NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ciaja Harbison scored 27 points and Marnelle Garraud finished with 19 as Vanderbilt women’s basketball mounted a late-game charge against rival Tennessee that came up short in an 84-71 loss on Sunday afternoon at Memorial Gymnasium.
Vanderbilt (9-9, 0-4 SEC) cut a 21-point fourth-quarter lead for the Lady Vols to just eight points in the final minutes behind Harbison and Garraud. The graduate guard duo combined for 17 of Vandy’s 23 points in the quarter. But the Lady Vols (12-6, 4-0) capitalized on offensive rebounds and turnovers down the stretch to hang on for their fifth straight victory in the series.
Garraud shot 7 of 14 from the field overall, including 5 of 8 from behind the 3-point line, while playing all 40 minutes for the shorthanded Commodores. Harbison was 9 of 20 from the field and 7 of 7 from the free throw line in 39 minutes.
Sophomore forward Sacha Washington had a double-double for the Dores, scoring 13 points and grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds.
Both teams struggled to score early. Tennessee took its first lead at 6-4 on two free throws by Rickea Jackson and remained in front for the remainder of the game.
The Lady Vols carried a 38-29 advantage into halftime and gradually began to pull away in the third quarter, outsourcing Vandy 27-19 in the frame. Tennessee’s lead reached 21 points at the start of the fourth quarter before Vandy mounted its comeback. Garraud sparked the charge with eight early points before Harbison took over with seven straight points to cut the deficit to 75-67 following a 3-pointer.
Vandy closed to within eight points twice more until Jackson scored the final five points of the game to help the Lady Vols secure the win.
Jackson led the Lady Vols with 23 points while Jordan Horston and Karoline Striplin each scored 13.
Both teams shot 47 percent from the field, with Vandy going 27 of 57 and Tennessee 32 of 68. The Lady Vols outrebounded Vandy 42-28, including 20 offensive rebounds that led to 28 second-chance points. Tennessee scored 27 points off 18 turnovers by Vandy.
• Harbison has scored 20 or more points eight times this season and 38 times in her career.
• Garraud has scored 10-plus points 12 times this season.
• Washington had her second double-double of the season and the ninth of her career. She has pulled down at least five rebounds in 17 of Vandy’s 18 games this season.
• Garraud and Harbison each finished with two steals. Garraud has at least one steal in each of the last 12 games and Harbison has at least one in seven straight games.
Married Matchup x 2
For the second time this season, Vanderbilt was involved in a game with coaching staffs that included married couples. Vanderbilt head coach Shea Ralph is assisted by her husband Tom Garrick, and Tennessee head coach Kellie Harper is assisted by her husband Jon.
Earlier this season, Vandy squared off against Lipscomb, which is led by head coach Lauren Sumski, who has her husband Chris on staff.
The Lady Vols improved to 76-10 in the all-times series, including 31-7 in Nashville. Tennessee has 15 of the last 16 meetings overall.
Up Next: Vanderbilt has the week off before traveling to play Arkansas on Jan. 16 at 6 p.m. CT (SEC Network) in Fayetteville.
Tickets: Students will continue to receive free admission to all home basketball games. In addition, single-game sales, mini-plans and group ticket options are available. To view the promotional schedule, click here.