Jan. 25, 2007
Next Home Game: Feb. 4 vs. Alabama
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Sidney Spencer scored a career-high 26 points, and No. 4 Tennessee pulled out a 67-57 victory Thursday night against Vanderbilt (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP).
The Lady Vols wanted to avoid a hangover coming off Monday night's 74-70 loss to top-ranked Duke. Last year, they followed up with a loss to unranked Kentucky. Tennessee was able to bounce back this time.
Tennessee (18-2, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) handed the Commodores (17-3, 4-1) their first loss at home this season. The Lady Vols relied on their defense, forcing Vandy into a season-high 27 turnovers that Tennessee turned into 29 points.
Vanderbilt didn't make it easy.
Senior forward Carla Thomas scored 10 of her 16 points in less than 4 minutes to rally Vandy, and she hit two free throws to give the Commodores their last lead at 48-47 with 3:41 left.
Shannon Bobbitt hit a 3 that put Tennessee back up to stay at 50-48. Meredith Marsh tried to pass to Thomas, but Candace Parker grabbed the loose ball, was fouled and hit both free throws. She added a three-point play to match the Lady Vols' biggest lead of the second half at 55-48.
Parker finished with 19 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, and Alexis Hornbuckle had 11 for Tennessee.
Vanderbilt hadn't had this many turnovers since a victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Nov. 19, 2005.
The Lady Vols almost matched Vandy in turnovers with a season-high 25. The Commodores dominated on the boards most of the game until Tennessee took over late and finished with a 31-27 edge.
Vandy led by as many as eight points in the first half, but took the lead only twice in the second half, each time by only a point. Thomas provided the bucket on each.
Tennessee took control in the first half after trailing 17-9 by taking better shots and starting to turn the Commodores over in a 12-0 spurt highlighted by a pair of 3s by Spencer. Hornbuckle's 3 -- her first points of the game -- put the Lady Vols up 24-17 with 4:25 to go in the first half.