Candace Parker scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and top-ranked Tennessee bounced back from a home loss with a 81-68 victory over No. 25 Vanderbilt on Sunday.
Tennessee (23-2, 9-1 Southeastern Conference), which beat Vanderbilt for the 15th straight time, risked slipping from first to third in the conference with a second straight loss. On Thursday, the Lady Vols lost to No. 7 LSU 78-62 at home.
The Lady Vols, expected to drop from No. 1 in Monday's new poll, hadn't lost consecutive games since 2006 when they lost to Duke and Kentucky.
It was never really close against Vanderbilt (19-7, 8-3), which snapped a six-game winning streak and has not beaten Tennessee since Feb. 16, 2002.
Angie Bjorklund added 15 points for Tennessee, and Alex Fuller had 14.
Christina Wirth led Vanderbilt with 14 points, and Merideth Marsh had 11.
This was Tennessee's third game against a ranked opponent in seven days, a week that started with the controversial 59-58 win over No. 5 Rutgers on Monday and included a blown 19-point lead in that LSU rout Thursday.
They needed this kind of game and got it by leading throughout. Vandy managed only one tie -- at 2 -- and Lady Vols led 42-36 at halftime.
But Nicky Anosike picked up her fourth foul less than five minutes into the second half, and the Commodores scored 12 straight points capped by Wirth's 3 with 13:59 remaining to pull within 51-50 -- the closest they had been since that early tie.
Wirth picked up her fourth foul 11 seconds later and went to the bench. Tennessee answered with seven straight points in a 12-3 spurt, and Fuller's 3-pointer with 8:58 to go put the Lady Vols back up 63-53.
They kept padding that lead to as much as 19 on a bucket by Parker with 4 minutes left at 78-59.
Tennessee opened the game outscoring Vandy 17-2, including 15 straight points. Bjorklund's 3 with 9:39 left put Tennessee up 22-8.
Tennessee got into foul trouble with Parker playing only 11 minutes and Anosike on the floor for seven. Summitt pulled both after they picked up their second fouls.
Vanderbilt took advantage. The Commodores had missed five of their first six shots and finally started settling down without the 6-foot-4 Parker and Anosike -- both taller than all but Vandy center Liz Sherwood -- in the middle.
The Commodores started turning Tennessee over and hit four straight shots, including three 3-pointers, to get back within single digits.
-For the sixth straight game, Tennessee jumped out to at least a 10-point lead in the first half.
-Tennessee made a three-pointer for the 327th consecutive game.
-All Lady Vols who saw playing time in the first half scored at least three points before halftime.
The win today…
-Improves the Lady Vols to 23-2, 9-1 in the Southeastern Conference and 11-2 against ranked opponents this season.
-Gives Tennessee an overall record of 391-150 against ranked teams, including a 78-23 mark when ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press poll.
-Gives UT a 51-6 lead in the all-time series with Vanderbilt, including a 15-game winning streak.
-Gives Tennessee a 390-59 all-time record against teams from the SEC, including a 261-34 mark in league games.
-Extends Tennessee’s SEC road winning streak to 15 games.
-Gives Pat Summitt a 970-182 record in her 34th season at Tennessee.
-Started for the 120th time in her 133-game career, moving her into sole possession of sixth place for career starts at UT.
-Just the 14th all-time Lady Vol to reach the 800-rebound plateau.
-Moved past Sidney Spencer (53 in 2005-06) and Brittany Jackson (54 in 2004-05) and into ninth place in the UT record books for single-season three-pointers made (55).
-The first Lady Vol to reach double figures… scored 10+ points for the 11th game this season.
-Moved past Jody Adams (287) and into a tie with Tasha Butts (290) for ninth place for career three-pointers attempted (290).
-Scored in double figures for the sixth time this season and the second straight game against Vanderbilt… in her first four career games against the Commodores, she scored a total of six points.
-Scored an SEC-career-high 14 points
-Started for the 106th time of her career, moving her into sole possession of 10th place in the UT record books for career starts.
-With her six steals today, she needs just three more to pass Bridgette Gordon (333) for first place in the UT record books for career thefts.
-Moved into sole possession of fifth place in the UT record books for career assists (454)
-Started for the 96th time in her career, moving her into a tie with Shyra Ely for 14th place in the UT record books for career starts.
-Scored in double figures for the 31st straight game and the 92nd time of her 97-game career.
-Picked up her 12th double-double of the season and the 43rd of her career.
-Moved into seventh place in the UT annals for career field goals made (687)
Story Courtesy: UT Lady Vols Sports Information
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