NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Visiting No. 22 Tennessee controlled the second and fourth quarters Thursday at Memorial Gymnasium. That proved to be the difference in a 78-69 victory over Vanderbilt.
The Volunteers took a four-point lead into the final 10 minutes and got consecutive makes from Jazmine Massengill and Rae Burrell, respectively to stretch that margin to 57-49. Kiara Pearl kept Vandy’s hopes alive with her third 3 of the contest which drew the Dores within 63-57 with 6:48 to go.
The Volunteers stood firm and went back up by 10 on Massengill’s fastbreak layup with 5:30 to play. Vanderbilt didn’t have an answer from there.
Tennessee outscored Vandy 25-20 in the final frame.
Vandy (12-9, 2-5 SEC) heads to Auburn to play the Tigers (7-12, 1-7 SEC) at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Vanderbilt took a commanding 21-15 lead after one quarter Thursday. The Commodores shot 66.7 percent, forced six Tennessee turnovers and totaled 14 points in the paint.
Cambridge had eight points in the first 10 minutes and two steals.
Tennessee (17-4, 7-1 SEC) stormed back with a 12-2 run to start the second quarter, capped by Tamari Key’s layup 4 1/2 minutes into the period that forced a Vandy timeout. That run extended to 16-2 on Rennia Davis’ pull-up jumper that forced yet another Vanderbilt stoppage at 31-23.
Pearl finally stopped the bleeding with back-to-back buckets – a left-wing 3 and pull-up jumper from the right baseline cutting the score to 34-28.
The Commodores would have to settle for a 35-30 deficit at the break. Vandy made just three field goals in the second quarter and was -10 in rebounding after the first 20 minutes of action.
Tennessee twice went ahead by five in the first half of the third quarter before back-to-back scores from LeaLea Carter and Mariella Fasoula, respectively, making it 42-41. Love then gave the Dores a lead with a scooping layup at 43-42.
The Volunteers answered with a 7-0 run and that helped them hold a 53-49 advantage going into the final and decisive quarter.
Davis led Tennessee with 22 points and seven rebounds.
• Vanderbilt junior forward Autumn Newby returned to action Thursday after missing three games with a knee injury. She had six points and five rebounds in 26 minutes.
• Vanderbilt now trails the all-time series with Tennessee 72-10 and 28-7 at Memorial Gymnasium. The Commodores last beat Tennessee in Nashville in 2014.
• The Commodores’ last win over a ranked team was Feb. 28, 2016 against No. 24 Missouri.
• Vanderbilt has out-rebounded 16 of its 21 opponents this season.
• The Commodores are 6-1 when finishing with fewer turnovers than the opponent and 12-4 when scoring more than 60 points
• Attendance on Thursday was announced as 3,429.