final period, Vanderbilt continued its rally. A basket and made free throw by Batey narrowed the UT lead to single digits at 50-41 with 9:13 to play. Later, a jumper followed by a layup by Jasmine Jenkins pulled the Dores to with six at 52-46 with 5:32 remaining. But it wasn't meant to be. Tennessee answered the Vandy run with back to back buckets by Nared to put the Lady Vols back up by 10. Vandy briefly cut the UT lead back to eight on a basket by Dahlman, but shots stopped falling for Vandy, meanwhile UT made shots and later free throws to seal the orange victory.
Vandy struggled from field goal range hitting just 38 percent. The Commodores were outscored in the paint, 42-20. In one bright spot, the Dores held UT to no made three-pointers in a dozen attempts.
Rebekah Dahlman (13), Minta Spears (11) and Jasmine Jenkins (10) were the Commodores' double-digit scorers.
Nared led the Lady Vols in scoring with 18.
Vanderbilt falls to 15-9 (4-7 SEC). Next up for the Commodores is a visit by Kentucky on Sunday. Tennessee improves to 15-9 (6-5 SEC).
For VandyMania.com and Scout, this is Don Yates.