Lady Vols rally past Vanderbilt, 79-65

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--After a sizzling start, the Vanderbilt Commodores cooled off and fell to the Tennessee Lady Vols 79-65 Sunday afternoon in Memorial Gym in their first SEC loss of the season. Carla Thomas led Vanderbilt in scoring with 18 points, followed by Dee Davis with 14, and Ashley Earley with 12.

The Lady Vols scored the first points of the game, but a layup from sophomore guard Katie Antony quickly tied the score, then senior guard Abi Ramsey sank a 3-pointer to give the Commodores their first lead of the game.

Then, for the first eight minutes of the game, Vanderbilt didn't miss a shot, either from the field or from the free throw line. The spectacular shooting helped build a 24-10 lead before their first miss of the game with 11:39 left in the half.

Then couple of Tennessee 3-pointers cut the lead back to 24-16, and Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb called time out. Coming out of the timeout, the Commodores scored seven straight points, including a 3-pointer by Ramsey that bounced then fell through the hoop and a layup by Thomas on a backdoor cut, to take a 15-point lead at 31-16 at the 8:08.

But as it turned out, that was as good as it got. Three consecutive Tennessee 3-pointers quickly sliced the Vanderbilt lead to six points at 31-25, then a layup and two free throws followed to cut the lead to just two points. Tennessee couldn't reclaim the lead for the rest of the half, but they kept knocking on the door until a Lady Vol 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer tied the score at 37-37.

For the first twelve minutes of the second half, the teams battled tooth and nail, and with 8:19 left, the score was tied once again at 59-59. But for Vanderbilt, it was all downhill from there. The Commodores didn't score again for nearly five minutes until a layup by Earley finally broke the drought with 3:46 left. In the meantime, the Lady Vols had taken a 13-point lead at 72-59.

A layup by Earley and a fastbreak layup by Davis cut the lead back to single digits at 72-63, but the Commodores could come no closer than that. After another Tennessee 3-pointer and foul shots by both teams, when the final buzzer sounded, the score stood at 79-65 in favor of the Lady Vols.

For the game, Vanderbilt shot 45.6% from the field, compared to 48.3%. For both teams, there was a difference in the two halves, with Vanderbilt shooting 51.7% in the first half but falling to 39.3% in the second half. Tennessee, on the other hand, shot 41.2% in the first half and improved to 58.9% in the second half. The Lady Vols held a substantial edge on the boards with 37 rebounds, including 14 offensive rebounds, compared to only 24 for Vanderbilt. The Commodores had fewer turnovers with 14 compared to 16 for the Lady Vols.

With the loss Vanderbilt falls to 13-3 (2-1 SEC), while Tennessee improves to 12-3 (2-0 SEC). Next, Vanderbilt travels to Oxford, Mississippi, for a Thursday night game with the Ole Miss Lady Rebels before returning home to face the LSU Lady Tigers on Sunday afternoon.

Commodores Daily Top Stories