Lady Vols survive Memorial, Defeat Commodores 78-69

Greg Arias

Nashville, Tn.- A nine-point second quarter was all it took for the Vanderbilt Commodores to fall behind and allow the #22 Tennessee Lady Vols to escape with a 78-69 win Thursday night before a crowd of 3,429 at Memorial Gym.

Vanderbilt got off to a fast start, hitting 10 of 15 shots in the first quarter as they built a 21-15 advantage at the end of quarter number one, but then the second quarter happened. 

Thanks in part to better defense by the Lady Vols, the Commodores hit just three of 20-second quarter shots, good for just 15% while Tennessee connected on 8 of 12 shots to the lead and go to halftime with a 35-30 advantage they would never surrender as the visitors lead for 28:28 of the game compared to just 9:46 for Vanderbilt.  

Koi Love led all Commodores in scoring with 16 while Kiara Pearl tossed in 13, Chelsie Hall added 12 and Jordyn Cambridge with 10 as the only Vanderbilt players in double figures. 

Mariella Fasoula finished with just 8 points for Vanderbilt, down from her team-leading 13.7 ppg average.  

For 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.

Rennia Davies led four Lady Vols in double figures with 22 while Jazmine Massingill added 14 and both Jordan Horston and Rae Burrell finished with 11 points each.  

For the game, the Commodores managed to shoot just 37.5% from the floor while allowing the Lady Vols to finish the contest shooting 51.7 % as Tennessee shot better than 50% in three of the four quarters on their way to a road conference win.   

Tennessee (17-4, 7-1 SEC) move on the face top-ranked South Carolina Sunday at noon in Columbia, South Carolina. 

Vanderbilt now 12-9 overall and just 2-6 in conference play turn their attention to Auburn as they take to the road to face the Tigers Sunday afternoon at 2 pm  

The Commodores will get another shot at the Lady Vols when the two meet in Knoxville, on Feb.23 with an 11 am start time set for the game at Thompson-Boling Arena.