Tennessee Lady Vols lose 74-63 to Vanderbilt

Tennessee Lady Vols lose 74-63 to Vanderbilt

January 13th, 2014 by Associated Press in Sports - College

Vanderbilt guard Christina Foggie (10) drives around Tennessee forward Bashaara Graves in their NCAA basketball game on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014, in Nashville.

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Tennessee guard Ariel Massengale, center, dribbles against Vanderbilt guard Kylee Smith (23) during their game Sunday in Nashville.

Tennessee guard Ariel Massengale, center, dribbles against Vanderbilt...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - Coach Holly Warlick's frustration with her Tennessee Lady Vols just keeps growing with every game.

Her Lady Vols have plenty of size and athleticism. Their commitment to playing defense the Tennessee way is sorely lacking, and it's already cost the Lady Vols as many losses in Southeastern Conference play as all last season.

Isabelle Harrison fouled out after only 10 minutes, and No. 8 Tennessee blew a 10-point lead early in the second half Sunday in losing 74-63 to Vanderbilt.

"When we give up layups, no lead is sacred," Warlick said. "We got up, and then we relaxed and they took advantage of us. ... No, I'm not surprised."

Harrison picked up two fouls a minute into the game and fouled out in the second half first with a foul before being whistled for a technical. Not having Harrison for 30 minutes hurt, but Warlick was more upset with the Lady Vols' poor defense. She said she had her best five defensive players on the floor and still couldn't slow down Vanderbilt.

"We get up, and we can't stop anybody penetrating so it has nothing to do with Harrison," Warlick said. "It's about what's important on the other end ... Until defense is important to us, we're going to struggle."

Tennessee (13-3, 2-2) snapped a three-game streak in this series with Vanderbilt. Meighan Simmons led the Lady Vols with 19 points. Jasmine Jones had 13 and Cierra Burdick 11.

Jasmine Lister scored 22 points and Christina Foggie added 21 as the Commodores won for only the ninth time in the 70 games they count having played against Tennessee. It was the Commodores' first win in the series since Feb. 9, 2012.

Marqu'es Webb added 12 for Vanderbilt (14-3, 3-1).

The Commodores had the seats at Memorial Gym filled with a majority of black and gold instead of the usual Tennessee orange. They looked very comfortable from the start as they outhustled and outplayed Tennessee most of the game.

Vanderbilt coach Melanie Balcomb remembers her teams being booed early in her 12-year tenure when hosting Tennessee. She credited the marketing staff, her teams and fans for helping flip that edge.

"Tonight I felt like this was our home court," Balcomb said.

Vanderbilt played only three 6-foot or better but none taller than then 6-1 Webb. Tennessee's dramatic size difference included five Lady Vols 6-2 or taller.

The Lady Vols used that size in outrebounding Vanderbilt 40-31, but the Commodores outshot them 49.1 percent (26 of 53) to 42.9 percent (27 of 63). They were at their best in the second half as they hit a sizzling 62.5 percent (15 of 24).

Vanderbilt trailed 48-42 when the Commodores went on a 13-2 run that included a jumper by Morgan Batey that gave them their first lead since 29-28 late in the first half. Batey's jumper put Vandy up 51-50, then the sophomore guard had a steal with Lister finishing off the fast break with a layup and Foggie added a layup capping the spurt for a 55-50 lead with 5:38 to go.

"We kept our composure," Lister said.

Tennessee didn't get closer than seven the rest of the way bringing most of the 9,412 fans to their feet for the final couple minutes in celebration.

The Lady Vols led 30-29 at halftime despite missing their first six shots and not hitting their first field goal until Burdick's jumper with 14:35 left in the half.

Tennessee opened the second half scoring the first nine points with Harrison on the floor taking a 39-29 lead on a bucket by Jones with 16:28 left. Vanderbilt answered with its own 13-5 run, pulling within 44-42 on a jumper by Foggie with 12:12 remaining.

Harrison fouled out with 9:23 left after being whistled for a foul blocking a shot by Foggie. She reacted to the call with officials then calling a double technical on the Tennessee center and Webb.

"She's got to keep her composure," Burdick said of Harrison.